Gingrich: No '08 Decision Until September

Newt Gingrich on Face The Nation, May 6, 2007
Republican Newt Gingrich won't make a decision about running for president in 2008 until the end of September, the former Speaker of the House said on Face The Nation.

"I'm going to spend all summer developing a new generation of solutions that are different than the current dialogue in Washington," Gingrich, R-Ga., said. "If people adopt them and people campaign on them, I probably won't run. If, however, the ideas require an advocate and citizenship requires me to run, then in October, you know, starting on September 30th, we'll look very seriously at whether or not that's necessary."

While Gingrich did not have anything negative to say about the current Republican candidates, he bashed the beginning of the 2008 presidential campaign, saying it has been like a reality show.

"There are a lot of smart people who are running very hard," said Gingrich. "But they have allowed themselves to be talked into a consultant-driven model, which is the equivalent — it's a mixture of 'American Idol,' 'The Bachelor' and `Survivor."'

Gingrich said recent candidate debates "were ludicrous."

"In the debate the other night, the Republicans averaged seven minutes and 20 seconds apiece, split up into 25- to 30-second answers," he said. "The television celebrities dominate these things. They cut people off. They treat them with disrespect.

"The potential president of the United States, the most powerful governing office in the world, shrinks with each appearance in these shows, and we don't have a national discussion."

Gingrich has been arguing for a different style of debating than the rules, time limits and moderator that come with traditional presidential debates.

"Whoever the two nominees are, they should agree in advance to 90-minute dialogue — time keeper, but no moderator — 90 minutes a week, for nine weeks, from Labor Day to the election. Let the American people have in their living room a chance to see two adults."