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.
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I hear that Newt is asking for $50. for the powder room – apologies to Audrey Hepburn.
We are tired to see ur face on the news talking trash, Newt. Go away u make me sick every time I see u, moron
“…can best beat Barack Obama…” Not, who would be a better president or even a passable president. But then again none of the current crop of candidates could hope to achieve either.
Whether he stays or goes, the entire world is watching this election. They see the stupidity of Mittens, Santorum, and Newt and they are laughing. Everyone including the rethugs knows that President Obama is the best and not one of those idiots can hold a candle to him. Tea baggers came in and attempted to block the POTUS, but still he managed to accomplish things. The economy is coming back and more people are working again. I think all they accomplished was their party becoming a political pariah.
Sarcasm – Tor5's post if full of it.
Newt is still miffed about having to get out of Air Force 1 by the back door, and being engineered out of office by his old rival Tom DeLay. Therefore, he is going to stick around long enough to be a thorn in everyone's sides. If he thinks he has a chance for the nomination if Mitt is within 100 delegates of the magic number, he is seriously delusional and needs to share the drugs he is taking with the rest of us.
Not one is interested in moving this great nation forward. Not one talks about what they would differently from the current President to foster a more vibrant USA. Not one talks about how he would restore the American dream for all Ameicans! No, all they talk about is winning agains the current President. If you vote republican, you are middle class, you qualify as being out right stupid!
Lie Lie Lie
Question: Can you be a Muslim AND a Communist? Only the tighty-righties way, wayyyy out in right field need reply.
To Newt: Why don't you quit the race FIRST and negotiate the terms of your decamping LATER. Either way you'll get the same results: tthe voters just don't care whether you rise or dive.
Gingrich is so delusional. Him and Ron Paul both have no grasp on reality, because if they did, they would have bowed out by now. If there's a contested election, the only person who would have a shot is Santorum, and even he would likely lose out to Romney. Besides, there's no chance of a contested election anyway.
"Please go and for good. let Romney do what he knows best; Create jobs and lead with dignity and honesty."
LOL! There is no "dignity" in being a good vampire capitalist who destroys rather than creates jobs. Try some new lies, ya Rmoney groupie.
So if Gov. Romney is found to be more electable than Spkr. Gingrich by primary voters, and per Gingrich Romney is weak, then logically he is admitting that he is less electable than Romney. For once I agree with him.
Too funny! I love your sarcasm :)
OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!
Newtsie: "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?"
This would be worth considering if the GOP actually had something to offer our country other than lies, fear, hatred and division – along with no accomplishments to speak of and economic, military and foreign policies that are all PROVEN FAILURES.
If the Repubs truly loved their country, they'd get out of the way.
Anyone who thinks that Mittens is honest or has dignity, is actively in denial. The man made his millions by breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and shipping American jobs overseas.
He switches positions on important issues – CORE issues, like a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body – like most people change their undies.
There is no honesty or integrity there; just greed and a desire to be the first Mormon president so he goes to the front of the line to get his own planet (look it up; Mormons believe that's what happens to men who are good Mormons after they die). And Mittens has proven time and again he's willing to say and do anything to get elected – and be the best Repub puppet since GW.
"Gingrich: To orally spew Santorum causing people to Romney"
This would make a great bumper sticker!
@ Dominican mama. Can you be a bully and a wimp too? More rethug rhetoric. This POTUS has had more lies told on him than any other in history.
Hope they all go till the convention. Then will see what they'll give and sell for votes.