Santorum ally calls for Gingrich exit
March 7th, 2012
11:14 AM ET
3 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. lucinda

    Too all Fellow America Stop Listing to all the old same song and dace plus broken promises;If Newt Gingrich: was to drop out and join forces with rick and rick adopt newt as vice president it would be a real power team going to Washington to keep our freedom and sending a Strong message across Washington & across the sea from the People of the united state of American that we put our choice of men to represent all fellow Americans that cut/cap clean up the white house. these to men would be very powerful.. in my person opion..

    March 7, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. mark worrell

    Gingrich is a hypocrite. If Santorem should have gotten out in January then Gingrich should get out twice as fast now. He still has no morals or ethics, and this proves it.

    March 7, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. independent one

    Santorum has a point, if gingrich would quit he could handily beat romney.

    March 7, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    SuperD wrote:

    Baloney over Obama winning the election. Do you not realize he's got millions of voters with "Buyers Remorse"

    He's not getting those votes back. Once it's him and the Republican nominee, watch those polls swing big time.

    Yes, it's true some may have "Buyers Remorse" but they aren't CRAZY enough to give ANY of those clowns in YOUR party (with the exception of Ron Paul) a chance to break in the White House again. Make no mistake about that.

    March 7, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. RINO Bil

    Of course little Ricky wants all of Newt's delegates too, but is too shy to ask.

    March 7, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Diana

    Good bye adulterer.
    Good bye adulteress.

    March 7, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    kamila says:

    santorum, palin or gingrich– no good folkS. Don't make one more mistake. Elect Romini.

    Now that you mention it Kamila – Romney's name does sound like it belongs on a box of pasta and not the Oval Office. At least learn to spell your candidate's name before you TRY and bash our intelligent president.

    March 7, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. logicnLA

    This is a funny call for a man with only a few more delegates and who could not win the Catholic vote inOhio! Newts strategy has been to pin point certian states and rgith now he is 2 for 2. Santorum can't say that.

    March 7, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Miranda

    I doubt he will use much resources in the south. I also doubt he will take the persona of "son of the south." He is too smart for that. The people who support him are reasonable not to mention we all have the right to vote for who resonates best with us. I think its wrong of you to close your mind so much "woman of California" and believe your choice is best. I am sure if you shared your candidate we would all find fault in him. What's laughable is your close mindedness and the fact you are trying to make a point with no substance. Bless

    March 7, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Heck with Gingrich dropping out, I think OBAMA should drop out! He's been in office for FOUR YEARS and we STILL have record unemployment. This fool would have been shown the door years ago if he was working for a business. Fired for lack of job performance. Only in America, where the LSM spins Obama's failures into success can somebody with a four year record of failure run for another 4 years of failure. Yes, America, you are being asked to double down on Hope & Change, double down on FOUR YEARS of FAILURE. Do you think the country can withstand four more years of Obama failure???

    March 7, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Martin

    Why would they be calling for Newt to drop out, but not calling for Ron Paul to drop out ?

    March 7, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. chucky1169469

    The batttle has not even started. So be patient and watch how Obama will NOT be able to run from his record and the facts. He will NOT be able to hide behind a billion dollars worth of smoke and mirrors.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Well, it depends on the record you think are fact, the gop facts or the real world facts. and I'm willing to bet more Americans are in tune with the real world facts

    March 7, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. gayle

    Neither Newt nor Rick can win; Evangelical Christians vote for these men because they would rather lose than vote for a Mormon. Evangelicals should remember that living a Christ-like life does not include religious bigotry.

    March 7, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. tcaros

    Romney is a flip flop. He forgot what he said 5 minutes ago.

    March 7, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Nija

    all of them should exit the race.

    March 7, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. A not-so-stupid former republican

    I don't know why anyone would think Sanctorum is electable after alienating the majority of women voters. This holier-than-thou religious idiot should just shut up.

    March 7, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. fugislalcla

    Mitt is really his father George.He is at heart to the left of the President.If he won the nomination and the general he would govern like that and run as an independent in 2016.

    March 7, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

    The longer Newt bashes Romney, the more soundbites that the President will have. During the campaign, there will be so much juicy material from Paul, Santorum and Gingrich so that all the President's negative ads can feature these Republicans. Then the President can run ads featuring a positive message while the three clowns will make Mitt into hamburger. Quite Brilliant!

    March 7, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. sbssue1

    I think it is time Santorum got off his HIGH HORSE and get out of the race. I am tired of him telling us how many kids to have and how. This is not the belief of the Catholics as he preaches. He's a little off the wall in any case. Run Rick run to the nearest Exit. We all have our religious beliefs and if Romney is Mormon, so what? I don't care what people practice as long as they are well able to lead and get us out of this most horrible mess we are in. Newt keep Santorum off Romney's back.

    March 7, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Peikoviany

    The problem was that Gingrich hoped to remind people of President Reagan and Middle America, but Santorum hopes to remind people of Riagáin, a little Celtic king, and the Middle Ages. At this point only Romney can compete in the general election, unless his own party damages him, and even then it's a tough November. Ron Paul has the qualities to be a good hermit and lighthouse keeper.

    March 7, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  21. interested 48

    I'll second that!

    March 7, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. Jt_flyer

    I think it's important that old newt stays right where he is. I like the fact that he's stealing the lime light and momentum of the other candidates. He's making Obama look better and that's a good thing. Thanks newt.

    March 7, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Please.....

    You quit....no you quit.....no I really mean it, you need to quit. GAWD! They all need to quit and go home.

    March 7, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. opinion8it

    as was understood months ago – Romney will win the nomination and then lose to Obama in the general election..... yaaawwwnnn....

    March 7, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. Birdwatcher1

    I kind of doubt he'll be a son of the south after his big celebration and win in MA. The south doesn't like him much. Plus, he is a mormon, and that is likely a negative in the south.

    March 7, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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