Gingrich Hints At 2008
Newt Gingrich suggested he might not run for president in 2008 if a rival has all but locked up the Republican nomination by next fall. The former House speaker from Georgia said it would not be too late for him to enter the race after next Labor Day, if he believed no candidate had a clear advantage. He praised Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani as the contenders to watch. "If one of them seals it off by Labor Day, my announcing now wouldn't make any difference anyway," Gingrich said. "If none of the three, having from now 'til Labor Day, can seal it off, the first real vote is in 2008. And there's plenty of time in the age of television and e-mail, between Labor Day and 2008."The nominee will not be picked officially until the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in early September 2008. Gingrich pointed out that John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan each waited to announce his candidacy until less than a year was left before the election. Kennedy confirmed he was running on Jan. 2, 1960; Reagan did so for the first time on Nov. 20, 1975, when he did not win the nomination, again on Nov. 13, 1979, and Jan. 29, 1984 - when he did capture the White House. "Of course I'm thinking about it," Gingrich said. "I hope between now and September, to help create with every candidate in both parties, a wave of new ideas, a wave of new solutions." Gingrich said that in early January he will write the heads of the state Democratic and Republican parties in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where there are early nominating contests, to recommend they hold bipartisan debates and other forums.