Gingrich announces his presidential candidacy for 2012

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) announced Monday on Facebook and Twitter that he is running for president in 2012 as a Republican, challenging President Barack Obama. This makes him the most recognizable Republican to officially enter the race.

Gingrich, who is no stranger to long-term care issues, served as a Representative from Georgia from 1979 to 1999, and as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, when he resigned after Republicans fared poorly overall in mid-term elections.

At last year's National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry conference Gingrich talked to McKnight's about Republican plans to repeal healthcare reform were they to regain control of the House in the 2010-midterm elections. Additionally, he talked about his work with legislation that would allow states to declare bankruptcy. This would have implications with for-profit skilled nursing facilities that get much of their funding from state governments.

“I think one of the things that has to happen is to have a federal bankruptcy law so that some states that are really incapable of negotiating a reform, can just go to court and have the reform imposed, because they're never going to get the unions to voluntarily give back. So they may have to go through a bankruptcy process just to go get the level of change that they need,” Gingrich said.