September 29th, 2007
02:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Gingrich will not jump in race

Newt Gingrich

(CNN) - Two days after hinting he would make a run for the White House, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decided Saturday he would not run for president, his spokesman told CNN.

Rick Tyler said Gingrich realized he couldn't run a political action committee - his American Solutions group - and form an exploratory committee to run for president at the same time.

"He will continue to bring the American people solutions to the challenges America faces through American Solutions, not as a candidate for president," Tyler said in a phone interview.

Thursday, Gingrich told supporters in Marietta, Ga., that if they pledge at least $30 million to his campaign over a three-week period starting Monday and ending Oct. 21, he will compete for the nomination.

Tyler said the assessment of whether or not Gingrich supporters could raise the money never began.

Gingrich chose Thursday, the 13th anniversary of the signing of his "Contract With America," to launch his "Solutions Day" campaign, which he said is a search for bi-partisan answers to the country's major challenges.

While never mentioning the 2008 race in his speech Thursday night, Gingrich outlined what sounded like a campaign message when he called for "real change, not the same old stuff."

He said "very bold" proposals are needed to bring the United States government into the 21st century.

"I think, as a general rule, that levees should not break, that bridges should not fall, that students should actually learn," Gingrich said.

The Solutions Day events also serve as a vehicle for Gingrich to build support for a presidential candidacy, which he said he would be "perfectly happy" not to launch.

"I'm not going to be on the phone and I'm not begging," Gingrich told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, who attended the event. Instead, Gingrich's lawyer, J. Randolph Evans, was supposed to chair an Internet-based fund-raising effort that was scheduled to go live Monday.

Gingrich, 64, had hinted for months that he would join the GOP presidential race if he determined there was no other candidate who appeared able to take on the Democrats in 2008. His hinting became louder in recent weeks, with Gingrich suggesting that Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York is destined to be the Democratic nominee and that he would be the best Republican to debate her.

The former college history professor said Thursday that if he decided to run for president, he would make the formal announcement in Cobb County on Nov. 13, 32 years to the day after Ronald Reagan launched his first run for the White House.

Gingrich, first elected to Congress in 1978, became the first Republican speaker of the House since 1954 when he led his party to victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He resigned suddenly from Congress four years after his party lost five House seats in the 1998 elections.

In the nine years since, Gingrich has not sought public office, but he has remained vocal as an author and speaker-for-hire.

Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Race to '08
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Uwe Warkholdt, Elliot Lake, Northern Ontario, Canada

    As a casual observer from the north, I think thank goodness. In my opinion you've got enough "nuts" their now.

    September 30, 2007 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  2. Steve, Las Vegas, NV

    Well, that'll be one less hypocrite running at least...

    September 30, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Gingrich had to face the reality that no one but him believes he should be president.

    The only son of Georgia that should be running is Jimmy Carter. He has experience, he can be trusted, he does not lie, he has the welfare of the whole nation at heart, and governments of other nations would trust him. He actually believes and acts in accord with Christian principles.

    I say, draft Jimmy Carter. He's good for one more term, and he can choose a capable person as vice-president who can be trained to take the office after Mr. Carter's final term.

    Or, draft Bill Gates. He can't be bribed. His foundation is doing more for health in the third world than any national government. He is capable of managing large, complex organizations. His IQ is quite a bit higher than that of any candidate running for either party. He understands the business world. He has met a payroll.

    The political hacks thrust forward as potential presidents are not the best people for the job.

    September 30, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Another Christian Family Values Phony falls by the wayside. Who was it that compared all the GOP nominee wannabes
    to a bunch of circus clowns all trying to squeeze into a Volkswagon?

    September 30, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. colony14 author

    Gingrich would clearly have been the smartest candidate in the race, and the one with the clearest understanding of the Constitution. Socialism, here we come...

    And by the way, Steve in Portland, the word LOSING has only one O. (Perhaps we should allow only the educated to vote.)

    September 30, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Ask Newt how that "Contract with America" that the Republican Party made turned out.

    Newt, you are yesterday's news.

    October 2, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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