September 30th, 2007
03:36 PM ET
15 years ago

Gingrich: Good chance Clinton will win in '08

Gingrich announced Saturday he would not seek the presidency in 2008.

(CNN)–Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it was legislation co-authored by a current candidate in the GOP presidential race, that prevented him from continuing to run his own political action committee, American Solution, and opening a presidential exploratory committee.

"Yesterday morning we learned from our attorneys that under the McCain-Feingold law, it is a criminal penalty if I had retained any communication with American Solutions. I could go to jail," Gingrich said Sunday in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "And the idea that you're on the turn of the dime kill this program in order to obey the McCain-Feingold Act which I think is an unconstitutional, frankly destructive bill, was crazy. And I just said if we have to choose, then it's irresponsible to not finish building up American Solutions."

Gingrich was referring to the 2002 piece of legislation authored by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, a current candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, and Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wisconsin, that regulates the financing of political campaigns.

Gingrich said his party does face a tough road in its quest to re-capture the White House. "I think the odds are 80 per cent that Sen. Clinton is the next president; I think she is almost certainly going to win the Democratic nomination," he said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York. "And I think unless the Republicans can find a way to represent real change for the current situation in Washington, unless they can convince the American people they represent fundamental change, I think they'll have a very hard time."

On the current field of GOP candidates, Mr. Gingrich said he found them all to be "hardworking, smart people." He said he would hold off on endorsing any particular candidate until after the Republican National Convention next summer in Minneapolis.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Newt Gingrich • Race to '08
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Raj, Dallas, Tx

    Till the day of "American Solutions" he made the media guess about his intentions. After the event is done, he gives out a statement on not running for president. Also, regarding hillary, Gingrich is having a collaboration with hillary on some of the issues in American solutions and he is ready to play the card by talking about hillary chances. People like us can cry about liberalism and conservative principles, but in the top, it all comes to one thing "How we can benefit out of politics". Good Job, Gingrich and I hope, American Solutions was a great success.

    September 30, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Providence, RI

    He is right. I feel it that Hillary will be the next President of the United State- She has the "brain", strength, manner (Presidential), and finally the experience in foreign policy. She is disciplined,detail oriented, fiscally responsible, and diplomatic.

    September 30, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I like Maureen Dowd's take on Shill as Nag today: "Elect me president after I’ve spent the last 16 years in your face. And you didn’t like me much when I was there last. Give me eight more years so I can be a presence in your life for 24 years."

    September 30, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I really don't think Newt believes this – its a way to charge the base...nobody cares what he says....but the Republicans need to fall behind someone...if its Giuliani – they would of shown they are progressive – and want a moderate – if they choose anyone will show that the right wing runs the party – the Dems will have a shot if they choose Obama...but only if Giuliani doesn't run.

    September 30, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Robert, West Virginia

    This is short of calling McCain out, and the rest of the Republican field. He also makes a prediction that Hillary will be President, a risky political move that can pay off for Gingrich; out of all the politicians who thought about running, he was the most interesting to follow.

    September 30, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Jim - Smithtown NY

    "I think she is almost certainly going to win the Democratic nomination," he said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York." – – – Finally, something I can agree with from Newt the nut.

    September 30, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Linda, Chandler AZ

    Newt Gingrich, and everyone else espousing the idea of Hillary as the nominee, couldn't be more WRONG! The grassroots campaign for Barack Obama is swelling to record-breaking proportions and the media is either blind or they're in denial. The Democratic nominee for President of the United States WILL be Barack Obama. Just wait and see!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. John

    I think it is fascinating Gingrich still has a platform that media outlets amplify. What are his qualifications? His PhD is from a 3rd rate school, his Congressional career was most notable for creating the caustic atmosphere that pervades Washington today, and his notion of integrity and trustworthy leadership is undermined by his own personal lack of integrity and character (3 marriages?) I think Gingrich's prominence in national political discussions is the most obvious example of the poverty of Republican Party ideas, vision, and leadership.

    September 30, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Andrew, NJ

    If Republicans nominate a pro-war candidate that is exactly whats going to happen. You can't go into an election, with a platform that is against what 70% of the country wants.

    The only chance Republicans have of winning in 08, is to nominate Ron Paul...he'll be able to marginalize Clinton's "anti-war" issue, and get the anti-war crowd that knows Clinton is just pandering for votes.

