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.