Gingrich finally calls it quits (Lead)

May 3rd, 2012 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 3 (IANS) With just two victories under his belt in Republican primaries, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finally called it quits, a little less than a year after he officially launched his White House bid.

“Today I am suspending the campaign but suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” he said at an event Wednesday in Arlington, Virginia, a Washington suburb, to announce the suspension of his campaign.

Gingrich thanked his supporters, chronicled his life in public service, vowed to continue fighting for his policy ideas and expressed support for Mitt Romney, but stopped short of endorsing the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.

However, his spokesman, R.C. Hammond, said he planned to do so at a joint appearance with Romney in the future.

Stressing the importance of defeating President Barack Obama in the November general election, he said: “I’m often asked if Romney is conservative enough and my answer is simple, ‘compared to Barack Obama?’

“You know 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.”

Gingrich was left for political dead last year after his top campaign advisers quit but experienced a resurgence in late 2011, due in part to a Republican electorate unsure about Romney, the party frontrunner.

However, he failed to win early election benchmarks, only capturing two early voting states, his native Georgia and South Carolina.

Gingrich said he will “feel slightly guilty” every time he goes through South Carolina for breaking the state’s tradition of voting for the eventual Republican presidential nominee since 1980.

By suspending his campaign, Gingrich can continue to raise money to pay down the millions of dollars he has accrued in campaign debt.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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