Newt Gingrich is running for president. The former House speaker disclosed his bid on Twitter and Facebook on Monday and urged followers to tune into Fox News on Wednesday.
"I will be on to talk about my run for president of the United States," Gingrich wrote after spending a year or more publicly laying the groundwork for a GOP presidential candidacy. "I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run."
The move was hardly a surprise; Gingrich has spent months raising money, assembling a campaign team and visiting early primary states. He also quietly opened a campaign headquarters in Atlanta, and had long been scheduled to address the Georgia Republican Party Convention on Friday in Macon, Ga. Aides say that will be his first speech as a full-fledged candidate.
Gingrich, 67, enters a Republican field that's far from fully formed; no less than a dozen Republicans are weighing bids and only a few have taken steps toward candidacies. It's a crop of candidates that has many in the Republican Party yearning for more options as they seek the strongest candidate to take on President Barack Obama in 2012.
Besides high name recognition, Gingrich brings to the race a slew of policy ideas, a network of grass-roots support and a political machine years in the making. But his personal baggage - he's on his third marriage - could hinder his chances as he seeks to woo conservatives who make up the core of the GOP primary electorate.