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Newt Gingrich exploring run for president

March 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday he is launching a website to explore a presidential run in 2012.

The Republican said he and his wife are looking at a bid very carefully and will methodically lay out the framework for what they do next.

Earlier, a Gingrich spokesman had said Gingrich is testing the waters for a 2012 bid, which allows him to raise and spend money.

Gingrich is stopping short of setting up an exploratory committee, which would make him a legal candidate. The spokesman said Gingrich and his wife oversee a web of commercial and nonprofit ventures and must tie up loose ends with those businesses before they can take that step.

Gingrich served in Congress for 20 years until retiring in 1999.

If he does run, it will be a comeback attempt for Gingrich, who led the Republican Party to a sweeping victory in the midterm elections of 1994. It gave the GOP a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Gingrich rose to House speaker in 1995, but was effectively ousted by his own party four tumultuous years later.

In recent years, he's stayed in the public eye speaking on issues from health care to foreign affairs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.