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Gingrich considers run for presidency in 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa - Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said yesterday he's seriously considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination and will announce his decision early next year.

Gingrich, 67, told The Associated Press that he would focus on helping Republican candidates through the midterm elections in November, then decide in February or March whether to seek the GOP nomination.

"I've never been this serious," Gingrich said. "It's fair to say that by February the groundwork will have been laid to consider seriously whether to run."

Gingrich, in Des Moines for a fundraiser and workshop for Republicans, predicted President Barack Obama would be a one-term president. Obama's poll numbers have dropped below 50 percent, and Gingrich predicted he would be vulnerable in 2012.

Unlike President Bill Clinton, who rebounded from first-term problems by pushing for welfare reform and budget balancing changes that pleased moderate voters, Gingrich argued that Obama shows no inclination to move toward the center.

"He's not like Bill Clinton," Gingrich said. "While he had some Yale overtones being liberal, the truth is Bill Clinton was quite happy to move to the right."

Gingrich has been mentioned as a possible 2012 GOP candidate along with others, including former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. - AP

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