Newt Gingrich doesnt do coy.
When the former House speaker and Republican flamethrower addresses S.C. business leaders tonightin Myrtle Beach, he readily will acknowledge the states historic importance in backing GOP presidential nominees and his interest in becoming a White House candidate.
South Carolina has picked the last five Republican presidential nominees, Gingrich said. So its clear that along with Iowa and New Hampshire, its a key state in the presidential nominating process. Theres no question it will retain that importance in 2012.
Gingrich, who spent two decades in Congress representing neighboring Georgia, said he is nearing a decision that many analysts think will see him toss his hat in the ring for the chance to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama next year.
Im looking at making a decision by the end of February, Gingrich said. Im trying to methodically see if its possible and if theres enough support to make sense out of it.