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. Mmoore

    It's easy to see why Newt's stellar performance in the debate last night has upset all the liberals on this thread. He's head ad shoulders above the rest, including the not-so-electable-afterall Romney.

    January 17, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. diridi

    All the Republican thugs need to do the same....o.k, They destroyed this nation....Tax-Code to be re-done...period.

    January 17, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Hillbilly – that doesn't say much for us that we can be swayed by negative ads that don't even have to be truthful, now does it?

    As far as hatred for Gingrich, I wouldn't go so far as to call it hatred, but have to say with certainty what goes around comes around. If I had to blame the toxic and divisive political atmosphere in this country on only one person, he would be my first choice. Inferring that liberals were satan, and that was the least of his offenses, during his reign of terror maybe wasn't such a good idea after all, no?

    January 17, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Reber

    Newt Gingrich is the most egomaniacal liar on earth. I cannot possibly fathom ho anyone could vote for that creep. Hillbilly, it is not a negative attack ad when you tell the truth. Are you refuting the claims against Gingrich?

    January 17, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. timz

    The Ego That Walks Like a Man trailed Santorum by a wide margin in Iowa and beat him by all of 49 votes in New Hampshire. Santorum would be a horrible choice for President, but Newt would be even worse. If only one of these losers is going to get out of the race, it should be Newt.

    January 17, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Darla

    HILLBILLY Listen to yourself. The language you use to describe the candidates and then in the next sentence give reference to a bible verse. he let he who is without sin cast the first stone. hmmmmmmmmm

    January 17, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. Tony

    HillbillyYou are right i hate everything Newt reminds me of what is wrong with our party. Newt is a SELL OUT! hE ALWAYS WAS HE ALWAYS WILL BE!

    January 17, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. brian in denver

    This is your basic "circular firing squad"

    January 17, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Bob Acker

    Newt is really a stitch. I think Rick Santorum should suggest that Newt and Rick Perry bow out, and that Rick Perry should suggest that Rick Santorum and Newt bow out.

    January 17, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. rami

    vote for perry. this nation needs someone who actually cares about us foriegners. unlike u rascist ass romney and gingrich and santorum. VOTE FOR PERRY.

    January 17, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Mesilane

    I am a Santorum supporter. After last night's debate, I had renewed interest in Gingrich.I changed my mind after I heard his statements today in regards to Santorum and Perry.And it is interesting that I did not hear him ask Paul to get out of the race. I agree that none of the GOP candidates are perfect. Each brings something to the game. But I am getting tired of the game. Gingrich's bulliness, arrogance, and big ego are not going to help him win the game. We are ready have an arrogant president with a big ego who preaches from a bully pulpit. If it comes down to Gingrich and Romney–I will hold my nose and vote for Romney.

    January 17, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. james

    How do these guys get away with such provocative headlines? He didn't urge them, as you just quoted him saying they should stay in as long as they want. But Gingrich is right. If they all remain in the race, Romney has a good chance to win.

    And if Romney wins, then guess what? The media and beltway republicans will start putting pressure on ALL OF THEM to drop out and coalesce behind Romney. Given that Gingrich leads in SC AND FL, the only sensible thing is to rally around the guy closest to Romney, not the guys in the back of the pack. Iowa already threw the wrench in the works the first time but crowning Santorum, who was at 1% the entire year.

    And instead of backing Gingrich who was in the top 3, they basically created a situation where conservative candidates were crowding out the race and paving the way for Romney. If South Carolinian conservatives have any sense and want to see this nomination battle continue WITH a conservative in the race, for heavan's sake, get behind Gingrich already. We can't keep dividing up our vote.

    Folks need to put pressure on Santorum and Perry to drop out of the race, because otherwise, they'll all be forced to drop out either before Florida or after. Come on, if you believe Romney is a huge mistake for the party, then put your damn ambitions aside Santorum and get behind the conservative front runner.

    January 17, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Jim Hagedorn

    The fact is that unless one or two of the non-Romney conservatives drops out, then Romney will continue to win with far less than 50% of the vote. The trends in South Carolina and Florida show Gingrich to be the strongest of the candidates. Santorum had a nice run in Iowa, but Iowa is a beauty contest. Santorum and Gingrich did not perform well in relatively liberal New Hampshire and effectively tied. Gingrich is far stronger in the South, especially states that border on Georgia. As a conservative, I believe Perry and probably Santorum have a duty to withdraw and help the conservative movement deny Romney a quick victory. Having a three man debate between Gingrich, Romney and Paul (who never gains or loses votes and is a non-factor in the long run) would enable Gingrich to zero in and destroy Romney on the issues and generally gain more air time to further impress voters that his ability to offer effective contrasts with President Obama and his liberal record is far superior to Romney.

