Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made his presidential ambitions official today, and made a little history at the same time: The ex-Georgia congressman, 67, become the first presidential candidate to announce he was seeking the nation’s highest office on Twitter.
“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," he said in a video released at 4:30 ET.
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. Though the congressman’s announcement on Twitter underscores his long-time interest in new media (he was one of the first House members to recognize the power of C-SPAN), he’s not the first to use social networking in the still-early 2012 GOP presidential contest.
There are hazards to the new technology as Gingrich's launch revealed: his website crashed within minutes of the announcement and one wag began tweeting out a screen grab of the campaign website dummied up for launch: "Announcement Quote from Newt," it read.
The conservative icon, who left office in 1999, 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.
To read more about his announcement, check out our blog post at Hotline On Call.