ATLANTA — A spokesman for Newt Gingrich says the former House speaker is running for president.
Rick Tyler told The Associated Press that Gingrich will make it official Wednesday with announcements on Facebook and Twitter. He will give an interview to Fox News later that night.
Gingrich is set to address the Georgia Republican Party Convention on Friday in Macon, Ga.
“That will be his first speech as a presidential candidate,” Tyler said.
Gingrich has made no secret of his White House ambitions. He’s been raising money and assembling a campaign team for months. Last week The AP reported that the Gingrich camp had quietly opened a campaign headquarters in Atlanta.
Getting into the race marks a comeback attempt by the former Georgia congressman who stepped down from the House after four tumultuous years as speaker.
He had led the GOP to its first majority in the House in 40 years, spearheading the Republican revolution.
A spending fight between Gingrich and President Bill Clinton led to a shutdown of part of the federal government in 1995 and 1996. He left Congress in 1999. In recent years he’s stayed in the public eye, speaking on issues from health care to foreign affairs.
Since leaving office he has set up a lucrative network of nonprofit and business ventures. He’s also churned out a steady stream of books and made frequent speaking engagements.
In recent months the 67-year-old Gingrich has lambasted President Barack Obama‘s federal health law and has criticized the Democrat’s foreign policy as “clueless.”
He’s traveled frequently to the early primary and caucus states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
The twice-divorced Gingrich has also been working to make inroads with social conservatives critical to the GOP primary base, highlighting his conversion to Catholicism after marrying his third wife, Callista,
Although he’s lived in northern Virginia for more than a decade, Gingrich has also been playing up his Georgia roots. Born in Pennsylvania, he taught college in Georgia and was a longtime congressman from suburban Atlanta, helping build the Republican Party in the state dominated at the time by Democrats.