    + if you think about it...Ron Paul is a better Republican than any other Republican candidate in the field

    September 30, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. jomama

    Hillary is as crooked as her husdband. Why do we keep on dwelling on the past? Bush got in and everyone allplauded saying, "welcome back Reaganomics"...7 years later and you see the result. We all know the good AND the evil that came from the Clinton adminstration so why push us back there again; its going to fail and we'll just continue complaining...Why not strive for something DIFFERENT? Obama, Edwards, McCain, Guiliani, Jesse Ventura...ANYTHING.

    September 30, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Donno, Los Angeles, CA

    Newt, what else can you do to cap the GOP field in the knees? You already said they're a pack of "midgets". Now you're undermining them even further by saying Hillary will win. Quit trying to steal the spotlight from the GOP candidates. You're unhelpful.

    September 30, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Nadir Ahmed

    Well, I really hope so. The last thing we need is someone who will start a fresh new war based on old rotten lies in the middle east. I think Clinton will prevent that.
    Nadir Ahmed

    September 30, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Newt gives up his lifeguard job.

    September 30, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Daniel, NY

    Newt is being very strange lately... He blasts Bush every two days, and praises Clinton. Who knew?

    September 30, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |

    SPOT ON Mr Gingrich, It is a fait accompi that Hillary Clinton will be our next Commander in Chief. She will be a 'real' compassionate President. I trust your judgement in this case because it is becoming obvious to most americans that she is the most qualified person.

    September 30, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |


    September 30, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. James, Chicago, IL

    For the hopes of the Democrats to win back the White House, Hillary better NOT win the party's nomination as Newt thinks. The ONLY hope for the Democrats is to nominate Obama. As a Democrat, I can say that I would NOT vote for Hillary if she were nominated. How can I vote for someone who claims she didn't know Bill was fooling around (as Hillary claims in her autobiography)? EVERYONE knew he was fooling around! That tells me she isn't smart enough or clever enough to be the President of the United States. OK, you clearly don't have to be smart to be President, but if I know a candidate is a bit dim on the front end, then I can proactively vote against stupidity.

    September 30, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Dom

    Mmmmm...reeks of a clever Republican strategy to scare everyone into the thought that Hilary clinton could possibly win. That should get the masses out in droves.

    First we had Karl Rove, then George W. and now Newt – we just need Cheney and the rest of the hard-core gang to endorse Hilary and just watch the Republican base swing into the action. That's the only thing they can do.

    AND THAT is why the Dems just have to field Senator Obama. He will most certaingly pick votes across party lines.

    September 30, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. anon, new york, NY

    Gingrich finally says something that it makes sense.

    September 30, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Olson Johnson; Rock Ridge

    Hillary is not going to win the nomination. That Newt would make such a prediction is not much of a surprise since he's just as out of touch with reality as Hillary is.

    She may be leading the polls due to the fact that her henchmen run the ones CNN uses, but Barack Obama has more donors, more money and inspires people. Barack is leading among likely caucus goers in Iowa and has only just started advertising in New Hampshire and draw about 24,000 people to his rally in New York. As people start paying attention, they realize that Barack is the superior candidate so Hillary's status as the front-runner will not hold up on once votes actually start to get counted.

    September 30, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. lmj ardmore ok

    Politics is boring. Governing is boring. Put Hillary in; let Bill get back to doing the interns. At least there's some interesting news for a change.

    September 30, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. L Bridge, Irving TX

    Let's don't let Hillary and Bill back in the white house!! Why corrupt America any more? Wake up America! We need REAL LEADERS!

    September 30, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. Jake, LA, OK

    Seems a lot of big name politicians have spoken highly of Hillary during the Bush Administration.

    Kinda makes one wonder what was in those nearly 900 FBI files. Remember, the truckload of sensitive FBI files that illegally ended up at the "Clinton Whitehouse", a.k.a. Filegate.

    Is America ready for another 4-8 years of Clinton scandals?

    Where's Joe Liberman when we need him?

    September 30, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    The media has overlooked the grassroot support for Obama. Even though Obama is new in the national political landscape, he has drawn the largest crowds again and again on his campaign trail and has raised money from ordinary people to the amount either comparable or significantly more than Hillary's. Nine months after he declared the run, he is still hot!! Any of the above feat says something: The American people want him and believe in his ability. Given Hillary's name recognition and the political machine built over decades, her current status is an embarassment for her. She was expected to have a dominating LARGE lead in both fund-raising and the polls, but she is not. These are the facts.

    September 30, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Hillary will not be the nominee.

    The nominee will be Barack Obama.

    September 30, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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