    January 17, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. Mark O.

    Gingrich needs to lead by example and drop out of the race, followed by Paul, Perry, and Santorum. The former speaker and non-tenured college professor does not represent conservative or traditional American values. He is also morally disgusting. Paul well he is a grumpy old man and needs to enjoy his grand kids. Perry well his time has passed for this election cycle and needs to go back to Texas to prepare for 2016. Santorum well he is almost a clone of Perry who has not realized all good things must come to an end.

    January 17, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  15. packerfans

    Of Course Newt support President Omaha in privately?? He told gays go vote President Omaha istead Reps. He is lair person. Don't Vote him peroid. Vote foe Mitt Romney can restored America.

    January 17, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    The Newtster is many things, a self proclaimed historian (really?!?), the self proclaimed savor of the rethuglican party, the only one in the world who can save our country (just ask him). One giant thing he is not, Presidential material. And of course he like the rest of these candidates believe that tax cuts will turn the country around. We've tried that plan already, eight years of it and it sure didn't work, in fact it's exactly what got us into this mess. By the way, has anyone ever seen a road built or fixed by tax cuts? has anyone ever seen a bridge built or fixed by tax cuts? In fact, has anyone ever seen a single pot hole fixed by tax cuts? Get real people.

    January 17, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. florin

    gingrich is a good debater, no doubt about that but he is a horrendous human being. He truly, truly believes he is 'newt the magnificent' and that he is indispensable to mankind. He just does not seem to see his real self – he said that rules are for little people which is probably why he didn't bother to register in Virginia and is whining because he can't get on the ballot. He is not a conservative – he has no core values or principles except to whatever brings him fame and fortune. He sees no hypocrisy in his going after Clinton for having an affair with an intern while he himself was doing the same thing – for 6 years!!! now newt and callista, his current wife/former mistress want to sit in the White House and rule from a royal throne...not going to happen. Newt vomits ideas non stop – some are good, some are bad and some are just bizarre. He is vicious and vengeful if anyone dares to get in his way, not caring who or what gets destroyed along the way...he said the mathematically he is the nominee – does he even bother to read the polls??? He is way behind Romney in every poll and equal to Santorum...

    January 17, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. jada Ward

    Why dont Newt drop out and get behind Santorum or Perry,? Sonny I like Bachmann the best too she ts a great lady..

    January 17, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Glenn Koons, LB, Ca.

    Perhaps both Mitt and Rick S would run a fine campaign to defeat Bama. But, in these primaries, if one looks for a conserv to attack the welfare mentality, the anti-free enterprise ideas , the anti-military view of most Dem leaders, the horror of green and Fast scandals, the inanity of no use of our huge domestic energy resources, and the frank un-Const. respect that Bama preaches and acts upon, we need a real lion or tiger to stop this Socialist in Chief. That is the snit producer Newt. He will blast Obama, tell the uninformed the truths of how absurd liberalism is for America and how in 3 years plus, this Chicago thug has undermined our American heritage, history and values. That is the person who will have to run against this slick con man in the WH today.The two Ricks, fine men both, should get out so Newt at least can give voters a conserv choice. And when one sees San Fran Nan wanting Mitt to face, this is even more evident.

    January 17, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. petena

    Newt is an arrogant racist ego starved politician. Let him stay. the longer he stays, the more dirt gets thrown and becomes ammunition fo Obama. Obama, my president for 2012. YES!

    January 17, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. xxixpines

    to utilize Newts own words...
    When will he himself knock of the pious baloney

    January 17, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. Erick

    They all need to drop out and let Ron Paul handle it

    January 17, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. Good stuff

    Gingrich is delusional! Santorum has done better in both of the early contests. Maybe Newt should drop out.

    January 17, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Terry Holcomb

    You can all say what you want to of course but Newt is 100% correct in hiss assessment of the situation. If both Perry and Santorum were to drop out, Newt would win South Carolina easily. In fact if Perry and Newt were to drop out then Santorum would win SC easily. Perry?? Not likely.

    January 17, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Joyce

    I have been an Obama supporter but if GOP puts up a better man I would vote for him. However let me assure you I would NOT vote for Gingrich under any circumstance. He is has no morals, is arrogant and full of himself. Why should Santorum back out....he is doing better than Newt. Gingrich needs to go off to the hills and live with his plastic wife until he decides to divorce her!

    January 17, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
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