Gingrich Tells Romney He Will Quit Race –

April 25, 2012

Gingrich Tells Romney He Will Quit Race



Newt Gingrich conceded that Mitt Romney would be the party’s nominee at an event Wednesday in Cramerton, N.C.

Chuck Burton/Associated Press Newt Gingrich conceded that Mitt Romney would be the party’s nominee at an event Wednesday in Cramerton, N.C.

Newt Gingrich told Mitt Romney on Wednesday morning that he would suspend his presidential campaign next week and begin working to turn out conservative voters for Mr. Romney and Republican candidates in the fall election, Mr. Gingrich’s spokesman said in an interview.

Mr. Gingrich plans to officially endorse Mr. Romney’s candidacy after suspending his own efforts next week, said R.C. Hammond, the spokesman. Mr. Hammond said that Mr. Romney was “cordial and respectful” during the call and that Mr. Gingrich said he was “committed to helping him in the fall.”

“A Republican turnout, especially among conservatives, is key to stopping an Obama second term,” Mr. Hammond said in a brief interview with The Times. “Victory only comes for Republicans with a strong conservative turnout in the fall.”

At an appearance in North Carolina, Mr. Gingrich conceded that Mitt Romney would be the party’s nominee and suggested that he would leave the race in the next several days.

“I think you have to at some point be honest with what’s happening in the real world, as opposed to what you’d like to have happened,” Mr. Gingrich said, according to a brief report in The National Journal.

Mr. Gingrich had repeatedly said that he would press ahead to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer, where he hoped that conservative delegates would give him — not Mr. Romney — the nomination.

Mr. Gingrich, a former House speaker, continued to sound that theme Tuesday night after Mr. Romney decisively won all five contests held Tuesday, in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. In a speech, he suggested that he would continue his campaign until the convention.

But in North Carolina on Wednesday morning, Mr. Gingrich sounded more conciliatory and appeared ready to suggest that unity behind Mr. Romney’s candidacy was the most important consideration for Republicans.

“Governor Romney had a very good day yesterday. He got 67 in one state, and he got 63 in another, 62 in another,” Mr. Gingrich said in referring to Mr. Romney’s winning percentages. “Now you have to give him some credit. I mean this guy’s worked six years, put together a big machine, and has put together a serious campaign.”

He added: “I think obviously that I would be a better candidate, but the objective fact is the voters didn’t think that. And I also think it’s very, very important that we be unified.”

The National Journal reported that Mr. Gingrich told the audience in North Carolina that he would continue to be in the state “as a citizen” throughout the week. It is not clear what that means for his presidential campaign, which is more than $4 million in debt, according to reports filed recently with theFederal Election Commission.

But he also suggested that his campaign may be coming to an official close.

Mr. Gingrich said that: “We’re working out the details of our transition, and we’ll have information for the press in the next couple of days.”

In addition to talking with Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich has had several conversations with Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, including a call Tuesday night.

Mr. Hammond said the discussions with Mr. Priebus have focused on “making sure there is a conservative platform at the convention.” He said that Mr. Gingrich’s support for the eventual nominee — in this case, Mr. Romney — was never in doubt.

“Whether or not he was going to get behind Romney was a settled question,” Mr. Hammond said, adding that Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Romney and Rick Santorum had long ago “made a pact that no matter what happened, each would support each other in the general election.”

Mr. Hammond said that Mr. Gingrich made no deals with Mr. Romney in exchange for dropping out of the race and had never asked Mr. Romney for help paying off his campaign debt.

“We take responsibility for all the debt obligations that we have,” Mr. Hammond said, adding that Mr. Gingrich planned to spend the coming months trying to raise money to pay off the debt. He said Mr. Gingrich told the staff not to even think about asking other candidates for help.

“It’s not something that we should be considering,” Mr. Hammond said, quoting Mr. Gingrich.

 Gingrich Tells Romney He Will Quit Race –

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