US & Canada

Republican candidates - Newt Gingrich

As the first votes of the primary season approach, the BBC looks at the Republican candidates hoping to stand against President Barack Obama in November.

Newt Gingrich

The former speaker of the House of Representatives hopes to make one of the greatest comebacks in US political history.

In 1994, the Georgia congressman led the Republicans to control of the House for the first time in decades. Four years later, the party suffered losses in the mid-term elections, and Mr Gingrich resigned.

Instead of fading into obscurity, he became a conservative policy factory and an attack dog - writing books, producing films, making speeches and appearing on television to criticise Democrats.

Mr Gingrich, 68, who has a doctorate in history and briefly taught at a university, styles himself as an intellectual and a policy innovator.

All but written off after a series of high-level staff defections in June, Mr Gingrich has battled his way to the top of the Republican field as voters continue to seek a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

See a full profile of Newt Gingrich.

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