Former House Speaker Tests Presidential Waters

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues his test of the 2012 presidential waters with a stop in Houston. Ed Mayberry reports.

After touring the Open Door Mission on Harrisburg to learn about issues facing the homeless, Gingrich talked with reporters about the president's performance on handling the Libyan conflict.

"The President of the United States has said publicly that Gaddafi must go. Therefore, for the United States to succeed, Gaddafi must go. Just trying to create a no-fly zone for humanitarian purposes when you're dealing with a vicious dictator is now not possible because of the president's own words."

Gingrich says he wouldn't have intervened miliarily. He says he'd rather see the U.S. utilize members of the Iraqi and Egyptian military as advisers.

"And I get a sense that the administration doesn't even realize that they have committed the United States to defeating Gaddafi. That's something that I would not have recommended doing. But now that he's done it, I think that we have to succeed."

Newt Gingrich

The 67-year-old Gingrich has been testing the waters for a possible run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and Texas would be an important state. He expects to make a decision soon.

"Well, I think it's probably in four or five weeks. I mean we were — from a Texas standpoint — we were delighted today to have Rob Johnson, who ran Governor Rick Perry's campaign last year, has joined us as a senior adviser in the exploratory process. And we think that with his background here in Texas, he's going to be enormously helpful. We want to be very methodical. We want to get this thing laid out correctly and do it the right way."

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...