Newt Gingrich formally ends presidential campaign


Newt Gingrich outlines his views on why Mitt Romney is preferable to Barack Obama

Newt Gingrich has formally ended his presidential campaign, but fell short of an endorsement for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

He said November's election offered a choice between Mr Romney and Barack Obama, "the most radical, leftist president in American history".

Mr Gingrich ends his campaign some $4m (£2.5m) in debt, according to reports.

He bowed out as the Obama re-election team issued a "greatest hits" video of Mr Gingrich's critiques on Mr Romney.

The former House Speaker told supporters in a speech at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia, that "today I am suspending the campaign. But suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship".

Written off

Mr Gingrich said Mr Romney was a preferable conservative alternative to Mr Obama.

Newt Gingrich's speech was a connoisseur's delight. There is no reason in the former Speaker's book why an admission of defeat should also be a moment of humility.

He spent most of the time in a detailed review of the highlights of his own career and future plans as a conservative sage. It had been expected that he would endorse Mitt Romney. But blink and you would have missed him even talking about the presumptive Republican nominee. I don't think the grudging acceptance that he was marginally better than the man in the White House really qualifies as an endorsement. It was so lacking in enthusiasm that it was several notches on the thermometer down from lukewarm.

In effect, it was telling conservatives who may not be happy with Mr Romney that they are stuck with him and have nowhere else to go. This may be the sober assessment of many Republicans. The Romney camp may be annoyed by their former rival's brusqueness, but they should not be too bothered. After all, Mr Gingrich is leaving the race because he has not got enough support. There are hardly legions hanging on his every word.

But the Democrats will be delighted. They are already making the most of Mr Gingrich's "wild ride". They have put out a video featuring the former speaker calling the former governor a liar, and a man who will not keep his word.

"I am asked sometimes, is Mitt Romney conservative enough?" he said. "My answer is simple: compared to Barack Obama?

"This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan. This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical, leftist president in American history."

Mr Gingrich added that Mr Romney knew "about 60,000 times more" on the subject of job creation than Mr Obama.

The former House Speaker outlined policy initiatives he hopes to support, including research in regenerative medicine, protecting religious liberty and the oft-mentioned moon colony.

"My wife has pointed out to me that the moon colony was not the most clever comment in this campaign," Mr Gingrich said.

"But the underlying key point is real: if we're going to be the leading country in the world, we're going to have to be the leading country in space."

The end of his campaign leaves just Ron Paul as a notional challenger to Mr Romney.

The Georgia politician's exit provided the Obama campaign with the opportunity to highlight Mr Gingrich's regular primary-season attacks on the presumptive nominee.

The edited compilation suggests Mr Gingrich does not support the Romney campaign or its key positions.

In his own video message, released earlier on Tuesday, Mr Gingrich did not mention Mr Romney.

Mr Romney and supporting groups used large numbers of negative advertisements against Mr Gingrich and former Republican rival Rick Santorum in the primaries.

While the former Massachusetts governor is not the official Republican nominee, he is on track to gain the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination by the end of May.

Mr Gingrich's White House run was full of incident. He was largely written off in the summer of 2011 when a number of key campaign staff walked out on him.

But a series of strong debate performances brought him back to prominence, and he won the South Carolina primary in January.

He also won the primary in his home state of Georgia but failed to build momentum during the primary season and struggled to match Mr Romney's financial muscle.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Democrat or Republican, makes no difference; both animals eat from same trough.
    Donkey or elephant, makes no difference, both animals eat from same trough.
    Romney, Gingrich or Obama, makes no difference, every politicians eats from same trough, & that trough is full of money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    ref #43
    Lets see France hs Hollande and would have Straus-Khan
    Italy had Prodi, spain had Zapatero
    ref #35 Ron Paul does not claim those so called 4 stolen primaries

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Where does America finds these people to run for US pres?

    It's no wonder that Obama can win and become the first black pres, too easy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    farkyss re #38 PM: "That is why the US is inflicted with the likes of Gingrich, Romney, Obama and so on."

    And France with the likes of Hollande and Sarko.

