Gingrich to quit US presidential campaign
Following a disappointing campaign, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is expected to announce his resignation from the nomination race. The news comes just two weeks after Rick Santorum’s campaign suspension and further clears Mitt Romney’s path to the presidential nomination.
Although his campaign started on a positive note, with primary wins in his home state of Georgia and South Carolina, in recent weeks Gingrich’s star has been fading. He has struggled with both his opposition and the debts created by the campaign, with estimates in the region of $4 million. Gingrich’s campaign also appeared to lose focus; he was seen mixing political campaigning with personal endorsements. Ultimately this led to confusion about what Gingrich was actually trying to promote in his tour.
Gingrich had hoped to regain some ground in Tuesday’s primaries, but it was Romney who swept the five north-eastern states. In Delaware, a definite blow came as Gingrich lost 27% to Romney’s 57%. It now seems set that Romney will become the Republican challenger to the White House in August. Although Ron Paul is still officially in the running, in reality he has no way of toppling Romney’s lead.
In a move indicative of his imminent campaign suspension, Gingrich voiced his support of Romney’s campaign. “You have to at some point be honest about what’s happened in the real world as opposed to what you would like to have happen… I do think it’s pretty clear that Governor Romney is going to be the nominee,” said Gingrich. He is expected to hold his last campaign event on 1st May.
The former House speaker, 68-year-old Gingrich, now faces an uncertain future in politics. Following his campaign, “His brand in terms of being a leader of the party has certainly been damaged,” said Dave Carney, a former strategist for Gingrich. Many see the next logical steps as including cable news commentary, the paid speaking circuit and writing.
Whatever he decides, Gingrich is still dedicated to the Republican race. “I am committed to this party… to defeating Obama,” he said. He has stated that he shall continue campaigning for the party as a citizen.
Romney has now turned his sights to US President Barack Obama, vowing to save voters from the Democrat’s “false promises and weak leadership”. Nevertheless, polls show Obama to have strong support in many states, promising a tough battle for the White House in months to come.