The Des Moines Register reported yesterday that Newt Gingrich will announce the formation of a presidential exploratory committee on Thursday in Atlanta, GA. However, a Gingrich spokesperson has since clarified that the former Speaker “will NOT announce the formation of an exploratory committee.” Politico sorted through the confusion today, reporting that “Gingrich is likely to confirm his ‘intention to announce,’ but not actually unveil an exploratory committee.” But before the Gingrich team walk back, C-SPAN host Greta Wodele Brawner asked Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) what he thought of Gingrich running for president and Coburn didn’t seem to be too enthused:
COBURN: He is undoubtedly the smartest man I’ve ever met. He is a thinker. He has great vision. The question to me is, does he have the capability to lead the country and having served under him in the House, he’s probably not one I would choose to support in a presidential primary. … We need somebody that’s soft and wide eyed open and is stable and is learned and is going to consistently bring us together rather than alienate us. … We need somebody whose eye is critical but is not harsh in their manner and I don’t mean to say he’s necessarily harsh. But I’m looking for a leader that can bring us together.
Fox News has reportedly suspended the contracts of Gingrich and former GOP senator Rick Santorum, who are contributors to the network, because they have demonstrated interest in running for president. Given this reasoning, it is unclear why the network hasn’t suspended Mike Huckabee’s contract with Fox.