    And Germany with the likes of Merkel and Schroder.

    [ Russia is afflicted with the likes of Medvedev and Putin, N. Korea with the likes of Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un and Cuba with the likes of Fidel and Raul Castro for other reasons]

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Negatives re my comment that BHO should have GIVEN (rather than taken away from) NASA money to develop better/much faster propulsion systems than 80 yr old chemical ones (which will never take us outside of our solar system) have proven my earlier point:

    That those with an IQ of a scallop will inherit Earth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    "Just like many of them, often the most brilliant ones, refuse to have anything to do with body-politics"

    And therein lies the problem - the only ones that get involved are the ones whose aims are money and power for the sake of money and power. That is why the US is inflicted with the likes of Gingrich, Romney, Obama and so on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Newt Gingrich leaves the stage for Mitt Romney to carry on as the lead ham actor. If Romney gets elected as president he will flip and flop in the first thirty days. Americans are just like us all. Austerity cuts no ice when jobs are on the line. Reality checks are hard to bear. But somehow we need to understand that we are mortgaging our lives in the West to the likes of China, India and Brazil.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    farkyss: "So tell me, are the only "normal" people those who don't vote?"

    Many of them. Just like many of them, often the most brilliant ones, refuse to have anything to do with body-politics, work for government, let alone run for any elective office.

    [considering baby-kissing&money raising simply disgusting]

    And by no means only in the US.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    "Funny thing is, real support was tiny...but that was a media conspiracy!?"

    Sounds like someone's been sucked in by the media. You call libertarians loons (or terrorists), people call mainstrain republicans loons (or religious nutjobs), people call mainstream democrats loons (or communists)

    So tell me, are the only "normal" people those who don't vote?

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    farkyss: I postulate this is because 'corporations' would prefer to make profits on the technology which NASA cannot.

    That't correct in that that NASA should have never built space shuttle, nor later ISS to justify its existence. (private business should have done so).

    With NASA doing what has not been profitable in the short term:

    develop futuristic technologies benefitting not only US.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    23. MagicKirin
    ref #15

    Ron Paul has not won anything?

    He certainly won in terms of support from online conspiracy loons.
    And showed by being (very tenuously) anti war gets respect from liberal types who think libertarian ideals are somehow 'radical' can come out with any old rubbish and its ok.

    Funny thing is, real support was tiny...but that was a media conspiracy!?

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Its almost surreal how right wing loons like Gingrich are regarded as acceptable politicians by the Americans. I have no idea how the distasteful hatred of people like him can become mainstream but his message is obviously bankrolled by the wealthy. You can see how truly evil people like Hitler were able to gain power by this process of the mainstream becoming more and more radicalized.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Republicans pick Mitt Romney. Funny.

    George Bush Jr was picked as the republican candidate in 2000.
    His rival in 2000, John McCain, was picked as republican candidate in 2008.
    His rival in 2008, Mitt Romney, is picked as republican candidate in 2012.


  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    "And its not poor people but DUMB people who oppose it."

    I don't really know of anyone who opposes space research, left, right, or libertarian. NASA's budget has been ripped down, which is odd given how most of the space technology gets segwayed into defence. I postulate this is because 'corporations' would prefer to make profits on the technology which NASA cannot.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    The big money people are eying up space and it's resources - that's why government has backed off it.

    Correction: the SMART people all over the world are eyeing space and its resources (cf. ESA plans, etc.).

    And its not poor people but DUMB people who oppose it.

    [alas, there's no known cure for stupidity and shortsightedness]

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    So now, as Andy Borowitz puts it, Newt Gingrich can spend more time with his families.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    @powermeerkat - good point about space travel. The problem for the politicians is that there is no immediate gain for them and their greedy backers so this is highly unlikely to go through. Quasi religious rednecks like Gingrich wouldn't even contemplate this as "god wouldn't allow it".. You and I may think outside of immediate gains but politicians are unlikely to do this. War is easier for them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Re "Obama will win hands down in November".

    In the meantime, though, our Commander-in-Chief was caught with his hands up

    [not that we've ever authorized him to raise them] :


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