March 27th, 2012
01:36 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich reiterates potential dropout date, with a condition

Annapolis, Maryland (CNN) – On Tuesday, Newt Gingrich reiterated a date when he might potentially drop out of the presidential race. But the candidate's stance came with one major condition.

Romney has to clinch.

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"Gov. Romney is the frontrunner but is a long way from a majority," the Republican presidential candidate said during a news conference at Maryland's capitol building in Annapolis. "If [Romney] does get, by the time Utah votes on the 26th of June, if he gets a majority, obviously I will support him and will be delighted to do anything I can to help defeat Barack Obama."

But in his next breath, Gingrich reiterated what he's long said: he's in for the long haul, should Romney fall short of the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination by the Utah primary – the last contest of this cycle.

"If however we get to June 26 and Gov. Romney does not have a majority, I think you'll then have one of the most interesting, open conventions in American history," Gingrich said.

"It'll be a 60-day dialogue on television, radio the internet all the way up to Tampa. And the question will be asked: who can best beat Barack Obama? And at that point I think most Republicans agree that I would probably do a better job debating Obama than any other candidate. And I think it becomes a very viable, very lively campaign."

The former House speaker's words echoed comments he made just one day earlier in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"Everyone seems to agree that getting to the magic 1,144 for you right now before the convention isn't possible, do you agree with that?" anchor Wolf Blitzer asked the candidate.

After acknowledging Romney's front-runner status, Gingrich added: "He's the weakest front runner in modern times. If he can get to 1,144, he's the nominee. But if he can't get to 1,144, on 26th of June, it will be a wide open primary at that point if Romney can't clinch it."

Gingrich badly trails Romney in two areas that matter in the march to the nomination: delegates and cash.

By CNN's estimates, Gingrich holds 136 delegates to 569 for the former Massachusetts governor. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has 262 delegates.

In terms of cash, Romney raised $12 million in February, according to financial disclosure forms, versus Gingrich, who raised $2.6 million last month. And while Romney's campaign reported no outstanding debt, Gingrich's campaign held the largest debt for any GOP presidential effort, owing a total $1.5 million.

On Tuesday, Gingrich acknowledged his campaign is cash strapped. For example, the campaign has started charging supporters $50 to take a picture with Gingrich.

"The money is very tight, obviously. That's why we're trying to raise more money," the candidate said.

A reporter asked: does he have the money to keep going?

"Yes. I have the money to keep going," Gingrich responded.

"Clearly we're going to have to go on a fairly tight budget to get from here to Tampa. But I think we can do it. And I think we will do it. And it's going to take a lot of work on our part. But we have a lot of supporters who want us to do that."

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Also see:

Palin congratulates Santorum over 'bulls-' remark

Gingrich campaign charges $50 for photos

Paul: Don't count me out

Romney not worried about Sanoturm, labels Russia No. 1 'foe'


Filed under: 2012 • Maryland • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Evangenital

    Good. God creates them and then unite them. The NuTz Club.

    March 27, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Would you give Newt Gingrich fifty bucks?

    March 27, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Lee

    That pretty much sums up the GOP field. Gingrich has been telling us for months what a mistake Romney would be...but if Romney is the candidate, all that matters is defeating Obama. Not jobs, not health care, not the economy. Get Obama out and we'll eventually getting around to having ideas about other things too. Maybe.

    March 27, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Wake up people

    Oh Newtster, you are so delusional. So what you can debate with the POTUS, you should be able to, considering you were SOH for years. But that means nothing. The American people don't want an adulterer like you representing them. No one wants you, not even the racist south. But keep going Newt, I am so enjoying this. There is no way on earth you could ever beat President Obama in anything.

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 27, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Jeff in San Diego

    Gingrich would loose in a landslide against BO. He is the least likable candidate by far.

    March 27, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Anything else, Newt?

    March 27, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Doug in NYC

    If Grigrich is so samrt why doesn't he realize he's a loser?

    Gingrich: To orally spew Santorum causing people to Romney

    March 27, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Peace

    This goes to show that Newt is hanging on for a revenge and nothing more. He knows it, we know it and Romney might know it. This is going to hurt Romney more than Newt when he was attacked unfairly at the beginning in Iowa.

    March 27, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. knowndoyen

    "After acknowledging Romney's front-runner status, Gingrich added: He's the weakest front runner in modern times." I know Gingrich acknowledged the fact that Romney is the front-runner but I don't think he understands what that means. Someone needs to explain to Gingrich that Romney has won and the majority of the Republican voters have chosen Romney over him. Also based on Gingrich's statement, "Romney is the weakest front runner in modern times". That would make Gingrich the weakest Republican Presidential candidates of all times. Gingrich just need to grow a pair and do the right thing and get out.

    March 27, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Newt isn't running for the nomination anymore. He's running for attention to him, his book and his wife. People need to stop encouraging this nonsense by not contributing.

    March 27, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. comeon

    So... when he has been eliminated, he will drop out? Newt, you don't have a chance. Go away. Forever. Please.

    March 27, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. jukutrgf

    gingrich can win.

    March 27, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. tor5

    I think we all have to recognize that Newt Gingrich is the smartest human being and best politician at least since biblical times. He is a superior debater to Romney, Obama, and Socrates combined. I myself could never fathom that such a brilliant savior for America could emerge just when we need him most. Thank you, Newt! We love you!

    March 27, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. ED FL

    I wouldn't pay 2 cents for a picture of Newt unless it was formed on a roll for the toilet paper roll adapter.

    March 27, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. Kenny K

    tor5:

    Because someone know how to talk does not mean the person no how to debate.

    March 27, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Unconditional !

    Newt your best bet is on dancing with the stars .

    March 27, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Emily

    The only thing big about this man is his ego...he can't fathom the idea that people don't see him as the savior of America. He makes me want to stick him with a pin and see if he deflates like a balloon full of hot air. He's just so full of self-importance.

    March 27, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Zak

    I wish the politicians would put away their childrens toys and start concentrate on fixing things. Instead of drafting up laws that have to be reviewed by the supreme court and costing the tax payers all the more.

    March 27, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. ja

    newt thinks highly of himself, the gop should have reigned in newt in at the onset, but rush approved of newt

    March 27, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Arun

    I guess the moron made enough money from the people donating to him. Hey $50 for a photo with the hypocrit. The party of values really isn't the Republican party. They just talk crap.

    March 27, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Romney is not My Hero

    Go away Gangrene! He would rather make a fool of himself in front of the WORLD instead of going home to Over-the-Hill Barbie and admit he's a LOSER. Just hang it up already – No more credit increases from Tiffany's for you.

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 27, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Sorensen

    The old "catholic" adulterer obviously does not realize, that nobody in the world gives a damn whether he is in or out.
    Except his geriatric barbie. And she probably does not care much any more.

    March 27, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Hal

    Looks like Nero Newt is getting tired or bored with waching the GOP campaign continue to go down in flames. Or is he trying not to look like a spoiler? Mitt-etch leads with delegate count so the deal is already "figuratively" closed.

    March 27, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Alexanders

    Newt. It is time for you and Santorum to just go at once. Please go and for good. let Romney do what he knows best; Create jobs and lead with dignity and honesty.

    March 27, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Ramesh Shrestha

    What this moron, who is distant third in the pack of four loonies, does not understand is it is not angry debates full of gaffe that helps you win, but substance in your message, your record, and how you resonate with the American people. No way for this king of infidelity.

    March 27, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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