WASHINGTON – Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that the Republican presidential candidates lack the solutions to the "enormous problems" the U.S. faces, but that doesn't mean he's jumping into the race.
Gingrich did have praise for some in the GOP 2008 presidential field but said Republicans in general don't realize the extensiveness of "performance failure of government."
"I think the great dilemma of America today — and if we don't solve it, it will become a tragedy —is that the Republicans don't recognize the scale of the performance failure of government as a system, and the Democrats are living in a fantasy land in terms of their policy proposals," Gingrich told "FOX News Sunday."
"And so you have two parties, each of them disqualifying itself in different ways. Republicans are closer to reality in terms of what we ought to do for policy, but they don't understand that the system is broken, doesn't work."
The outspoken former Georgia congressman said he will make a decision whether to jump into the race in October, following his "American Solutions" conference.
"If there is a vacuum and if there's a real need for somebody to be prepared to debate Senator Clinton, then I would consider running," he said. Gingrich said he expects the Democratic ticket will contain Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as running mates.
Gingrich praised a few of the GOP frontrunners, including potential candidate Fred Thompson, who he called "serious" and "formidable." Gingrich also confirmed reports that he and his wife had a "delightful" dinner with Thompson and his wife Jeri recently.
While he was critical of Sen. John McCain's ability to gain the GOP nod in 2008, he said Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney would all make a "very formidable opponent" for what he expects is a Clinton-Obama Democratic ticket.
Gingrich also repeated his call for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, arguing that "the president and the country are better served if the attorney general is seen as a figure of probity and a figure of integrity and a figure of competence. And sadly, the current attorney general is not seen as any of those things."
"I think that it's a liability for the president. But more importantly, it's a liability for the United States of America," he said.