Gingrich urges Santorum, Perry to drop out
January 17th, 2012
04:16 PM ET
2 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. EricBballCourt

    He didn't quite "urge" them, your headline is meant to start trouble. He simply stated facts about the situation trying to answer reporters.

    January 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Bob

    Newt Gingirch: A stupid mans' idea of a smart man.

    Couldn't sum it up better.

    January 17, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why would they? Perry should drop out since he hasn't broken 10% on any contest. Santorum should keep going because he has less bagage than Gingrich.

    January 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. ps

    Ah Newtie, you're as full of yourself now as you were while being ousted as House Speaker, or when you thought it ok to present divorce papers to your wife while she lay in the hospital. Newt, it's all about you and will always be about you and only you. For that you will lose and won't see it coming.

    January 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Gurgi

    Naaaahhh, I think gingrich should drop out and support santorum. Santorum would do a better job than Obama and have less baggage than gingrich.

    January 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Kimberly

    This article is really silly. The FACT is grinch, that Santorum is ahead of you in a match up against President Obama. Now, having said that, you nor nutjob santorum have a shot in he!! of ever being president! Its laughable how you are in complete denial that your tanking more and more everyday. Your phony helmet hair, Michael Jackson nose having HOMEWRECKER wife, and you are two of the more disgusting people I know of!

    January 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    OK Newt, you've got some big brass ones asking the guy that beat you twice to drop out! Shouldn't YOU consider dropping out since you finished lower in the vote totals??? I agree though that Perry should drop out. Should have left after Iowa and spared us that goofy running picture.

    January 17, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    And Santorum wants Perry & Gingrich to drop and ditto for Perry. It's like a kid's argument. You drop out. No, you drop out. It will take SC to determine who drops and who stays.

    January 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Karl Rove is probably funneling money to all of them just to keep them in. That way there won't be a unified "not Robot" candidate for the rank and file to support.

    January 17, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Mike

    Can Newt get any more pathetic...he has lost to Santorum in Iowa and N.H., the evangelicals all agreed to back Santorum...yet he asks Santorum to drop out and support him. Does anyone think this angry old man can really energize a country? Reagan would be disgusted at today's Republican party...He tries to impeach a President while having his own affair, closes down the govt multiple times, has numerous ethics investigations against him during his time in the sun, takes millions from Fannae Mae...yeah, my idea of president.

    January 17, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Jariv

    I am for Romney, yet if there should be two that should drop out that would be Newt and Perry. Not the other way. So get out Newt. you have finished right behind there with Perry and the rest. You haven't wont one state and think you can beat Obama, also, Newt said that the conservatives should rally around the guy who can pull the money in. Well they are doing that, and it isn't you Newt. Is Romney the one capable of bringing enough money to beat Obama. Get out of town Newt the Grinch !!

    January 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    what a pathetic person, the "newter" is. Hope the Sanitarium and Perry stays in as long as they can. and IF they do happen to drop out, I would say RON PAUL will end up taking those Votes. (definitely Not the Newter)

    January 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Jay Largent

    I'm glad he didn't ask Rep. Paul to drop out. Newt could have been hurt given Paul's deep support.
    NBC is paid 92 million smackers a day NOT to mention him. Every news group negotiates a price based on size and power. they make offers they couldn't refuse...what is yours?

    January 17, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Boston Guy

    "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."

    So Newt thinks he's all that? Why doesn't he drop out? Apparently, since he signed the "Moral Agreement" to not cheat on his third wife after cheating on the first two he feels he's beast for the conservatives. I guess the religious right believes him. What a joke.

    January 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. bonesbone

    Newt, Newt, Newt, You stupid little crook, what make you think your the one, cheated on two wives, kicked out of the house for ethics violations, and the dealings with freddy mac and fanny mae and you think you have a chance.....HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

    January 17, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. unsub

    they are all wasting their time and money! romney will be nominee and lose dramatically to president obama! ask anne coulter!

    January 17, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. politics as usual

    Best laugh I've had all day!

    January 17, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Sorensen

    Perry and Sanatorium should both go away. They don't have a chance, ever. And they are both totally inappropriate
    for any office for very different reasons.

    January 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Bmeinzju

    Newt's argument is flawed. I haven't seen a lot of head-to-head polling data, but the recent PPP poll out of Florida shows Romney handily beating any other single candidate (Romney 50 – Gingrich 38 is the closest contest), showing that his lead isn't merely a reflection of a 'split conservative vote'. New Hampshire exit polls also showed Romney taking a plurality of the conservative vote. In So. Carolina, the 'very conservative' demographic that echoes the Iowa results is split evenly between Romney and Gingrich, and the 'somewhat conservative' majority strongly favor Romney in the latest Rasmussen poll. Romney even leads among all religious demographics in So. Carolina.

    It is certainly true that if it was down to only two candidates Newt would finally place higher than 4th/5th, but he hasn't shown anything to convince the majority of Republican voters that he has experience, leadership, temperament, organization, and character equal to that of Romney.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/florida/

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/south_carolina/election_2012_south_carolina_republican_primary

    January 17, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. willie floyd

    Can't understand why those supporting Romney don't press him to reveal his taxes before the vote on Sat. Once the votes are cast and if he is the winner, you can't take that vote back if you are disappointed in what you hear.????

    January 17, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Lolo

    He's the one who needs to drop out. He will never be President in his lifetime. All he does is just keep spreading lies about African-Americans which he knows nothing about. If truth be told due to the good old boy network that he enjoys being a member of this is how they want their base to see black people and they are eating it up. Their party is nothing but the KKK undercover and I for one am sick of their loose lips. They will never get my vote. It will be a cold day in you know where.

    January 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Holly

    Unbelievable!!! Gingrich's ego is way too big. Why would Santorum even think about dropping out when he's tied with Gingrich in the latest national poll, and when the evangelical leaders are backing Santorum.

    I want Santorum to stay in. It's better for Romney :-)

    January 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Hillbilly

    It appears only Gingrich bashers have posted on this, you people are pathetic drinkin all that hater aid recall that Gingrich was leading and had around 45% of the vote before the Romney, Perry, Paul Millions spent against him in negative lying attack ads other wise it would all be over right now, Paul is Crazy, Santorum is a dick, Perry is an idiot and Romney is a fake anmd I hope Newt Wins so you all can soak in your hatred, let he that is without sin cast the first stone.... wow

    January 17, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Sonny

    Gingrich is running scared because Santorum is the real and not a phony, I liked Bachmann better then all of them so stay in there Santorum!

    January 17, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Wow Really

    Better yet, how about you stop delaying the eventuality and coalesce behind Romney (no chance they'll get behind Paul) so that we can have a real showdown between Romney and Paul. No offense Hillbilly, but Gingrich is an amoral, baggage-ridden, corrupt and angry husk of a man. Not a fan of any of the GOP lineup, but it's obvious this is coming down to Romney v Paul at the moment.

    January 17, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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