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. Matt

    Wow...Gingrich seems to be waffling between intelligent commentary and completely insane nonsense lately. I'll give you one guess which category this fits under.

    February 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. St Louie

    All the "Obama supporters" will be sarcastic 'cause we'll be the winners "again!"

    February 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. nt

    How is she formidable? What does she have that can compete with the intelligent, worldly man who is now in office? The kind of leadership needed to run this country cannot be gained in the next four years by attending alfafla dinners with the 'washington elite' or by spending time 'developing fairly sophsticated positions on a range of issues'. Please, give us a break.

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

    It will take a lot longer than 3 yrs. to educate this woman to the point of being qualified to serve as president of the US.

    February 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Eric Clark

    As a Republican turned Democrat due to the lack of quality running mates, I can't imagine ever returning to my party. It's pathetic if Sarah is the best we can do! I'd sooner see my mother-in-law take office! She may charge the base but I believe that's only about 1/3 of the country, at best. Unless the religious right are going to take over the country, there is little, if any, hope for Republicans at this stage.

    February 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. stac

    She needs to stop focusing on the presidental election in 2012 and focus on her job as of 2009, being a governor.

    February 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. chuck

    This lady started running for the 2012 presidency the minute Wolf Blitzer said she had lost the 2008 Vice Presidency. I quess she feels a need to keep reaching for the stars!!! Maybe an asteroid will hit us and spare us from this evangelical charade. I'll never forget when she said during a debate with Biden that she had gay friends and that they have lots of laughs, but she doesn't plan to improve their lifes in any significant way. Thanks but no thanks Palin.

    February 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Matthew, Houston, TX

    'Sarah Palin' and 'sophisticated' do not belong in the same sentence.

    February 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Seamus

    She's the 2012 Rudy Giuliani... no real chance, just early name recognition.

    February 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    All the old history from this past election is neither gone nor will it ever be forgotten. Mrs. Palin is incapable of developing a ""fairly sophisticated positions" on a range of issues..." this is the lady that took 6 years to get a degree in journalism.

    Does Newt have any idea how weary the majority of Americans are of ""the base?" The GOP is a small, regional, rural party: they think (and say) that they are the "real Americans" ... guess what – there are a lot of real Americans out there – who are not and never will be, part of the GOP "base."

    February 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Deb

    This is the party who felt the need to apologize to Rush Limpballs...LOL

    February 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. canta

    McCain got my vote because of Palin. This is a media driven recession fueled by some in Congress,

    February 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Matt

    @ Sylvia

    Oh, I can guarantee you that if the GOP pushes $430B in tax cuts for the rich down all our throats, we'll be filling your ears with more sarcasm than you ever thought possible in 2010. I like to think of it this way: when talking about his drug addictions, Robert Downey Jr. was quoted as saying "it's like I have a shotgun in my mouth and I like the taste of the gun metal." Just replace drug addiction with an addiciton to stale, outdated, disproven ideology and you've got the GOP.

    February 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. mary

    Will someone please tell this simple-minded narcisstic woman to go away....far far away!!! She doesn't have a snowball's chance of being president. She's such a joke.

    February 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Salsaluver

    It gives her enough time to get educated.

    February 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. jayjay

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

    ERIN GOES THE PROBLEM..

    February 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    Republicans have shown they will support anyone they think can win, in order to further their conservative agenda. GW Bush comes to mind. Then they spread lies about their opposition so they win a small percentage of Democrats and Independents. It's not a very complicated formula.

    February 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. acspore

    The rightwing may select her, but the nation will not elect anymore an uncurious idiot, George Dubya was the last. Why does the rightwing continue to think that this country could be fooled into accepting people of the (lack of) caliber of Dan Potatoe Quayle, George Dubya, and now Sarah Complainin' Palin? Get real, salamander Gingrich...

    February 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Video Guy

    The GOP will need someone to stand in as a candidate in 2012. Why not Sarah. Save the real candidates for some other time.

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. inuk of the north

    Sarah Palin is kryptonite to the radical leftist feminist base in the Dem Party. They can't stop hating her like Dracula hates the sign of the cross.

    She represents middle American women, not the shrieking left-wingers, and when she comes back she'll be fully prepared to shred the cowardly, shrill, venomous and baseless attacks from the left.

    All of America was surprised at the flat-out organised denigration of Palin the last time, aided and abetted by a cheer-leading mainstream media that had sold it soul and its credibility. The pendulum swings people, and it will swing back.

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. chelle

    Why do the Repubs not understand that choices like Sarah Palin scare moderate fiscal and social conservatives??? She and others like her, will chase those people into the arms of Democrats! The far right will adore her, of course, but the more centrists will be terrified to have someone that believes that dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans in charge of anything.

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. obama-mama

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

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Mike

    Bless her heart.... She needs to stay home and take care of her dysfunctional family..... If the GOP elects her they can kiss their party GOODBYE...

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. gl, Pittsburgh

    Palin starts in Iowa with a substantial base," said Gingrich,

    Base will not get her elected. You need the minority vote lady and I don't set that happening. Sara Palin is not qualified and help divide the American people. Every country is prasing President Obama for being able to bring everybody together. Why would the American People elected some one that divide the american people again.

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Al, NY NY

    Pepou: I couldn't have said it any better. Go Sarah. Where can I sign up to vote in the GOP primary?

    February 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8