Washington (CNN) - In a conference call Wednesday with former staffers and supporters former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said "we are leaning toward a yes" on a presidential run, CNN has learned.
He revealed he hopes to announce a presidential bid in late May at noon in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall. He asked the group for help building a national audience for that event on the internet and through local media.
In response to a question, Gingrich told the group "corporate PACs can give $5,000 and obviously we'd be thrilled to have as many of them sign up as early as possible."
In an apparent reference to the Contract with America that helped make him speaker in the 1990s he told the group "the campaign I want to build would have a contract in late September of 12" and help "build the party across the board."
Several times Gingrich pointed out that "for legal reasons" he can't say too much – "we are still in the exploratory phase," but he has lined up the beginning of a campaign rollout. He expects former Georgia Democratic Senator and Governor Zell Miller to be a co-chair "once we put the campaign together." He says his campaign would be headquartered in Atlanta.
He also said he is talking to and trying to recruit supporters in key states, such as he did in Iowa earlier this week. A Gingrich aide said he's planning direct mail solicitations starting next week and telemarketing efforts beginning this week.
In addition to doing well in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Gingrich said he hopes to "seal off Georgia as a favorite son." He added that given the way primary timing may shake out "Florida may suddenly loom very, very large."
One aide on the call said they've seen "enormous excitement" in response to the Newtexplore2012.com website setup last week. And Gingrich himself said donors who can't afford to give too much up front are committing $50-$100 a month. He explained about 25 percent of the initial donations came from Carroll County, Georgia but "it is gradually changing" with donors from all over the country.
The former speaker asked for the group's help. Noting that reporters will be calling looking for information he said, "to the extent you can say something nice that is very, very helpful."
He asked the group on the call for fundraising support and assistance building enthusiasm for his kickoff announcement online and in local media markets. He also invited feedback when there are missteps – for example, last week's announcement of his plans to start an exploratory phase in his potential run.
Gingrich said, "I concede last week's announcement got cluttered in ways that were pretty foolish, but we've moved beyond that."
As he does during public events, the would-be candidate consistently mentioned his wife, Callista. She spoke briefly on the call to thank the group saying "we can't do this alone."
What a fool. This fat slob hypocrite has zero chance of getting the nomination. He should just stay under his rock.
and does anyone care what you do? You will not win you are just trying to raise $$ like your cohort Palin and then you'll quit just like her........
This is the guy who just said in an interview, LITERALLY, that his adultery was "partially driven by how I felt about this country." He then, as all godless self-serving heathens are wont to do, pretended to believe in God and claimed that God forgives him and it's made him a better person blah blah blah. Freekin nonsense. I guess he's a real family values patriot...one of the "real Amurikans" he and his ilk are always going on about, right?
Oh boy, this philandering old hypocrite's going to take the bait! He'll be an easy one to trounch provided the middle class gets enough rage over what's currently happening to finally vote in their best interests and not for the corporations who these pukes support. This'll be fun!
Go ahead and run adulterer. What a great role model you will be for the youth of this nation. My child will look up to a man who cheats on his wife every chance he gets. That's the American way.
Let's hope he runs so we can have some goos laughs.
Don't forget: Gingrich = thief and womanizer.
He really thinks the opposition won't dig up his personal dirty laundry? Is he ready to air his past sins and at same time spread the word on family values? The word 'hypocrite' isn't strong enough for these two-faced liars.
Send in the clowns.
Why? He has zero chance in h-elllll to get to the actual election. It would a waste of his time and money. The king of the knuckleheads is, I suppose, hoping we all have short memories.
Well, Newt, most of KNOW who you are....we know your past, which makes you less than a man in my book, and I suspect many others books too. You can't be trusted, by anyone it seems. I wonder how long this newest wifey will last.
We remember how you were the king in the crowd attempting to impeach Clinton, and all the while you were cheating on, was it the second or thrid wife....who can keep track!? So that makes you king of the hypocrites.
If a Democrat has his track record, the Repugs would NEVER let him live it down....but, somehow it is like they choose not to focus on those little tidbits.....hhhhhhmmmmmm??????
I certainly do not enough time to list all the other reasons you would be toast, I think if you were up against Charlie Sheen he would win over you.
Silly Newt, tricks are for kids.
Newt go away! just go away!
Honestly Newt, why waste the money? History has shown time and again the politicos identified with the extremities of their party can not win a general election. (see Bob Dole, 1996)
I hope he runs...it'll be GREAT for laughs.
Newt you suck! Run, it will be fun to watch you get slaughtered like the political porker you are!
Newter is unfit for office. CNN should stop wasting our time with such stupid articles.
I hope Newt does run and he will become the laughing stock of his Republican Party. How can this man seriously think about running for President. Yes, God does forgive us of our sins however; you asked you first wife who was sick for a divorce on her sick bed, so that you could marry wife #2 and then you cheated on wife # 2 with your current wife # 3. I live in Atlanta and his kids have nothing to do with him and they are probably ashamed of the way he treated their Mom. You never hear anything about his children campaigning for him in any election. Now that says lot about him as a person, when you children turn their backs on their cheating Dad.
How many wealthy preacher committed awful deeds in the last 50 or more years and stated in tears that the devil made them do it? Too many to count. Normally the deeds involved, money, homosexuality, or just plain good looking women.
Newt's case is no different, but if he insists of asking Gods forgiveness more that once it is ridicules. I aint voting fro him
President Obama listened to racist preacher for 20 years and was friends with a domestic terrorist and he won. Why can't Newt. Oh yeah he is white, no allowances will be made for him. Did you see how quick CNN pulled down the poll about Obama getting re-elected when there were slightly more saying that he would not? He is in trouble if the people on this liberal news outlet say he won't.
Lean a little more forward Newt-maybe you'll go over the cliff-then we won't have to listen to you 'til 2012.
Newt probably told his now wife, if you marry me I will make you "first lady" but she can't be because she's the "third lady". Think about it, a "third lady". LOL
Who the heck cares? I wouldn't trust him to walk my dog, much less be President of the United States. Forgiveness is one thing, but forgetting is another. A t-shirt I saw comes to mind, I prayed for a bike. But God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness.
Announce it ANY time you want. It really won't make any difference as you will NEVER be inaugurated as president of the United States or ANY other country (although Russia might take you they love dictators). Please someone neuter his mouth.
you underestimate Newt at your own peril,he is the most qualified person the repubs have to offer.As far as the affair that will be an asset for the dems and by the way the story about the first wife is not true
I get a cold chill everytime this morally lacking man hints that he might run for Prez. Please don't, dude. You reek of hypocracy (like most politicians do). How does he plan to get the womens vote, flirt with them, be sincere with them, tell them how sorry he can't keep his pants zipped, can't act with honor???? I would get an even worse cold chill if there was a Palin/Gikngrich ticket... EEEIyyyyyyyaaaaahhhhhhhhk, twitch twitch twitch.
James, perhaps you are unaware Rev. Wright is a decorated war veteran, which is more than most Greedy Old Pigs can say. He's also NOT a racist and CNN is not at all "Liberal." Get a clue, dude.