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Republican former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Mr. Gingrich said Sunday he will decide after November’s congressional elections whether he will make a run for the White House in 2012.

Mr. Gingrich has openly explored entering the wide-open contest for the 2012 Republican nomination to challenge President Obama, making recent visits to early battleground states Iowa and New Hampshire. Mr. Gingrich said he had been to 10 states in the past two weeks.

“I think that’s a decision we’ll make in February or March,” Mr. Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday” of a presidential run. “This is a very hard family decision because it’s such a deep commitment and it is so absorbing.”

A White House campaign by Mr. Gingrich, who led the Republican takeover of Congress in the 1994 election, got a qualified endorsement from former Democratic Party chairman and presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Mr. Dean said Mr. Gingrich would provide intellectual depth to a Republican Party that he said lacked ideas.

“They desperately need some intellectual leadership and, whatever you think of Newt Gingrich, he can supply intellectual leadership,” Mr. Dean said on Fox. “So I hope he does run.”

Mr. Gingrich laughed and called Mr. Dean’s comment “the kiss of death” in a Republican primary.


Northwest Airlines didn’t follow orders

A government report says that for more than a decade Northwest Airlines repeatedly failed to follow federal safety orders but wasn’t held accountable by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The report by the Transportation Department Inspector General’s Office confirmed many of the allegations brought by a whistleblower in 2005 and again in 2008 of a cozy relationship between FAA managers and the airlines they are charged with inspecting.

FAA inspector Mark Lund charged that FAA managers at the safety office that oversaw Northwest routinely allowed the airline to avoid penalties or fines by voluntarily disclosing failures.

From wire dispatches and staff reports