Santorum ally calls for Gingrich exit
March 7th, 2012
11:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum ally calls for Gingrich exit

(CNN) – The super PAC which has spent millions in support of Rick Santorum came out Wednesday morning with a sharp admonition for Newt Gingrich: it's time to drop out.

"Based on his electoral performance last night and his out-of-step record, it is time for Newt Gingrich to exit the Republican nominating process," Stuart Roy, a Red, White, and Blue Fund advisor, said, adding that Gingrich's "campaign is an obvious non-starter."

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The group argued in a press release that Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, and Gingrich, former House speaker, are splitting the support of social conservatives.

"With Gingrich exiting the race it would be a true head-to-head race and conservatives would be able to make a choice between a consistent conservative in Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney," Roy said. "For instance, with Gingrich out of the race Santorum would have won both Ohio and Michigan.

"Newt has become a hindrance to a conservative alternative," he added.

This call is a turn of the tables upon Gingrich, who in January cited the same reason in arguing for the exit of Santorum and then-candidate Rick Perry. Perry, the Texas governor, did suspend his campaign ahead of the South Carolina primary, and endorsed Gingrich, who also has the backing of one-time candidate and businessman Herman Cain.

"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 told reporters in mid-January. "And I'd be delighted if either Perry or Santorum wanted to do that."

He said "any vote toward Perry or Santorum, in effect is a vote to allow Romney to become the nominee."

But Gingrich - who has won only in South Carolina and his home state of Georgia – trails Santorum in the delegate count. Santorum added three states to his belt Tuesday night, making a total of seven state wins.

Gingrich said in a Wednesday radio interview that he had not won his home state on Tuesday, "I'd have gotten out of the race this morning." But getting out, he said on "Bill Bennett's Morning in America," would not be wise because he is not convinced of Santorum's electability.

"If I thought he was a slam dunk to beat Romney and to beat Obama, I would really consider getting out," Gingrich added. "I think each of the three candidates has strengths and weaknesses and I think this is a very healthy."

Santorum adviser John Brabender said Tuesday night that Santorum "is the only candidate who can beat Mitt Romney," but stopped short of calling for Gingrich's exit.

"We're not gonna call on anyone to drop out but. . . we are calling on conservatives and tea party supporters to rally," he said.

On Wednesday morning, Santorum's press secretary, Alice Stewart, told CNN's Soledad O'Brien that Tuesday was a "tremendous victory for our campaign."

- CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Also see:

Palin votes for Gingrich

'Joe the Plumber' wins GOP primary in Ohio

In battle of incumbents, Kucinich loses House seat in Ohio

Palin on open convention: Anything is possible


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    If Newt was really aimed at taking down Wilard, he would drop out. He's taking the right wing conservative vote away from Ayatollah Santorum. If Newt wasn't in the race last night, I believe the Ayatollah would have won more delegates.

    March 7, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Mikey

    I was listening to Gingrich’s “victory” speech last night, where he discussed his $2.50 gas plan and realized he doesn’t know anything about how markets work. Consider:

    1. If we increase production, it is likely that other oil producing countries will reduce production to keep the prices high.
    2. If we increase production, the end result will be draining our oil reserves to feed China’s growing demand, making us more foreign oil dependent in the future.
    3. If there is a problem in the Straits of Hormuz, we will not be protected if our production meets our demand. Does he think that Exxon and Shell will sell oil to U.S. refineries at $70 per barrel if they can get $90 anywhere else in the world? It will still be our problem, too.
    4. If you look at the growing demand in Aisa, there is no way we can drill our way out of this problem. Conservation and alternatives to oil are the only real long-term solutions.

    Only two conclusions here, either Newt clueless or he is lying! The only way to achieve his $2.50 price would be to nationalize our oil reserves and perhaps the entire U.S. oil industry, too. Is that his plan?

    March 7, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Rita

    I don't believe Santorum is in any position to be telling Newt to drop out. He is so far behind himself. Romney is far ahead of the whole bunch. People need to rally behind Romney now.

    March 7, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Indy

    Mikey
    Newt is clueless and lying when it comes to worldwide gas prices and no President is going to have any effect on the worldwide market, been ther done that for fifty years and nothing ever changes. Having heard Newts victory speech I don't think he knows he only one his home state, because he sounded like his next stop was the Whitehouse. CLUELESS NEWT.

