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. scdemocrat

    Sylvia, based on your math skills, no wonder you support Palin. 2012 is more than 2 years away, it is almost a full 4.

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. CA Indie for Obama

    head start to nowhere?!

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

    Please stop. we don't want her. Please, please, please stop. No one cares about her. You are just making everyone work twice as hard to keep her out.

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Dave's Not Here

    A simply stunning indictment of Gingrich's mental health if he actually believes this bubblehead has any chance of being elected to national office, considering how thoroughly she was rejected by the general electorate...

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Vet

    She's so hot!

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Hillary supporters for Palin

    Gov. Sarah Palin would have been a great president. Its to bad uniformed Americans bought into the myth that sarah palin was unqualified. PALIN 2012

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. mark

    As much as I want to see SP run in 2012, I am afraid the country has swung to far to the left. The leftist liberal media will only crucify her more,

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Kevin Denver Colorado

    She can spend all the time she wants developing "sophisticated positions" (HAHAHAHAHA) on a range of issues. Her basic philosophy is VERY UNSOPHISTICATED.

    She will either alienate her base by civilizing some of her more arcane positions, or alienate more of US independents by pandering to her so called base for use as a "head start" To try to have it both ways is naive at best.

    Either way her chance is naught.

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Ray Fisher

    Gingrich is correct, she needs some maturity as a politician instead of the "bobble-head" doll routine. People look at beauty but listen and vote for intelligence.

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Greg in Colorado

    for the love of God please go away... you were a one hit wonder... you will never be elected.. the people of the U.S. will make sure of it!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. A Rare MA Republican

    Newt, true conservatives hope YOU will run.

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. timthehunter

    do it sarah! i think you shoud run wiht joe the plummer! well show those elitits whose boss! palin/worzelbacker in 2012!

    February 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. John, Brooklyn, NY

    While I don't agree with him politically, Gingrich has a very keen political eye. He also undertands the impact of a public statement like this. I have no doubt that he is using this opportunity as a call to action for others in the party to step up to the plate if they hope to be competitive.

    February 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Grace

    So, who is listening to Newt Gingrich?

    What's he doing these days, anyway? Fortunetelling?

    Palin should have developed some "fairly sophisticated" viewpoints when she had the chance. Now everyone knows how shallow and ill-equiped she is.

    I'm thankful that she isn't a heartbeat away from the presidency!

    February 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. katie

    Sarah should go on maddaow’s show, and slap her around on energy issues 😛

    February 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Ken in Dallas

    She's turned him into a Newt!

    ...never mind, he was always a newt.

    I looked into her eyes, and saw the letters N-M.

    "Drill, baby, drill!" - Oh, you mean for oil? Never mind.

    February 2, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Beverly, NYC

    Oh well if Newt says it it must be true. Looking for wife #5 already Newt? Why is it the only people who see her potential are men thinking with the wrong head? Why are Newt, Rush & Sean trying so hard to keep this woman relevant ? If I were Jindal, Pawlenty are any other Republican with a brain I would be insulted that this woman is the face of my party. I guess I'm expecting too much, this is the party that listens to Rush Limbaugh babbling.

    February 2, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Greg in Colorado

    Oh sylvia.. you honestly bought the words of sarah palin... don't you get it???? She is only a sugar shock for the religious zealots.. plan and simple.. she was only choosen because she was a scapegoat that was a nobody. Might as well bring down a nobody than a somebody like Romney. I can't believe we are still talking about this joe six pack.

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. J-Syxx

    Sylvia, I'm sorry but we live in a place called reality. Palin is one of the biggest reasons McCain lost the election. Seriously, running with a loser again is true idiocy. I honestly wouldn't put it past the GOP base though. Note the GOP base is a minority in this country now, ironically. Just because they like something doesn't mean that most of the people who go to the polls will.

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. dontcha know

    As a republican all I can say if she runs is I am glad Obama can run again. She and her ideas scare me and would never get my vote. (didn't the first time either)

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Average Joe

    GO GOP,Sarah,Sarah,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Cleaning up after W

    Apparently the repubs don't get it. They can't win by only appealing to their base. The only one who would vote for Palin are sexually frustrated white men, or anyone who's too dumb to see past wedge issues (abortion). Feel free to try as many times as you like, GOP. It may eventually get through.

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Dave B.

    spend time developing "fairly sophisticated positions" on a range of issues = actually learn national issues in depth and learn to speak in public!

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. rr

    I love hillary and i voted for her in the primary but she had 30 points even before people knew who barack was so palin being ahead means absolutely nothing.

    February 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Robert

    As a life long Republican, I will not vote for Palin as President under any circumstances. The Republican Party is truly lost if she is the best they can do.

    February 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8