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. Hillary supporter

    SARAH! You are an inspiration for my family an I.

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Get it together Repubs

    Oh for crying out loud. Is there no other Republican woman that the GOP can put forward. Someone? Anyone?

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. julie

    Sarah bashers are just Desperate at this point. lol

    February 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Misty Anne

    This is actually laughable. I don't think any prospective 2012 candidate has anything to worry about with Sarah Palin. She's one of the reasons that McCain lost.

    February 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Jenny

    Thank God, finally someone who understands what integrity means. You wouldn't see her hiring Geithner (Mr. I owe taxes of $34,000) or Daschle (Mr. I owe $140,000 to the IRS)!

    Her word would really be her bond. Wouldn't that be a refreshing change after the past few weeks.

    February 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Jozee

    Per Gincrich, Palin needs to develop "fairly sophisticated positions" on a range of topics.

    Therein lies the problem. Ms. Palin knows nothing of, cares nothing about, or has the ability to develop sophisticated positions on a range of issues. Gov. Palin's credibility fell apart the moment she opened her mouth, and we could see several feet dangling from it. We can no longer afford to elect ignorant people as President and expect a good outcome.

    CNN, please post my comments. I'm sick of being in moderation.

    February 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Christy

    Was there ever such an amazing lady...with such grace and kindness. Then add to that all the attacks of the media that keep coming.

    February 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. steptoe

    I love Sarah palin’s no-nonsense approach to the issues. She’s not one of these good ole boy types that does nothing but worry about how many pet projects he or she might get.

    February 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. sue

    sarah palin is a very smart women. She has great Management skill, and gets people moving.

    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Tesap:Savannah, GA


    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. tom

    Gov. Sarah never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. J.L.

    God save the GOP, if this is their answer in 2012...

    She isn't ready for a national stage. I think her run as VP should have made people well aware of that. She'd be just George W. Bush 2.0 where her advisors would be the ones controlling the direction of the Administration agenda. And we saw how well that turned out...

    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. jesuino leduino rosa

    We dont deserve this , we did noting to have people wishing that mush of hell.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. scdemocrat

    The only reason she may have a lead is she thinks it's only 2 years away. LOL Who cares what Newt thinks anyway? I love how nobody is talking about how Princess Palin blew off a Republican House retreat, that was being held less than an hour from DC, because she said she would be in Alaska taking care of business, when in fact she was in DC at a cocktail party. If this woman actually wants to be the Republican nominee in 2012 maybe she should THINK a little and go to the House retreat,as a keynote speaker, and skip the Washington cocktail circuit. I guess she just wants to be a Washington insider after all.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Dawn

    Newt Gingrich, if Sarah gets some more schooling.

    #1. Have President Obama teach her our Constitution.
    #2. Have her take some Political Science.
    #3. Have her take some courses in Civil services
    #4. last but not least, have her take course to answer questions from a journalist.

    Wow if it took her how long to get a degree in Journalism, she would not be ready until the year 2525 LOL

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. stacy

    the two things about Sarah Palin that I don't think have been adequately appreciated are, number one, if you look at the numbers, she really wasn't that different than Barack Obama in terms of experience and time in office, and [things] like that. The real big difference between the two was she hadn't campaigned non-stop for two years, and had she campaigned non-stop on the national stage for two years she'd have been just as polished as Barack Obama. She's a phenomenal politician and there's no better retail politician on the planet than Sarah Palin with a microphone in front of a crowd. So I think the big experience gap was the one that is about running on a national ticket—he had a lot more experience there and it showed up.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Cori

    So sad that she still thinks she has a chance. By the way, why does the GOP continue to fail in providing names of those who support Palin?

    No one from the GOP liked her (last we knew anyway) for many reasons...suddenly they've changed their minds? Who are they? We all want to know.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Christy

    Those who disrespect Gov. Palin are only disrespecting themselves. If there were a compilation (and there may be somewhere) of all the unprecedented vitriolic slander directed at this absolutely charming intelligent and RESPECTFUL woman, it would deserve a place of honor in a Hall Of Shame.
    I have come to the conclusion that certain types of people need scapegoats and sacrificial victims to satisfy some kind of atavistic sadism that compels them to attack what is beautiful and good. Any NORMAL human being, would be able to see that Sarah Palin is a down to earth good person and agree or disagree with her policies and positions, afford the high respect that is her DUE, that she DESERVES, for her honest work on behalf of the American People and her lifelong efforts to live in a loving, intelligent and moral life..

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. atypical

    scary thought. really. incomprehensible.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. TONY


    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. tom

    Good points. There is absolutely no reason to show disrespect to Sarah here. I’m getting tired of relentless attacks by MSM on her even after the election. It only shows how scared the liberal establishment is.

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. jesuino leduino rosa


    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Nick

    As and Iowan, I will change my part registration to caucus for Palin!! It means and easier road to hoe for Pres. Obama!

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. smith

    YOU BETCHA 2012

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Allow me to translate Newt's double speak here, Sarah has been receiving a lot of money from the special interest groups, lobbyist, labor unions, and corporate business.
    Our Freedom and Liberty is up for sale to the candidate who can bring the most money to a campaign to buy it. That is why she has formed an PAC so she can enrich her war chest.
    What America needs is some real campaign reform, the people's rights are trampled by the deep pockets of corruption.

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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