ABC News’ Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone) reports:
Newt Gingrich was widely criticized for bungling the initial announcement that he was contemplating a run for president, but now he’s making sure there’s no confusion.
On Monday, Gingrich urged supporters on Twitter and Facebook to tune into Fox News on Wednesday night, telling them he will “talk about my run for President of the United States” with host Sean Hannity.
“I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run,” Gingrich wrote in a message on his Facebook page. “Thank you for your support.”
Aides to the former House Speaker said that he plans to use social media platforms to officially enter the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday. Two days later, he is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Georgia Republican Party Convention in Macon, Ga. on Friday. And on Sunday he is scheduled to appear on NBC’s Sunday news program, “Meet The Press.”
It’s all part of Gingrich’s attempt to re-insert himself into the presidential race after announcing in early March that he was beginning what his advisers called the “explore phase” of his campaign. Somewhere between testing-the-waters and a full-fledged exploratory committee, Gingrich launched a Web site, newtexplore2012.com.
"We will look at this very seriously and we will very methodically lay out the framework of what we'll do next," Gingrich said at a press conference in Atlanta on March 3. "And we think its key to have citizens that understand this is going to take a lot of us for a longtime working together."
A CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released late last week put Gingrich in fifth place — tied with Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex. — among Republicans who were asked to rate the potential GOP candidates. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was out in front with 16 percent, followed by real estate mogul Donald Trump (14 percent), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (13 percent), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (11 percent). Gingrich and Paul each received 10 percent support in the national poll.
In a head-to-head matchup among all adults, an April ABC News-Washington Post poll found President Obama leading Gingrich by 15 points. Gingrich has not fared particularly well in polls in key early nominating states either.
Gingrich has been using the last couple of months to travel to states like New Hampshire and Iowa, where he is building up a structure for his presidential campaign. He's also been disentangling himself from a web of political and non-profit organizations that he helped start in the years since he left Congress in 1999.
An ideas man, some Republicans are welcoming Gingrich’s entry into the race, arguing that he is one of just a few potential candidates among the current 2012 field who has the chops to take on President Obama. But Gingrich’s particular brand of politics has also landed him in hot water. Gingrich, for example, flubbed his response to the situation in Libya, flip-flopping on the question of whether he would have utilized American military forces to help institute a no-fly zone over the country as President Obama did.
As the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, the organizational network he formed, has also become a rich source for potential donors and supporters, netting him a database of more than 1.7 million individuals.
Others, however, wonder whether Gingrich, who was first elected to Congress in 1978 and helped usher in the Republication Revolution of 1994 is what the Republican electorate is looking for in 2012.
"No question Newt is an ideas machine, and he'll add intellectual heft to the debate," former George W. Bush adviser and political strategist Mark McKinnon told the Wall Street Journal. But "he's just been around the track one too many times. At a time when people are hungry for something different, new and refreshing, Newt just feels stale."