Newt Gingrich

Yahoo! News and ABC News staff

Conservative commentator and former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich formally announced on May 11 that he was entering the 2012 race for the White House.

"There's a much better American future ahead with more jobs, more prosperity, a better health system, longer lives, greater independent living and a country that is decentralized under the 10th Amendment with power once again back with the American people and away from the Washington bureaucracy," Gingrich proclaimed in a YouTube video as he launched his candidacy for the GOP nomination. He also charged that "there are some people who don't mind if America becomes a wreck as long as they dominate the wreckage."

Widely known for his Contract with America agenda that is credited with the 1994 Republican Revolution that gave the GOP control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Gingrich, 68, has a reputation among supporters as a visionary who is sharp on policy.

Profile Details

  • Birthplace: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Family: Callista Gingrich (wife); Children: Two daughters with Jackie Battley (first wife)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic (formerly Baptist; converted in March 2009)
  • Job before candidacy: Chairman, American Solutions for Winning the Future; college professor
  • Political experience: Has never run for president; former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • Most recent book written: "A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters" (2011)

More on Newt Gingrich: He’s the first presidential candidate ever to announce on the social media site Twitter.

Pros: Name ID. Goodwill among party base. Seen as "ideas guy," big thinker and intellectual heavyweight. Skilled grassroots organizer.

Cons: Messy personal life, including multiple divorces. Fundraising: He's been able to raise for his 527 groups but those don't have the restrictive limits that presidential candidate has to live under.

Gingrich on the Web: