Newt Gingrich Campaign Screws Up Before Starting

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will announce the formation of an exploratory committee—the first stage in presidential candidacy—on Thursday, according to a longtime aide. Or, that's not what he's doing at all, according to another longtime aide. Oh, boy, this will be fun!

Thousands of tweens were hyperventilating today at the prospect of a Newt Gingrich presidential candidacy after his "top strategist" Joe Gaylord told the Des Moines Register that the adulterer and prominent reptoid would announce the formation of an exploratory committee:

Gingrich is expected to announce in Georgia Thursday that he is forming an organization that will allow him to explore seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, said Joe Gaylord, a Des Moines native who has been Gingrich's top strategist for more than 20 years.

"But you can't say that this is tantamount to an announcement of candidacy," Gaylord said, though he added he expects Gingrich will run. By exploring a run, Gaylord said, Gingrich will be addressing: "Is it really feasible for me to do this? And let me check this out in the next six or seven weeks, because I want to find out if it's real before I do it."

How exciting! Except that, uh, Gingrich aide Rick Tyler sent out a statement a couple hours later, as Politico's Ben Smith reports:

Over the past 48 hours, there has been much speculation in the press about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's intentions with respect to a presidential candidacy. The attached article from the Des Moines Register which contains a significantly inaccurate statement is indicative of that speculation....

Gingrich is not travelling to Georgia to announce that he will form "an exploratory committee" as stated in the Des Moines Register. To be clear, while Speaker Gingrich is in Georgia on Thursday, he will NOT announce the formation of an exploratory committee.

Gosh, running for president is hard, isn't it? You have to "coordinate messaging" and "enforce discipline" and "not be a dumbass."

[Politico; image via AP]