House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, silencing speculation that he would try to ride his new-found prominence to the White House.
Gingrich, who had been coy about his intentions, said he wanted to concentrate on serving as speaker and on seeing through the Contract With America, the Republican political manifesto that he helped mastermind.
“I think I should stay and focus on what I am doing and get things done,” he told reporters after a breakfast meeting with business leaders in Marietta, Ga., the heart of the district that he represents, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
“I hardly need to run for president to get my message out.”
Gingrich said he gave particularly serious thought to running last week after another conservative Republican, former Vice President Dan Quayle, dropped out.