Gingrich reveals discussions with rivals, their 'agreement'
March 30th, 2012
09:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich reveals discussions with rivals, their 'agreement'

Green Bay, Wisconsin (CNN) – One day after it was revealed that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney recently held a "secret" meeting, the former House speaker publicly divulged the "essence" of private conversations he's had with Romney and Rick Santorum.

On Friday, Gingrich did not specifically answer what he and Romney discussed in a private meeting last weekend in Louisiana. Instead, Gingrich told reporters at his Green Bay, Wisconsin, headquarters that he, Romney and Santorum have chatted and have made a broad political agreement.

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"We talked about lots of things," Gingrich responded when CNN asked directly about Gingrich-Romney meeting.

"Look, I talked - in the last two weeks - with Santorum at length. I talked with Romney at length. The three of us have a general agreement: we want to beat Barack Obama."

Gingrich continued: "If Santorum is the nominee I will support him and Romney will support him. If Romney is the nominee, Santorum and I will support him. If I end up being the nominee, both Romney and Santorum will support me. The fact is that we are committed to defeating Barack Obama and we've known each other a long time. And we want to make sure that however this thing comes out in the end that the Republican nominee defeats Barack Obama."

"That's the essence of the conversations we've had," the candidate continued.

News of the Gingrich-Romney get together, previously shrouded in secrecy, was first reported by the Washington Times. Since it's revelation, Gingrich had been mostly mum about even having the meeting - and what the two Republican presidential candidates discussed.

For example, CNN pressed the former House speaker during a plane ride to Milwaukee, Wisconsin hours after the story emerged.

"No comment," Gingrich repeatedly responded.

Just a day later, Gingrich was ready to talk.

After his comments at his Green Bay headquarters, Gingrich spoke to a small crowd at a restaurant across from Lambeau Field - the famous Packers playground. The candidate again alluded to the "agreement" between himself and his rivals.

"[Romney] may eventually get to 1,144 delegates. If he does, I will support him just as I would support Rick Santorum because defeating Barack Obama has to be our number one goal," Gingrich said.

"By the same token, I am convinced that if Mitt [Romney] does not get to 1,144 and we end up having a situation where we have an open convention and I end up being the nominee, I know that Mitt would then support me as Rick Santorum would. Or if Santorum became the nominee, we'd support him."

Romney has also spoken about conversations with Gingrich.

During a radio interview with conservative host Sean Hannity, the former Massachusetts governor said: "You know Sean, we're pretty much in regular communication between the two campaigns. There's nothing new, nothing really exciting other than we keep a friendly discourse open in part because we're all on the same team. We all do want to see Barack Obama leave the White House as soon as possible."

Both men are vying for support ahead of the Wisconsin contest on Tuesday. Though Gingrich badly trails Romney in a fresh poll, the former House speaker still attempted to rally supporters towards helping him achieve a respectable showing.

Much of it involved apparent pandering to Wisconsinites over one of their greatest loves: their 13-time Super Bowl champion Packers team.

"I wanted to come here partially because, how could you come to Wisconsin and not come right across the street from Lambeau [Field]," Gingrich told the crowd at Kroll's West Restaurant.

"And I wanted to come here and say to the people of "Titletown, U.S.A." that we ought to think of America in exactly the same competitive way. We ought to decide that America is going to roll up its sleeves and compete everywhere. We ought to have the same drive to excellence for the whole country – that it is doable, it is possible and that with your help, next Tuesday, which Callista [Gingrich] and I will be very grateful for, we will do better in the primary than the news media expects."

Also see:

Kerry rallies democratic supporters by warning of 'swift boat' redux

Romney, Gingrich held private meeting

Bush asks about son's endorsement

RNC reserves vital cash for eventual GOP nominee


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Donkey Party

    Notice how none of the GOP candidates uses the word "President" in front of Barack Obama's name? This type of disrespect, and constant efforts to try and de-legitimize President Obama will certainly take it's toll at the general election. And by taking it's toll, I mean moderates, Independents, minorities, and most importantly, women, will recognize the anti-American, anti-middle class, anti-minority, anti-women stance the GOP has taken, and NEVER vote for them again, hastening the GOP's trip to extinction.

    March 31, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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