Newt Gingrich ends his presidential campaign - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Newt Gingrich ends his presidential campaign

Newt Gingrich announces the end of his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination while his wife Callista looks on. (Source: CNN) Newt Gingrich announces the end of his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination while his wife Callista looks on. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Strapped for cash and delegates with no viable path to the Republican nomination for president, Newt Gingrich announced he is dropping out of the race today after "reevaluating" his standing in the race in light of the results of the Delaware primary.

"Today I'm suspending the campaign," he said at a news conference.

He told reporters that the end of his political campaign would not be the end of his political activity.

"I've been an active citizen since August of 1958," he said.

He is now set to turn his focus onto the issues of religious liberty, energy independence, health initiatives related to regenerative health, strengthening American work ethic, national security, social security education - and of course, space.

He said his moon colony statement was in retrospect a bad idea, but great for "providing fodder for Saturday Night Live."

"I'm not totally sure I will get to the moon colony, but I'm sure [my grandchildren] Maggie and Robert will have that choice if they want it," he said.

He's expected to formally endorse the presumptive GOP nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the coming weeks.

He told reporters that he often heard debate over whether Romney was conservative enough to please the GOP base.

"Compared to Barack Obama?" he said, implying that he found Romney conservative enough. "This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan."

The former House speaker spoke to Romney on April 25, and Gingrich spokesman R.C Hammond told AP that the campaign is organizing an event where Gingrich will withdraw and throw his support to Romney. Gingrich wants the focus now to be on defeating the president.

Gingrich has been facing pressure to withdraw from the race after a dismal showing Super Tuesday, but he remained defiant, saying he was in the race until convention in June.

"I even endorsed Newt Gingrich at one point, because I thought he had a shot," Herman Cain said on the radio station WMAL. "Well, not now. He doesn't have a shot."

He acknowledged he did not have the support needed to continue at an April 25 appearance in Cramerton, NC.

"I think obviously that I would be a better candidate, but the objective fact is, the voters didn't think that," Gingrich said. "And I also think that it's very very important that we be unified. Nothing should stop - no conservative anywhere in America should have any doubt about the importance of defeating Barack Obama."

On April 24, Gingrich's daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, hinted at the possibility in her comments to reporters, according to the AP.

Carrying more than $4.3 million in debt, Newt's campaign has showed a slow decline since he enjoyed his turn as frontrunner back in January.

Gingrich launched his campaign in May 2011, promising to "return America to hope and opportunity."

But just getting out of the gate proved to be a challenge.

His young campaign suffered a near fatal setback when his campaign manager and five aides quit in June 2011. In debt with many declaring his candidacy dead, Gingrich plowed on and eventually achieved his first of many campaign resurrections.

In a race in which just about every candidate has at some point held the title of frontrunner, he eventually took his turn in late 2011, temporarily taking the spotlight off Mitt Romney.

In January, he won in South Carolina - a state that, since 1980, picked as the winner the candidate who eventually became the party's nominee. But he limped through a string of primaries and caucuses thereafter.

His Southern strategy to win in the Bible Belt, the heart of the GOP's evangelical base, failed when many conservatives began to rally around Rick Santorum as the alternative to Romney.

His only other win came in his home state of Georgia on Super Tuesday.

In March, Gingrich laid off a third of his staff and replaced his campaign manager in an attempt to keep the campaign alive after the race essentially became a two man contest between Romney and Santorum.

The Federal Election Commission reports that the campaign ended March more than $4.3 million in debt - a jump from February when the campaign spent $200,000 more in February than it raised.

In an effort to raise money, Gingrich began charging $50 in March to anyone who wanted to have their photo taken with him.

Mitt Romney's nearest competition, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, dropped out of the race on April 10, essentially ending questions about who would be the nominee.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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