Gingrich Hopes to Soon Run Presidential Campaign

Posted March 27, 2011 at 9:16am

Newt Gingrich will almost certainly be running officially for president within a month, the former Speaker said Sunday.

“My hope is that within a month we’ll be running rapidly,” the Georgia Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.” Even though he has an exploratory committee and has been making campaign-style stops through crucial early primary states such as Iowa and South Carolina, Gingrich added, “We’re not yet running.”

But he said, “Within a month, we’ll have that taken care of.”

He noted that during his trips through the country, he has been encouraged to run. “The water’s pretty warm,” Gingrich said. “It’s my hope that all this will work out and I’ll be able to run.”

As for why he’s not technically running yet, Gingrich said it had to do with complying with federal election rules and taking care of legal concerns. “We sadly live in a world where lawyers define an amazing number of things,” he said.

Gingrich also fielded questions about his personal life, which has already been a campaign issue for the twice-divorced former Speaker. Gingrich has been married to his third wife, Callista Gingrich, since 2000, and he has admitted to extramarital affairs in his first two marriages.

“I had to seek God’s forgiveness,” he said. “People have to measure at 67, have I matured?”

He also has fielded accusations of hypocrisy for leading the impeachment charge against then-President Bill Clinton for lying about his sexual involvement with a former intern. Gingrich himself was involved in an extramarital affair at the time with Callista, who was a Congressional aide.

Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday” that the impeachment effort wasn’t about infidelity but about making sure a president is not above the law. “It was about a much deeper and profound thing,” he said.

The ex-Speaker also encouraged Congressional Republicans to stand up to President Barack Obama when it comes to the fight over the federal budget. Gingrich was Speaker when a budget fight led to two government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996.

“If they cave to Obama,” he said of Congressional GOPers, “they lose their credibility with the country.”