WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) bluntly predicted that Newt Gingrich would fail to secure the Republican nomination in 2012, after the former House speaker declared he was exploring a presidential bid.
Burr was first elected to the House in 1994 on the coattails of the Gingrich-led Republican takeover of Congress. He served there for 10 years before winning election to the Senate in 2004.
“When you look at Newt, you see a person that’s bubbling over with ideas but not necessarily one who has the discipline to see those ideas carried through to finality,” Burr said, according to Roll Call. “Gingrich certainly brings excitement. I don’t see the former Speaker coming out of a primary contest as our nominee, but I wish him well.”
Gingrich’s presidential ambitions are complicated by the ethics cloud that ended his reign in Congress. He resigned in 1999 after having an affair with a staffer — who later became his wife — while he served as the public face for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
In a Gallup poll last month, Gingrich had the support of 9 percent of Republicans and Republican-leading independents for the 2012 nomination, behind former Govs. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.