Las Vegas (CNN) - One of Mitt Romney's leading backers in Congress is publicly calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out of the presidential race.
Nevada Rep. Joe Heck, who has been closely allied with Romney since his 2008 presidential bid, said the results of Saturday's Nevada caucuses - likely a blowout win for Romney - should be a wake-up call for Gingrich.
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"I hope he takes the message that it's time to withdraw gracefully and not continue to divide the party," Heck told reporters in Las Vegas, shortly before the first round of caucus results were announced.
While Romney's campaign and his network of supporters have voiced concerns about Gingrich's threat to remain in the race for the long haul, there has not yet been a chorus of Republican leaders publicly asking him to drop out.
Heck, though, said bluntly that it's time for Gingrich to leave the race.
"The message we heard at our caucus, and what I have heard from other people at other caucuses, was that while people stood up to talk about who their preferred candidate was, they also talked about the need come together and unite behind the nominee to increase our probabilities of success," Heck said. "I hope that the Speaker takes that to heart."
He was not as insistent, however, when asked if Ron Paul should also bow out for the good of the party.
Paul should quit when it becomes apparent that there is "enough critical mass in terms of delegates," he said, probably sometime after Super Tuesday.
I think they should all drop out...There isn't a suitable candidate among them. They are all only concerned about how this position will change their lives.....they have NO concern for the citizens of this country. They mostly want to take away what has worked for years and have no clue as to what they can successfully offer for the loss'They talk in platitudes, defame each other and generally just waste time rambling.. AND THEY DON'T CARE!!! Actually having been through this several times..before... they are re-runs,......they are yesterdays news!!!!
I think they should ALL stay in the race til the end. I enjoy watching the GOP eat themselves.
Gingrich should drop out. Romney should join him.
Ron Paul 2012
Gingrich should stay in and so should Santorum. They have only been to 4 states and tonight is the 5th. A lot could happen in other states. Romney is his own worst enemy and the People need to see for themselves what an elitist clueless non-leader he is. He is not making "mistakes" in his speeches. He is telling you he really does not care about the poor or Hispanics or anyone not white and rich. The President has to credibly represent ALL Americans. Not one Republican is capable of that due to their prejudices, corporate owners they bow to, and industries who control them. President Obama is not owned by anyone because most of his money comes from the PEOPLE. He is the People's President and has worked hard for ALL of us despite constant Republican hate, slander, and obstruction of every bill to help us with jobs, infrastructure, education, housing, and healthcare. President Obama is a real leader with real principles that do not change from day to day. One choice – President Obama and a full Democratic Congress for the recovery of our nation for ALL People.
Rep. Joe Heck, need to resign past one year didn’t do nothing and getting pay on tax payer’s money
newt ego wont let him....
I'm not republican but the only one that would have a chance against Obama is Romney. Just saying.
Newt is sad to watch. His campaign is becoming a joke. His staff is a joke (R.C. Hammond). Go home.
Ron Paul seems to be the only one who cares about individuals, their rights and not going to war all the time like the other war mongers of the GOP, but he's not doing well in this field of clowns. Here's hoping he does a 3rd party run!
I think they should all drop out...Gop/Great Obstructionist Party/Tea Party of DO Nothing, OFFER Nothing, and most of all KNOW nothing is going, going GONE. Obama 2012!
There is no republican candidate who could carry Obama's jock strap. They are all light weights who have learned to talk like a middle school bully, but are chicken hawks in reality.
After 6 years of running for president and spending millions to develop a ground game in Nevada, Mittens is getting 43% of the 10% of the republican voters who showed up at caucus. He is not much of a businessman.