Gingrich urges Santorum, Perry to drop out
January 17th, 2012
04:16 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich urges Santorum, Perry to drop out

Florence, South Carolina (CNN) - Newt Gingrich is urging competitors Rick Santorum and Rick Perry bow out of the Republican presidential race so conservatives can rally behind one "anti-Mitt Romney" candidate.

A reporter asked the former House speaker if the former Pennsylvania senator should drop out of the race. "Well I would be delighted if he decided to endorse me," Gingrich said, but added it was Santorum and Perry's decision to make.

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"So I am respectful that Rick has every right to run as long as he feels that's what he should do, but from the stand point of the conservative movement, consolidating into a Gingrich candidacy would in fact virtually guarantee a victory on Saturday," Gingrich said in Florence Tuesday. "And I'd be delighted if either Perry or Santorum wanted to do that."

Gingrich has acknowledged he needs to win South Carolina's primary in order to stay in the race. He is also acutely aware that someone needs to beat the frontrunner on January 21 or the nomination will be locked in for Romney.

Santorum came in a close second in Iowa and eked out a fourth place finish – ahead of Gingrich – in New Hampshire, so he isn't ready to concede just yet. After the debate, he dismissed the former speaker's claim that a vote for him is essentially a vote for Romney.

"I'm a friend of Newt's, he's a good man, but the idea that someone who is 0 and 2 in races is that I am hurting him. Yeah I'm hurting him. I'm beating him. That's the difference," said Santorum.

Boosted by another strong debate performance in Myrtle Beach Monday night, Gingrich spent the day at multiple events in Florence and Columbia trying to convince voters he is the best GOP candidate to go up against President Barack Obama in the general election.

"I think I'm the only conservative, if you look at the polling, I am the only conservative who realistically has a chance to be the nominee," he said at a town hall in Florence. "So any vote toward Perry or Santorum in effect is a vote to allow Romney to become the nominee. Because we have got to bring conservatives together."

The former speaker said the reason conservatives should coalesce around him and not Santorum is because he knows how to design a national campaign.

"I actually know how to set up a conservative alternative to Obama in a way that will be very, very effective and very strategic. And I don't think Santorum can do any of that. Again, it's not because he isn't a nice guy. He doesn't have any of the knowledge for how to do something like this."

Santorum defended his campaign prowess Tuesday night, arguing his wins over Gingrich in the early voting states speak for themselves.

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Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Rick Perry • Rick Santorum
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. parkmore

    What? I guess Newt is not normal and he should think about his retirement

    January 17, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  2. Yesorno

    Perry is always the dumb guy.

    January 17, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  3. jdfasjf;dsf

    Go Newt! get some... more! Third times a charm.

    January 17, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  4. Max Powers

    The Republicans already fired you once Newt, take a hint and bow out yourself. It's between Paul and Romney now. The rest are wasting time and money.

    January 18, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. buns

    Running for presidency is not rocket science. It's all about common sense. Hes got it! Go Newt!

    January 18, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. karson

    My votes for R
    omney!

    January 18, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  7. Jodi

    and about Newt crying about bad ADs, Political Ads have been around before I was born, newt doesnt have the money so no one can run an ads ??? give me a break, if Newt cries about Romneys ads, he would never make it through the radical left winged machine ads

    January 18, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  8. Codyk

    Newts stellar performance? LOL!! This just keeps getting better everyday.

    January 18, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  9. Name: Trevor in California

    Vote for Newt!
    A man who cleary oneday could have done so much for America, that we build a statue in his memory.
    I think he, himself when comparing his work with Reagan and even Clinton might not recognize how good of a President he will be. I would chalk it up to a lack of arogance, and a mind of intent focus to being a good man for the USA!

    January 18, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  10. Andrew

    ROMNEY 2012! It's going to happen and I'm lovin it! Obama is a failure of epic proportion!

    January 18, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  11. Brian

    So this is the same Gingrich who said "It's almost like they should every once and a while allow an attack to get through to remind us..."? Remind us what, that we should just bow down to you and all the other arrogant, vitriolic warmonger candidates because we should be scared of some boogeyman that always gets thrown in our face to scare us?
    (FYI- there is a video with him saying this, so go look it up)

    I urge you and the other two candidates you are urging to drop out with them.

