2012 Presidential Campaign Outlook - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

2012 Presidential Campaign Outlook

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- We're still months away from mid-term elections, but is a visit from a well-known Republican marking the unofficial start of 2012 presidential campaigning in Eastern Iowa? Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is addressing voters in Waterloo at an Iowans for Tax Relief dinner.

"We told the Iowa GOP a long time ago, we'd come back and spend a day going wherever they want us to help raise money and to help maximize turnout this fall," said Gingrich.

He addressed a crowd of hundreds after spending a day touring the Hawkeye State. Its a move that's raising a few eyebrows.

"Well, you never know! He hasn't officially said," noted Republican Pat Hurley.

"Well, we'll have to see. We'll let him speak to that!" said Iowans for Tax Relief Chairman Chuck Larson.

Gingrich is not saying yes, but he's not saying no either.

"I wouldn't be too shocked to see us come back. But we won't make that decision until probably February or March," he told KWWL.

The Republican is not the only potential White House contender stumping through Iowa this fall. September 17th, we'll see a visit from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. New Jersey's Governor, Chris Christie, will head to Des Moines in October. A few weeks later, 2008 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is marking his return to Eastern Iowa.

They're all keeping quiet about any plans for a 2012 run. For now, the focus is 2010.

"I think we've hopefully energized folks, raised some money, and got some people excited. Helped some candidates with new ideas. And if we've done that, then we've helped move the ball down the field," Gingrich added.

Gingrich said, even if he doesn't make a run for president, you can expect to see him visiting Iowa in the future. His wife, Callista, went to Luther College in Decorah, and the pair have quite a few friends in the state.

Online Reporter: Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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