Appearing on Good Morning America (GMA) this morning, former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, said that there is a “great possibility” that he would run for president in 2008. His statement is an advance on a previous statement when he said he was ‘thinking about” a run in 2008. Diane Sawyer, speaking with Gingrich on GMA, tried to get more details about the former speaker’s plans, but Gingrich refused to elaborate. He would only say that a final decision will be made in the fall.
While he was on the show to promote a new book, a novel about Pearl Harbor, he took the time to comment on the current candidates for the presidency, saying that he’s not happy with them. He stressed that our system for selecting a national leader is “irrational.” Furthermore, Republican candidates need to focus on “fundamental changes in Washington.” Without that, the Republican candidate will “surely lose” the election. Gingrich also warned the Republicans that if New York Senator Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, she has a good chance of becoming the next president.
Republican candidates face many difficulties in the upcoming election: the war in Iraq, personal marital issues, including divorces on the part of Rudy Guilliani and John McCain, abortion stances, and views on gay rights. Conservative Republicans have also complained about the growth of government and the increases in government spending under the administration of George W. Bush. The war in particular is a major problem for any Republican candidate. Gingrich notes that he said as early as 2003 that Bush had “gone off a cliff” with the invasion of Iraq and that America needs to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible.
A Gingrich run for the presidency would face its own problems: he has also had marital and divorce problems; there have been episodes of adultery (which he has admitted and apologized for), a questionable book deal, the House banking scandal, and the list goes on. Former President Bill Clinton proved that you can have some rumors of immorality and still win an election, but with the Republicans, there’s the issue of the conservative Christian voting bloc which doesn’t approve of some of the behavior exhibited in the past by Gingrich and other candidates.
Gingrich sees the need for a true conservative to seek the Republican presidential nomination. Fred Thompson, the “Law and Order” actor is one strong possibility. Gingrich is another. Adding to Gingrich’s motivation to run is a Newsweek poll that shows every Democratic front-runner beating every leading Republican candidate. If he can overcome his past, the time might be right for Gingrich.