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Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 9:27am

Will Newt Gingrich Run for President?

The buzz around Georgia this week has been whether former Congressman Newt Gingrich will run for president in 2012.

He will meet Thursday with Gov. Nathan Deal and then speak to the media. Deal said previously he would support a Gingrich run, so many observers expect the former House speaker to announce the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

“I have, of course, met with him one other time about a month or so ago and he talked to me preliminarily about the fact that he was thinking about establishing an exploratory committee,” Deal said. “I assume [Thursday] we’re going to hear a little bit more about that, but also some other things of interest to him.”

Deal said he expects healthcare to be one of those other topics.

“He’s been a proponent of the same kind of thing that I and other governors have asked for, and that is greater flexibility in the way that we make our Medicaid program adaptable to the needs of our state,” Deal said.

Despite speculation that Gingrich would take the first step toward a run for president, his spokesman told media late Tuesday he would not announce the formation of an exploratory committee.

Gingrich has said he would clarify his intentions in late February or early March.

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