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Gingrich: I'll run in 2012

Photo by Philip Jean

Photo by Philip Jean

ATLANTA -- Republican Newt Gingrich said Wednesday he's running for president because his experience has prepared him to return America "to hope and opportunity."

In a post on Twitter Wednesday, the former House speaker made official what has been an open secret for months: ''Today I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States."

In a YouTube video, Gingrich assures viewers, "There's a much better American future ahead with more jobs more prosperity, a better health system, longer lives, greater independent living and a country that is decentralized under the 10th Amendment with power once again back with the American

people and away from the Washington bureaucracy."

He cites his work with President Ronald Reagan and his time as speaker of the House when he says he led the fight to balance the budget, cut spending and reform welfare.

"We've done it before. We can do it again," Gingrich said in the two-minute online video.

Gingrich struck a combative tone, too, saying at one point: "There are some people who don't mind if America becomes a wreck as long as they dominate the wreckage." He also said, "We Americans are going to have to talk together, work together, find solutions together and insist on imposing those solutions on the forces that don't want to change."

Gingrich was scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday night on Fox News, part of a media blitz. He'll speak to the Georgia Republican Party Convention in Macon on Friday night, appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday and head to Iowa next week.

Gingrich had been publicly flirting with the race for months. He said Monday he would seek the Republican nomination, telling fans to tune into Fox News for a talk about his presidential run.

The 67-year-old joins a Republican field still taking shape.

Gingrich spearheaded the GOP takeover of the House in 1994, the first time Republicans controlled the chamber in four decades. He stepped down in 1999 after four tumultuous years at the helm.