HARRISBURG -- Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich returned to his hometown today to push for electing Republicans next Tuesday, including Tom Corbett for governor, Jim Cawley for lieutenant governor, David Argall for Congress and -- who knows -- maybe himself for President in 2012.
He coyly ducked answering the last question, saying he'll make a decision by March.
"My wife and I run four small businesses and we are trying to arrange for those businesses (to be taken care of) if we decide to run,'' he told reporters outside a fund-raising event here for Mr. Argall, a state senator from Schuylkill County who is trying to unseat longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Holden.
Mr. Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, said his recent criss-crossing the country for GOP candidates didn't necessarily mean he will run for President in 2012. He said he always keeps busy politically.
"People can write what they want'' about the 2012 elections, he said. "I have long been involved in developing Republican candidates. My track record of being involved politically doesn't imply anything, because I have been doing this for years, regardless of what it may lead to.''
Mr. Gingrich returns to the town of his birth from time to time. His sister, Susan Gingrich, still lives here.
He was optimistic about Republicans gaining at least 55 seats in the U.S. House on Tuesday and taking control of the chamber, ousting "the San Francisco liberal,'' Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
He said Mr. Argall will vote for Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner for speaker, while Mr. Holden will stick with Ms. Pelosi. He urged a Republican takeover of the House to block the "high-tax, job-killing policies of President Obama.''
He wasn't as sure that the GOP can pick up the 10 seats it needs to control the U.S. Senate, but said he is confident it will gain at least eight seats. He thinks "32 to 35" governors will be Republican after Tuesday, including Mr. Corbett.