May 12, 2011 in Nation/World

Gingrich in 2012 presidential race

Michael A. Memoli Tribune Washington bureau
 
Associated Press photo

Newt Gingrich leaves a Hispanic prayer breakfast on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. He announced his candidacy for president in 2012 Wednesday afternoon.
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON – Now, it’s official. Newt Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman who became the first Republican speaker of the House in decades in 1995, announced his candidacy for president in 2012 Wednesday afternoon.

“I believe we can return America to hope and opportunity,” he says in a YouTube video. “There’s a much better American future ahead.”

The announcement, teased by aides on Monday, came on Twitter with a link to his official website, which was at times inaccessible because of demand.

Curiously, that website includes the slogan, “Winning the Future Together.” President Barack Obama has adopted “Winning the Future” as his credo since his State of the Union address in January. But Gingrich has used the phrase in the past; it was the title of his 2005 book.

In 1994, Gingrich helped lead the “Republican Revolution,” as the party took control of the House for the first time since 1955. He was at the center of bitter political disputes with President Bill Clinton, and presided over the first impeachment of a U.S. president in more than a century.

Like other candidates, Gingrich has vulnerabilities he must confront as he appeals to Republican voters in the next year. Speaking with the Washington Times on Tuesday, Gingrich acknowledged mistakes during his leadership of the House.

“My two biggest mistakes were being undisciplined and that I didn’t listen enough,” he told the paper.

“I am working very diligently to be part of a team and to be sure that the team leaders have a lot of input, along with me.”

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