(CNN) - One of Newt Gingrich’s high-profile former colleagues warned other GOP White House hopefuls against misjudging the former House speaker’s election prospects.
Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett, former Vice President Dick Cheney said he knew Gingrich well and had positive reviews of his political prowess.
“The thing I remember about Newt, we came to Congress together at the same time, '78, and when Newt showed up, he said, ‘We can become the majority. We can take back the House of Representatives,’” Cheney said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
He continued, “We hadn't had the House since the 1940s. And initially, none of us believed it, but he was persistent. And he was tenacious. He kept it up and kept it up and kept it up. And finally by '94, he's the newly elected speaker of the House of Representatives with a Republican majority.”
Cheney said the success Gingrich enjoyed as a political player should serve as a warning to his fellow candidates.
“I wouldn't underestimate him,” Cheney said.
Cheney has not made an endorsement in the 2012 primary race, saying he’s been too busy with other commitments to fully enter the campaign process.
“I have not endorsed anybody,” Cheney said. “I've stayed religiously out of the fray on our side this year. I've been trying to sell books. And that's where my effort's been focused.”
Burnett asked Cheney if he would advise Obama to switch vice presidential candidates in the 2012 election.
“Any advice I’d give Barack Obama today would be, take a look at it,” Cheney said. “Because there are a lot of good people out there. And it's not personal. You go out and find the best candidate you can to run. And maybe, if he goes through that process, he'd end up with Joe Biden. On the other hand, there are people like Hillary Clinton, for example, your first woman vice president, that might have a certain appeal.”