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Wednesday
May112011

Newt Gingrich Announces 2012 Presidential Campaign 

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Newt Gingrich, the architect behind the 1994 Republican revolution, officially announced he's running for president via Twitter. Gingrich, a former House speaker, is the first major candidate to announce a run for president with a tweet.

"Today I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. You can watch my announcement here. http://bit.ly/kEbh7d," he wrote to his 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

Since leaving Congress more than a decade ago, Gingrich, 67, has built something of an empire, a network of conservative advocacy groups that includes American Solutions, Center for Health Transformation, Gingrich Productions, and Americano. Together, the groups have raised more than $32 million in the past two years. In addition to his fundraising and coalition building, Gingrich has also taken a hard line against President Obama. While Obama's approval rating has jumped to 60 percent since Osama bin Laden's killing May 1 according to one poll, the president's re-election prospects could still be in jeopardy. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, taken before bin Laden's death, found 45 percent of Americans surveyed said they would "definitely" not support Obama's re-election, with 57 percent saying they disapproved of his handling of the economy.

Gingrich is working to capitalize on that discontent, ripping the president in recent months for his handling of the BP oil spill, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and Obama's recent military actions in Libya, although a May 4 Quinnipiac poll suggests Gingrich might have a steep climb too: 42 percent of poll participants said they would "never" vote for him. Only Donald Trump and Sarah Palin scored higher -- both at 58 percent -- in the "never" vote for category among potential Republican presidential candidates.

Gingrich's campaign will launch with a sprint: He's already set up a campaign headquarters in Atlanta, hired a campaign manager, and in the next week plans to deliver speeches in Washington and Atlanta, followed by a commencement address at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan's alma mater. Then the former Speaker of the House is off to Iowa, where he'll hold a dozen campaign events over four days.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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