Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Newt Gingrich: I’m Running For President, Maybe. But Probably Not.

Reported by Ellen - September 27, 2007 -

Newt Gingrich visited Hannity & Colmes tonight (9/27/07), and answered the question of whether or not he’ll run for president, sort of. An obviously reluctant Gingrich claimed that because of the outpouring of requests for him to run, he would see if he can raise $30 million in October and, if so, he’ll officially throw in his hat at the end of the month. Gingrich later rated his chances at 20%. With video.

One indication of Gingrich’s lack of enthusiasm for running was the fact that the subject wasn’t discussed until the second of his two-part interview on Hannity & Colmes. (The first part was devoted to his American Solutions workshops.) Another indication was the lack of gusto in the way he framed his announcement. Gingrich said that next Monday, his attorney will hold a press conference and “look for whether or not there are enough people out there who want somebody who can have that kind of ability to articulate the issues, to raise $30 million in pledges. If there are, frankly, I think by the end of the month, we will end up in a situation where I’d feel compelled as a citizen to get in the race. If there aren’t, then I wouldn’t do it.”

Gingrich repeatedly indicated he was willing to run, he might feel compelled to run but he showed no deep desire to do so.

Colmes responded to Gingrich’s statement, “So you’re saying if you come up with $30 million, you’re in.”

“Yeah,” Gingrich agreed. “I think if enough citizens come forward and pledge on the internet that they would be willing to support us, that you had that level of support, as a citizen, you’d really, I think, have a hard time explaining why you wouldn’t run.”

Gingrich went on to say that because he comes out of a middle class background, he can’t write a “hundred million dollar check” as Mitt Romney can. “So I don’t think I could compete with Governor Romney who can write that kind of check unless we had a large enough base of support, that we’d have the resources to compete very effectively in the key states.”

“So it all boils down to money at this point for you,” Colmes said. “The desire is there, the will is there.”

Tellingly, Gingrich paused. “Well, I would say the will is there and the willingness to do my duty as a citizen.” He said he loves what he’s doing now (the workshops, writing books, etc.) “But I am very worried about the future of the country and I do think we have to offer a change-oriented, conservative alternative to Senator Clinton if we’re going to keep this country from going very far to the left.”

But he told Sean Hannity that the odds were about 20% that he’d wind up running. “It would require such an explosion of interest and desire across the country.”

Gingrich claimed he had nothing bad to say about the Republican candidates, though he mentioned that “Mike Huckabee might be the most personal and the most interesting guy in the race.”

“I’m not commenting on them,” Gingrich claimed. “I’m commenting on the number of people who walk up to me and say, ‘I really wish you’d run.’ And I think I’m trying to respond to those citizens at a citizen level.”

He was statesmanlike towards Hillary Clinton, saying, essentially, that the differences between them were ideological. “I think the best way to defeat her is to have a clear, vivid, bold choice between abolishing capital gains, raising capital gains; Abolishing the death tax, raising the death tax; Having English as the official language of government, having a multi-lingual, confused society.”

Translation: He doesn’t really want to run but he figures that none of the other candidates stand a good chance of winning and/or neither Giuliani nor Romney are true conservatives, so for the sake of influencing the debate and maybe the campaign, he’ll do it. And, hey, if there’s enough enthusiasm from voters, he’d do them the favor of serving.

As they were wrapping up the discussion, Colmes asked, “Would you be the best person to beat (Clinton)?”

“I don’t know,” Gingrich said.