Gingrich gets backhanded endorsement

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean Sunday gave a surprising endorsement to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s possible 2012 Republican presidential bid. Sort of. 

Dean — speaking on the same segment as Gingrich on “Fox News Sunday” — said the Georgia Republican as opposed to Republicans in Congress “has a ton of ideas to move the country forward.”

“There are no ideas in the Republican Party right now in the Congress,” Dean added. “They desperately need some intellectual leadership.”

While Dean said he disagrees with Gingrich on many issues, “He can supply intellectual leadership so I hope he does run.”

Gingrich said he will make a decision on whether to run in February or March.

“This is a very hard family decision because there’s such a deep commitment and it is so absorbing,” he said. 

He quipped that Dean’s endorsement of sorts may hurt him. “I’m not sure I can survive it in the primary,” he joked. “There’s my opponent’s primary clip.”