Newt Gingrich formally announces candidacy for president

Paul Conner Executive Editor
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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States Wednesday via Twitter.

“I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States because I believe we can return America to hope and opportunity, to full employment, to real security, to an American energy program, to a balanced budget,” Gingrich said in a video released on YouTube (watch the video below).

The tweet linked to Newt.org, but the Web site failed to load when the tweet went out, presumably due to too much Web traffic. The site has since been restored.

Gingrich became the first major Republican contender to declare officially his run for president. His political action committee, American Solutions PAC, has raised just $53,107, according to the latest Federal Election Commission records, but his fundraising ability should not be underestimated.

Gingrich’s citizen action network, American Solutions for Winning the Future, raised $14.5 million in 2010, according to IRS documents, putting him well ahead of potential rivals, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Gingrich has spent significant time in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, states that have early primaries, but TheDC’s Jonathan Strong reported that Gingrich has made several missteps leading up to his announcement.

In a sign he was clearing space for a presidential run, Fox News Channel suspended his contract in early March. Gingrich had been a contributor for Fox News since leaving Congress in 1999.

Gingrich is scheduled to appear on Hannity tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox News to discuss his decision.

In the video, Gingrich cited his experience working with President Ronald Reagan and as Speaker of the House.

“We’ve done it before, and we can do it again,” Gingrich said. “I want your help, because no one person in the Oval Office can get this done.”

“We Americans are gonna have to talk together, work together, find solutions together, and insist on imposing those solutions on those forces that don’t want to change,” he continued. “There are some people who don’t mind if America becomes a wreck, as long as they dominate the wreckage. But you and I know better.”