    Seriously, I'm just sick of all the fear-mongering and 'pony and balloons' show we're given.

    January 18, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  12. J Jones

    "If you look at the polling"?? Newt what are you talking about?? A CNN poll just came out and Ron Paul and Romney are tied with Obama head to head. Newt is way behind. Ridiculous nonsense.

    January 18, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  13. Larry

    "If Mitt Romney can't win without Ron Paul's supporters, wouldn't that make him... unelectable?"
    -Judge Andrew Napolitano

    January 18, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  14. tpaiine

    Gingrich is the only person in the modern era to have balanced the federal budget, not once, but four times. He had to overcome three Presidental vetoes and two government shutdowns to get it done. After six years of fiscal insanity – our debt is now 100% of our GDP (same as Greece, Ireland and Portugal), WE HAVE TO VOTE FOR COMPETENCE otherwise we're going to enjoy a second Great Depression.
    I truly wish it were otherwise.

    January 18, 2012 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  15. Tyler

    Gingrich got 13% in Iowa and 10% in New Hampshire. Ron Paul is the only one other than Romney to get above 20% in both states. Plus, Ron Paul has an equal chance to beat Obama as Romney.

    January 18, 2012 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  16. Alex

    Overtime it seems like it will be Romney Vs. Paul. They do happen to be the only ones who seem to be on every ballot in all the states for the caucuses and primaries.

    January 18, 2012 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  17. wanda

    Newt is the best man, for the job and to debate with Obama !!! He may have done some stupid things when he was younger, we all have , but he has forgotten more than the other guys will ever know......Newt, Go cream Obama !!!!!

    January 18, 2012 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  18. A. Hick

    Sorry Thelma, this is how it's going down:

    1. Secretary General of the Republican Party, George Herbert Walker Bush, recommends Willard Mitt Romney to be nominee of the Party.

    2. Central Committee of the Republican Party (composed of Bush family, their operatives, representatives of large banks, private equity companies, hedge funds, and the Chinese Central Bank) selects Mitt Romney as the party nominee

    3. Louise Santorum wins Iowa caucus, but some
    county chairwoman “finds” missing votes for Mitt Romney, and state-corporate media reports Mitt Romney winner by eight votes, and proclaims him prohibitive favorite to win nomination.

    4. Perry stays in after Iowa to help Romney.

    5. Romney wins 39 percent of popular vote in one of his home states, calls go out to shut down race as Romney is apparent presumptive winner of national race.

    6. Association of Republican Elmer Gantries endorses Louise
    Santorum in order to keep the hick vote split up for Mitt.

    7. Huntsman drops out before South Carolina vote and endorses
    Romney

    8. Ranger Rick Perry drops out after South Carolina and prays for a heaping helping of federal largess for Texas if Romney manages to buy White House.

    9. Thelma Gingrich and Louise Santorum go over cliff
    together holding hands in the air after Florida 40% Romney romp.

    10. Romney does what no other candidate has ever done: win every single primary and caucus held.

    It’s call democracy, Wall $treet Willard style.

    MUTTS FOR MITT!!!!!

    Shut id DOWN, help hose down PETA, jump on the station wagon, & join the "Poop on America 2012" campaign today!!!!

    January 18, 2012 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  19. Charlie in Maine

    At last Newt and I finally agree on something. They should all drop out and save their money this round. Until they can find some adults who want too run any of these crybabies would just end up embarrassing them.

    January 18, 2012 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  20. Bob S Philadelphia , Pa

    Gingrich is a piece of garbage he show drop out go ROMNEY 2012

    January 18, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  21. onefootinthegrave

    Newt is correct.

    January 18, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  22. Steve851

    For those of you interested in electability (I am not), polls consistently show that Gingrich is the least electable of the five remaining candidates (and for good reason). The only two that make the electability cut are Romney and Dr. Paul (for different but understandable reasons)

    January 18, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
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