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. GetReal

    It's time the Junior Senator from Pa to step aside and let the real leader of the conservative moment take on Mittins and our fine Pres BHO.

    We can't afford the dirty politics drive our agenda and lose focus on the solutions driven candidate.

    NEWT 2012 all the way to the WH

    Paid for by the sweat, tears and sacrifices of hard working and want to be working Americans.

    March 7, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Gingeritch is a selfish blovitard.

    March 7, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Daph1

    It's a wonder how people feel this subject is of extreme importance!

    March 7, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. roy

    Send Romney with him.

    March 7, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Jim Bob

    "red, white, and blue fund" Oh, please. How patriotic and holy. I can't stand Gingrinch, but I'm glad he's in there, further wrecking ANY GOP'ers chance at winning in November! HA!!

    March 7, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    I call for all the current GOP candidates to bow out in favor of.....somebody. That's it, a somebody, an unknown faceless somebody without a clue.

    A Jesse Ventura sort of a somebody, all brawn and few brains. A shot in the dark–darn, Sellers is dead. A random choice of any warm body over the age of 18. A retread, Creaky Carter, Gorgeous George (Sr.), Willie Boy.

    Auction off POTUS to the highest bidder (Warren B., Bill G., the Facebook noob, Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Trump, Richard Branson).

    March 7, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Irene Clark

    Santorum never should have been in this race. He does not have the experience; he misrepresents his experience, he doesn't appear stable. He is the one who should get out of the race and let real contenders carry on. He wins Iowa by1a5 votes and it's wonderful. Romney wins Ohio by thousands and Santorum would have you believe it was a sqeaker. Santorum lacks basic truthfulness. Nearly all his votes in Congress were LIBERAL, yet he's conned Conservatives into thinking he's conservative. Newt is by far the stronger, more conservative candidate. Santorum is a lose cannon and needs to Drop Out.

    March 7, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. steven harnack

    If this was a horse race all four of these guys would be on a truck to the glue factory.

    March 7, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. texino

    Ron Paul should do it first. Gingrich at least won Georgia.

    March 7, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Clyde Thompson

    If Gingrich is forced out, I have no choice but vote Democratic!

    March 7, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. CNNuthin

    Haha! Two months ago Gingrich could have gaven the same explanation why Santorum should drop out. Santorum is just "The flavor of the week" if anyone can remember that far back.

    March 7, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Thomas

    The GOP , you can't save your ass and your face at the same time !

    The Three Kings. Mormon , Catholic and Flavor of the month.

    March 7, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    "romney is to republicans as kerry is to democtrats"

    Wow, we agree for once. Mark that on the calendar!

    March 7, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. sanster89

    Gingrich doesn't have enough material for his book yet.

    March 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. GetReal

    BHO is not the King of USA. post my comments or talk to a lawyer.

    March 7, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Disgusted!

    I wish ALL the Republican Presidental Candidates would pull out Romney's a tax, jobs, and foregin policy disaster in the making while the rest are just plain crazy!

    March 7, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. TomGI

    Ok with me. Take that religious wacko with you.

    March 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. GetReal

    Waiting....... Posting????? My?????? Comments???????

    March 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Gabriel

    BTW just to show how crazy and ridiculous the GOP has become.. Joe the Plumber (yes that balding id10t) just won a Republican primary in an OH congressional district race!

    Serious! if we're not careful as a country I am quite sure ion the not so distant future the once great and mighty USA will relegate itself into a imbecilic parody and a joke of a nation.

    March 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Joe Sixpack

    Santorum calls for Gingrich exit. "Real Americans" call for Santorum exit.

    March 7, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Lucky18

    All gingrich is doing is taking votes away from Santorum, which only makes one believe, something fishy going on, like promises made under the table! No person in their right mind, would hold out for one state and think they have a chance!
    On the other hand, gingrich is not "right in the mind"!!!

    March 7, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. GetReal

    Bye Bye you losers.

    March 7, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. TomT

    Whoa not so fast there Ricky. This is fun. And just think of all the ad fodder the dems are collecting every week from you guys lolololol

    March 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Core republican Values

    Newt, don't listen to them. You are going to sweep the southern states coming up, then give such a powerful speech at the convention, that you are a shoe-in to be the nominee!!

    March 7, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Woman In California

    Watch Willard become a "son of the south". He will suddenly have spent vacations in Alabama, hiked in Mississippi and grown wheat in Kansas. ANYTHING to get to the Whitehouse. The people who support him are laughable.

    March 7, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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