Washington (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich didn’t announce his candidacy for president Tuesday night, but he did outline the issues he’d focus on in a campaign and the approach he’d take as commander in chief.
“I think the country has enormous problems,” Gingrich said in remarks made exclusively to CNN. “I think it requires a totally different kind of approach, a ‘we the people, focus on the citizens’ approach that recognizes that all of us are in this together and that it’s going to take a tremendous amount of joint effort by millions of people for America to be successful.”
Gingrich said his campaign would focus on jobs, national security, energy and “reach(ing) out to every American in every neighborhood and ensur(ing) that they truly have the right to pursue happiness.”
The prominent Republican also praised a potential presidential contender, Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to China who tendered his resignation on Monday and is widely expected to explore a bid for the White House.
“He’s very bright, very capable,” Gingrich said. “There will be a lot of very first rate people. It’ll be a good field.”
When asked if he would like to announce his candidacy during the interview, Gingrich joked that he was “tempted,” and reiterated his self-imposed deadline of the end of February for making such an announcement.
Gingrich spoke to CNN after a wide-ranging debate with former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean at George Washington University.