Gingrich in Atlanta on Thursday, but will he announce for president?

By Aaron Gould Sheinin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Newt Gingrich returns to Atlanta on…

Georgia (Mar 7, 2011) — By Aaron Gould Sheinin


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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Newt Gingrich returns to Atlanta on Thursday for what is billed as a meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal to discuss how states can challenge edicts from the federal government.

But that rather dry discussion aside, the national political eye will be watching for whether Gingrich, who represented Georgia's 6th District for 20 years, announces that he is ready to run for president in 2012.

Conflicting messages from his camp have muddied the water a bit. News outlets across the country, including Iowa's Des Moines Register and ABC News, reported Gingrich would use his appearance with Deal, whom Gingrich endorsed in his bid for governor last year, to announce that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee. That would allow him to raise and spend money on a potential 2012 bid for the White House. …

Kennesaw State University political scientist Kerwin Swint, a former GOP political consultant, said Gingrich can count on an immediate level of support from Georgia Republicans.

"There is still a pretty strong emotional connection," Swint said. "I don't think that's gone away or is significantly less than it was."

But, Swint warned, Gingrich's name "also carries with it a lot of baggage, even in Georgia."


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