Gingrich hopes to announce presidential bid in May

(Reuters) – Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich told supporters on Wednesday he hopes to announce a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in May.

Gingrich held a conference call with 40-50 former staffers and people with whom he has done business to tell them he is leaning toward a White House bid and will need their support, a person knowledgeable of the call told Reuters.

“He was looking for serious input. He gave it serious time,” the person said.

Gingrich, known for budget battles with President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, said last week he was exploring a run but was coy on the timing.