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

Gingrich says Palin has head start in 2012

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.palin1.gi.jpg caption="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. Ronald Hussein Reagan

    I really want to crack a joke here, but in light of a possible Palin presidential candidacy? It would be redundant.

    It's getting pretty creepy the way republican big-wigs insist on propping this woman up though.

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Judy in the heartland

    Oh please...I hope she runs and wins the Republican nomination. It will be an "oh so easy" 2nd victory for President Obama.

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Dylan from MN

    I mean, do Republicans actually think she's intelligent and capable enough to be president of these United States of America? And I already know the counter-arguement, "Obama has no experieince, blah blah blah" don't forget, Obama went to Harvard and is still hearlded as one of their best students in their school history, but in all seriousness...out of the 300 million people who inhabit this country you think this person, Sarah Palin, should be our president? The country who developed and harnessed the power of the Sun, the country who sent a man to the moon, who defeated an empire, a country whose achievements in its short history outmatch any in human history...you think Sarah "You Betcha!" Palin should be the president? Are so many still so backward? Good Grief!

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. chris@stl

    Gingrich and Palin combo .... what a wonderful future for GOP!!!!

    February 2, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. AnnMM

    Palin alienated all the moderates from both parties, they will never vote for her.

    This country needs two parties (at least) Dear God when will the Republicans smarten up.

    February 2, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Sam

    Come on you see where this is going? steele worked for Newt at GOPAC. Newt is working with his hands on to put his mark back on the GOP. Rush is a personal friend of Newt. Is America going backwards once again? I say NO! What good has any Republican ever EVER done America?

    February 2, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. gl, Pittsburgh

    All the Republican men are opesses with Empty head Sara Palin that why they can not help out the American People.

    February 2, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Sandra Day

    Sylvia, is your point that we will be so desperate after two years of Republican stonewalling, backstabbing and negative talk that we will all want to vote for Palin!? I do not think so.

    February 2, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Jeff, OR

    hahaha....yes, Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012!!

    I want that bumper sticker!

    February 2, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. AndreinFL

    I got that "LMAO" syndrome that was explained in a Super Bowl commercial last night. Looks like i'm going to have to get multiple surgery, because i just can't stop LMAO.

    February 2, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. DavidinCA

    4 years from now. By then we should be about $50 trillion in debt, still trying to figure out what to do in Afghanistan, but making good progress towards getting a workable college championship football playoff schedule implemented.

    We welcome Sarah now and will welcome her then.

    February 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Peter (CA)

    Stand by for


    February 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Ben in Oil City

    Palin- the gift that keeps on giving

    February 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. KFR

    You can not educate a physician to be a Dr. in 4 years and you can not educate this politican in two years except to be a losing candiate.

    February 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Chris

    To all of you critics who can't come up with anything more substantial than name calling:

    The MEDIA (particularly Couric) and SNL made her out to be unintelligent, but I don't see any of you running an entire state. You probably couldn't do her job because you might have to exercise some civility.

    By the way, if you didn't understand that, it means you have to be nice to people.

    February 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Denver Dem

    Good, let these racist hill billies serve us up the presidency for another 20 years, b/c this moron has zero accountablity and only real stupid Klan members would vote for her. I would like to see her age hideously in the next four years to see if the hicks who think she is hot still feel the same way. I hate you people so much.

    February 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Oh corse Newt Gingrich, highest paid lobbyist in DC, Contract for AMERICA , trickle down economics ,do as I say not as I do , fake fiscal conservative would say this.

    He is thinking of running for President himself ! Just wait and see !

    They both have one thing in common, they paint History as FANTASY!


    Can't they both go away ! Or at least be in the moment and do something constructive for all Americans.

    February 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. terry

    I agree with Pepou. She will certainly guarantee Obama his second term

    February 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Dixie

    This is what the Republican party is offering US citizens in 2012? That's it? Sarah Palin?

    February 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. JB

    Please stay in the public eye Ms. Palin – please keep campaigning. You're virtually guaranteeing Dem victories in the future.

    The bar may have been lowered following the bush admin – but Obama raised it again – and it's way over the beauty queens head.

    February 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Grog in Ohio

    What's the old joke? 50% of Republicans want Palin to run and 100% of the Democrats want her to...

    February 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Boston Irish

    Why do so many of you reply with the term "we". It's not "we" it's just plain "you" posting. You don't speak for me at all. I can speak for myself very well. I am looking forward to Palin running for national office again. I think she's a lot better than what the Dems have to offer. How many campaign promises has Obama broken. I do believe number one was NO LOBBYISTS!! WOW, that promise didn't last long did it.? I think before Obama's "reign" is over, there will be more Dems waiting for visitors in jail than there will be in congress. Just my opinion and I'm just speaking for myself.

    February 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Needs to develop "fairly sophisticated positions" on a range of issues? In other words, she needs to "get a clue" if she wants to be a serious contender. And to think, McCain wanted to place her a heartbeat away from the Presidency, even without any "sophisticated positions" on anything. Scary stuff.

    February 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Ray Ray

    I love how the Obama followers declare Palin as having no chance.

    I guess "Hope", "Change", and "Opportunity" apply to democrats only. LOL

    February 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. former republican

    Yes she does have a head start. A head start towards another Obama victory in 2012.

    February 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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