Will Newt Gingrich Be A CNN Presidential Candidate?

Days before the re-launch of CNN's Crossfire, Newt Gingrich said in an interview with fellow Crossfire host S.E. Cupp that he won't rule out running for president again in 2016. When asked if he would “run again in the future,” Gingrich replied: “I don't know. We still have a substantial campaign debt. If we can pay it off we would seriously look [at] a 2016 run.”

Gingrich has been asked at various times if he would consider running for president in 2016, and said,  “It's not a no,”   “I don't rule it out, but we're not spending any energy on it,”   “I have no idea at this stage,”   “It's certainly something that we're going to keep our powder dry and see how the next two years evolve,”   “I doubt that, but one never knows.”  In June, National Review Online quoted a Gingrich “insider”  claiming of a potential Gingrich bid: “There's no planning or anything like that. But these are people who are big fans of his, so a lot of them want to see him run in 2016.”

Gingrich used his prior Fox News employment as a springboard to rehab himself with Republican voters, and position himself for a longshot bid for the Republican nomination. The New York Times noted that “Gingrich's myriad appearances on Fox News over the years have been a central part of the rebirth of his political career. The television exposure, his aides believe, has allowed him to reintroduce himself to older Republicans and to introduce himself for the first time to a generation of voters who do not remember his rise nearly two decades ago.” Gingrich's Fox News contract was eventually suspended as he signaled his intention to form an exploratory committee, and then terminated all together. Then-CNN media critic Howard Kurtz -- now with Fox -- wrote in The Daily Beast that Fox was allowing Republicans to “utilize the platform of the country's top-rated cable news channel, and pad their bank accounts to boot.”

If Gingrich wants to bolster a president bid via Crossfire, he already has a model (though ultimately unsuccessful) in former host Pat Buchanan. As CNN noted when covering the legal and media issues surrounding Gingrich's dual roles as potential candidate and Fox employee, “CNN faced similar circumstances in the 1990s with Crossfire co-host Pat Buchanan when he ran for the Republican Presidential nomination. CNN ended Buchanan's duties on the show once it was clear that he was seriously considering a presidential bid.”