Gingrich congratulates Pawlenty on White House bid

Moments after former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) announced his exploratory committee for a 2012 presidential run, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) congratulated Pawlenty on Monday over Twitter.

"@timpawlenty Congrats. You were a MN Gov, You'd be a great Pres candidate. @CallyGingrich and I look forward to seeing you and Mary soon," Gingrich tweeted.

Prior to Monday, Gingrich and Pawlenty had both hinted at plans to run for president in 2012. Earlier this month at a widely publicized event where he was expected to unveil his exploratory committee, Gingrich, instead, launched a website related to a possible exploratory committee and bid.

Gingrich has not made any further moves toward running for president. Obviously, if Gingrich were to jump into the race he would be running against Pawlenty for the nomination.

Pawlenty's announcement has been expected for some time now. He is considered one of the major GOP presidential hopefuls and is regularly listed in 2012 presidential polls alongside Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), among others.