    March 7, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. PJ/TX

    I thought I heard somewhere that Mr. Adelson is keeping Gingrich in the race to take votes away from Santorum.
    When he knew Newt didn't have a chance, he now wants Romney. I can't stand any of them, but I really'
    hate that Citizen's United ruling.

    March 7, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Way to go newt!

    Newt once again demonstrates that he is passinately committed to the cause of Newt Gingrich and nothing else. The fact that Palin voted for him says it all.

    March 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Newt the Tool is only in now to assure Rmoney of victory. Chances are Karl Rove's check already cleared, or at least Newts credit limit was raised at Tiffany's.

    March 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    We wish Newt drop out , the two counties won by Romney Rich counties
    Out of 95 Rick Santorum won 91 counties , he got real American votes
    Anti Romney votes more than pro Romney votes

    March 7, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. diridi

    Even if these Two exit, this idiot with 3rd century ideology will not win, in fact none of the Republicans win this time. It is Obama to win with Landslide victory. Period. Because, Nation is on right track financially.

    March 7, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Blindersoff

    Rally behind Romney to spite your face. Romney is a coward and a chump. He know nothing about leadership or the world. Only claim to fame is successfully hiding his money to avoid taxes. Go ahead and vote against your interest, Rita!

    March 7, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Mikey

    @GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE
    *****************************************************
    I suspect his purpose for staying in the race is to protect Willard... or perhpas that is why his Las Vegas sugar daddy, Sheldon Adelson, is providing the $$ that keep him in the race. Adelson knows that with Newt's overblown ego, he will stay in the spotlight as long as he can afford it. It is more effective in helping Romney than giving the money to Mitt's PAC.

    March 7, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Mikey wrote:

    I was listening to Gingrich’s “victory” speech last night, where he discussed his $2.50 gas plan and realized he doesn’t know anything about how markets work. Consider:
    ------------
    I am certain that Mr. Gingrich knows exactly how markets work. He's counting on his flock not to know.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Gingrich isn't dropping out of this race before the Alabama and MIssissippi contests on Tuesday. We will see if they will be his watershed moment, or his Waterloo.

    March 7, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Tom

    It doesn't matter. None of these guys is going to beat Obama. And I'm not an Obama fan by any means.

    March 7, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Dave

    Does it really matter? Obama will mop the floor with any of these GOP idiots and that is a fact.

    March 7, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. REALLY?

    but I thought the fact that Sara Palin voted for him meant he was going to win....LOL

    March 7, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    MODERATOR REQUEST:
    Please remove the post below as it was NOT posted by me. Somebody is spoofing my account.
    Thanks

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    newt once was a smart logical coservative. after listening to him last night ramble on about $2.50/gallon gas, makes me question his sanity

    March 7, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Sleeplessnnc

    Blindersoff: NO ONE has said or claimed Romney didn't pay ALL taxes due. I don't recall the left screaming about JFK's wealth–WHICH HE DID NOT EARN–it literally was given to him. Romney was given nothing. He earned it all. He made a fortune. Why does that bother liberals so much when people are successful. Because they feel entitled to his money. They think because HE made it, he must GIVE it to the government so the government can re-distribute it.

    March 7, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Newt will wait until the results of the other southern primaries are in. The south is where he is strong but that only begs the question, what good is a regional candidate in a national election? He's shown he can't win anywhere else so it probably IS time for him to exit. It is also time for Ron Paul to exit as well. This is a national primary, not a Don Quixote opportunity.

    March 7, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Nobama

    Santorun not only lost Catholic vote. He lost his re-election six years ago.

    Only in a race dominated by lunatic GOP conservatives can Santorum have a life!!!

    GOP radicals are destroying GOP, and America!!

    March 7, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. edpeters101

    Newt has to stay, what would the comic strip Pearls before Swine do without him? Not to mention all the late night comedy shows!

    March 7, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. diridi

    does this moron bribe with some kind of cabinet rank portfolio?????

    March 7, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. B

    This will be Elmer Fudd’s only victory and then he can say forever,"Wasn’t I great".......... bah Bla Bla.........

    March 7, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Tam

    Pour water on all of them - they'll melt away. How did these inepts get this far?

    March 7, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. diridi

    thieves are sharing thievery....ha..nonsense.

    March 7, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. timeforchg

    And I call for Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul to all realize they are way behind Romney and stop their campaigns and back Romney, who clearly has the best chance of defeating Obama at this point. I don't see any of them catching up to Romney and defeating him. The time has come for them to support their party's best candidate and throw their support his way.

    March 7, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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