Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) made his presidential campaign official today, becoming the first presidential candidate ever to announce he was seeking the nation's highest office over Twitter.
"Today I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States," he tweeted shortly before 4:30 p.m.
Gingrich also released a two-minute video announcement on YouTube.
"I'm announcing my candidacy for president the United States because I believe we can return America to hope, and opportunity, full employment, real security, to an American energy program to a balanced budget," Gingrich said in the video.
Gingrich's decision is not a surprise - his aides said Tuesday that he would make the announcement and his entry into the race has been seen as certain for months. Although the former congressman from Georgia, who left office in 1999, is the first candidate officially announce his candidacy on Twitter, he's not the first to use social networking in the still early 2012 GOP presidential primary.
The conservative icon faces a steep challenge to claim his party's nomination, convincing voters he remains a relevant politician 12 years after leaving office. He is ranked 5th in The Hotline's presidential power rankings.