February 2nd, 2009
03:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich says Palin has head start in 2012

Newt Gingrich says Palin has the head start in Iowa.

Newt Gingrich says Palin has the head start in Iowa.

(CNN) - It's impossible to know how the Republican presidential field will stack up three years from now, yet former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says one candidate in particular may have a big head start.

Speaking at an event Monday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Gingrich said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's continued popularity among the GOP's base would give the former vice presidential candidate an instant boost in Iowa - the state whose caucuses, dominated by rank-and-file conservatives, kick off the primary season.

"Palin starts in Iowa with a substantial base," said Gingrich, who also noted how important the Iowa caucuses have proven to be in presidential campaigns.

He said Palin is "very formidable," and suggested the Alaska governor spend time developing "fairly sophisticated positions" on a range of issues.

Still, Gingrich said it's entirely too early to handicap the 2012 GOP presidential race, since it remains unclear which Republicans will run, and what the state of the economy will be.

"Nobody knows today who is going to fill the vacuum," said Gingrich.

Gingrich, who weighed his own presidential run last cycle, didn't hint at whether he might be interested in mounting his own bid in 2012.


Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Sarah Palin
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    Bring it on! We have so many problems, I will NEVER vote for a woman to lead such a dangerous world! She needs to show me her LAW degree first!

    February 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. MysteriousTraveller

    Gingrich and Palin are both in ignoreland.

    February 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. aware530

    Ummm no I don't think soooo! The republicans are sooooo desperate that they would even consider having Palin to rep them. Come on now!!!! You have to be a sport and recognize when your team isn't doing good. Republicans had their chance and showed that they were not worthy of such a job.

    February 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. BB

    Just how much money does the R party have to buy votes? I don't know ANYONE that will vote for her. Not in the entire town.

    February 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. carol

    Go for it Sarah, we need some more laughs!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. D-MI

    Yes, she certainly has a big jump on being the losing candidate...

    February 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Laverne

    Oh Please, Newt is just trying to get a feel of who his competition will be for 2012. Both are a joke!

    February 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Melissa from New Orleans

    No, she doesn't. In fact, more people hate her than ever before and we wish she'd go away. You bloody people continuing to blather on about her only look foolish and make yourself inconsequential.

    February 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. obama-mama

    Gingrich is an idiot....

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. kay

    Newt, WHO?

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Crystal

    I think that this woman is a joke and is hopelessly trying to reinvent herself.

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Chip

    Here come the bashers in 3..2..1...

    But, I didn't hear anything about her NOT paying taxes like Daschle, Geithner, Rangel. Maybe she's not as dumb as you think.

    Or, the converse, how could we trust a politician that has yet to figure out how to get out of paying taxes? She probably doesn't even get out of jury duty.

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. obama-mama

    Sarah Palin doesn't have a head start, she should be in head start in kindegarten

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Blue VA

    Formiddable opponent for who? Her ideas are way too far right and after the last election cycle, she's proven to me that she is divisive. No Way No How No Palin.

    February 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Sarah Palin Facts!

    taking out incompetent, lazy, overspend, liberals one wink at a time!

    February 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Obama Fan

    Great, I'll start my moving -out- of- the- country- contingency plans now. Thanks for the warning. WIth any luck she'll go hiking on Mt. Redoubt soon.......

    February 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Salt

    Gingrich is spot on...she is "very formidable". By definition that can also mean inspiring great fear and I (along with countless others) would definitely fear her in a position of national leadership. This woman needs to keep her hands away from our government. I shudder to think what life would be like with her as President.

    Luckily she said she wasn't running in 2012. *rolls eyes*

    February 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Bill

    Forget it Palin, we already have you pegged as a ditz. McCain lost my vote because he picked you.

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Pepou

    That's good news ! That nitwit will help re-elect President Obama. Go for it girl !

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Vickie

    "fairly sophisticated" may be a term she will never understand.

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. patriot

    Hey Newt– How's that Contract For America thing working out for ya these days?

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. steptoe

    Sarah is awesome because she worked her way to the top with the little money she had , and not through some rich big wig family.

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. cate

    OMG, this woman just won't go away! We all have to see the reality that Gov. Palin wants more than just the "Governor" title, she wants the "Presidential" title...however, she will never attain that title as she is a caricature and the American people know this...sure, the Republican base wants her but they amound to just 15%, not enough to win any election...and as for the young Evangelicals, just look at how they voted for Pres. Obama in high numbers! I really believe that the Repubs are using her as a "guinea pig" for 2012 because they know they can't win and then come 2016 they will try and put up somebody that is viable...remember, we Independents are the way to go in the future and she will not move any of those over to the Repub. side.

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Sylvia

    to D-MI and carol.......
    let's see "who" will be sarcastic 2 years from now........

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Sarah Palin Facts!

    “A servants heart” would be a great campaign slogan for sarah.

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8