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. Chris

    Gingrich is a tool. How can anyone begin to consider voting for any of these canidates. They all are status quo warmongers. Ron Paul is the only choice that doesnt support more economy crippling war.

    January 17, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. T'sah From Virginia

    OMG – Who in the hell is ginGRINCH???? He is sooooooooo arrogant and NASTY to the point he truly believes it works!!! He better get out because he is NOT going anywhere. His urge to get in the ring with President Obama is so overwhelming to him, he really believes people LIKE him enough to put him there!!

    ►Gingrich urges Santorum, Perry to drop out
    Just because he believes he would begin his bout
    of beating MITTens so he will be the nominee
    It's OT going to work – you all will be done after SC

    Then MITens will LOSE against President Obama!! Period!

    January 17, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Hair bear

    Time for Newt to go home! His mouth has gotten him in trouble ! His true colors are coming to surface! I'm ashamed South Carolina has embraced such hate!

    January 17, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. RonPaulNow

    Actually, I think that they should all drop and support Ron Paul

    January 17, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. tc

    i urge newt the newt to drop out.

    January 17, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. RN

    Newt Gingrich (who is proving himself to be the GRINCH of the GOP) needs to step down! He has so much personal baggage that he is NOT electable. If he becomes the nominee, all we'll end up with is 4 more years of a recession under Obama. He is the epitome of a politician who puts his self-interest over his party and the good of the country (or for that matter his family - look at how he has lived his personal life). He does NOT deserve to be the Republican nominee and does NOT deserve to be President. VICTORY FOR MITT ROMNEY!

    January 17, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. GOPNYC

    Wait...Newt has LOST both of the two previous primaries and fallen behind ALL of the people he wants to leave. HE should be stepping out.

    January 17, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  8. Alfredo Fla.

    This guy is done.... lol I guess we can start saying goodbye to the tea party

    January 17, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Ron

    So lets see.......Newt like Clinton the other Adulterer/LIAR.....can out talk people. Remember Clinton when Ken Starr questioned him about lying about having sex with Monica Lewinsky? Clinton as a lifelong professional LIAR...calmly said he did not consider Oral Sex to be Sex. "It depends upon your definition of the word "IS"
    Newt is cut from the same cloth. He IS a SERIAL ADULTERER meaning he LIED repeatedly over and over to his OWN WIFE through TWO marraiges. Husband who do this are professionals at LYING. They can sell Snow to an Eskimo they even convince themselves. That is why they can debate so well. Remember Clinton went to Oxford and was on the Debate team. On a Debate team you do not know which side of the argument you are on until right before the Debate starts. Newt can argue FOR Capitalism.....like last night.....and AGAINST it like he has done with BAIN Capital.
    Newt is a LIAR. He cannot be trusted.

    January 17, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Name The NEW SOUTH

    Sounds like somebody who grew up in Tiger Ridge Georgia, OBAMA has another Term to serve so (get errrr donnnnne!!!)

    January 17, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Mary

    LOL. Gingrich is so arrogant. How do you ask the guy who's beaten you in the last two primaries to drop out of the race?

    January 17, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Ron

    Being President is not about one's DEBATING skills. Heck what is he going to do....suggest that he and the President of Iran meet for 5 Debates....Winner take all?
    Our Economy is on the BRINK of Disaster....we are $16 Trillion in Debt and counting.....we have only ONE candidate who has ever really run a business....Mitt Romney....and he is about as expert as anyone in America at FIXING and Turning Around failing enterprises. We Need Mitt Romney not the world's best debater.

    January 17, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. vanesa

    can please someone explain this to me. ? i have to do a homework and i dont understand clearly.

    January 17, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. The Unsub

    Romney=snobby
    Santorum=racist
    Gingrich=pompous
    Perry=shallow
    Paul=irrational

    January 17, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. Uomo Del Ghiaccio

    How could anyone vote for a candidate with an organization too weak to comply with ballot access requirements in Virginia?

    January 17, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, ye apostates who have not recognized the devine eminence that is Newt Gingrich! Bow down your heads in shame that you have not annointed him to lead you into battle this Fall! Only an unyielding Conservative (unless he can get his name in the news again by working publicly with another prominent Liberal) like Newt could ever hope to be your standard bearer. Oh, ye who will not listen to the guy who is smarter than all of you and never stops reminding you of the fact! Soon you will have to realize that his string of 5th and 6th place finishes makes him more qualified to be President than any of you! Then see who gets off the front of the plane on AF1 and who has to take the back exit!!!

    January 17, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. Liz the First

    All these bozos should drop out and leave us alone. Obama is doing a great job in the face of overwhelmingly mindless opposition to every good thing he's trying to do. if the American people are dumb enough to elect any of these clowns over the decent, capable, caring president we have now, they deserve the disaster they'll bring down on us. we will be a 3rd world country with robber barons and desperately poor with no one in between. we'll have no clean air or water, buying food and other products will be playing russian roulette because all consumer protections will be gone. health care will be for the rich and the rest of us can just go die. Obama needs to spell out exactly what the rethug vision of America is, and it's not pretty.

    January 17, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. Yoshiyahu

    How insulting to both Rick Santorum & Rick Perry for The Newt to think he is somehow a better alternative than the other candidates! At least Santorum didn't stoop to the level of attacking free enterprise!

    January 17, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    I'm sure they're both listening to you, Newtsie ....

    January 17, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    @Hillbilly: "negative lying attack ads" Do a little research and you'll see that it's ALL TRUE. Gingrich is a slime bucket in a suit.

    January 17, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  21. Rob

    All 3 are not even on all the ballots.. Only reason Gingrich is doing so well is because he's spent the most.. It's a 2 man race between Dr Paul and Romney/Obama..

    January 17, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. Rosario

    The worse of all the candidates, a corru pt politician who took money from Freddie Mac using his position in the government. Gingrich should be in JAil.

    January 17, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  23. Ambrose Smith

    Newt: "Santorum, Perry! Step down!" Santorum: "No! Newt, Perry step down!" Perry: "No way! Santorum, Newt ! Step down!" Obama: "You can all stay in. The circular firing squad is helping me out! Thanks boys!"

    January 17, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. Nothing new here

    Ron Paul!!

    January 17, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  25. insight

    I think what is missing is that Gingrich is saying he would beat Obama based on the polls. but realistically since Clinton vs Bush every dull politician that has run in the general election has lost. Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain offered no enthusiasm for people to got out and work to win them election. Romney and Santorum are dull. This will give Obama the edge. We sadly live in an age where Abraham Lincoln would not make it to a general election. Newt has baggage but its all known, and he has a record of reform in Dynamic ways.

    January 17, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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