[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/12/newt.0811.gi.jpg caption="Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he's among a handful of Republican candidates who are thinking about running for president in 2012."](CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he's among a handful of Republican candidates who are thinking about running for president in 2012.
"I think I'm probably on a list of seven or eight possible candidates at this stage," Gingrich reportedly told reporters in North Carolina Wednesday before speaking to a gathering of conservatives. Joe DeSantis, Gingrich's communications director, confirmed the accuracy of the quotes to CNN.
"We have a lot of people around the country who would like to have somebody who represents a commitment to replace the current failed programs and to develop a set of solutions that are practical and workable," Gingrich also said.
Among the other Republican candidates Gingrich named as possible 2012 contenders included former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Also included on Gingrich's list are Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. South Dakota Sen. John Thune may also be a potential candidate, Gingrich said.
Gingrich said he would make a decision about his own political future next year after discussing the prospect of a presidential bid with his wife.
Gingrich's comments come days after organizers of The Southern Republican Leadership Conference - a high-profile gathering of party activists considered to be an initial venue for potential GOP presidential candidates - announced the former House Speaker will be among the list of Republican speakers. Palin and Pawlenty are also expected to attend the event.
Gingrich also recently filed government paperwork to form a political action committee, named American Solutions PAC, according to Federal Election Commission records. The forming of a political action committee will allow Gingrich to raise cash and donate the money to federal and state candidates across the country. It could also be a sign that Gingrich is serious about running for the White House in 2012.
American Solutions is also the name of Gringrich's political organization, which is incorporated as a 527 group, and is not subject to the same contribution limits as political action committees. Unlike PACs, 527s can also directly accept funds from corporations but are barred from directly contributing to a candidate or financing a potential White House bid.
- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Peter Hamby contributed to this report