Concord, North Carolina (CNN) – Besieged by questions over his future in the presidential race, Newt Gingrich vowed to forge ahead on Tuesday night.
And yet Gingrich’s own words are sure to be interpreted, by many, as clues to what’s close at hand.
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Speaking to supporters in Concord, near Charlotte, the Republican presidential candidate repeatedly mentioned how he could be effective as a “citizen.” He also sharpened his goals for going to this summer’s Republican National Convention and promised to make upcoming, scheduled appearances in North Carolina. But did not commit to anything further.
Gingrich’s comments came as presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney swept all five of Tuesday’s Republican primaries.
Before those wins, Gingrich’s campaign signaled that the candidate would reassess his standing after the primary results.
He spoke to reporters earlier Tuesday after touring the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, but Gingrich refused to take questions later in the day. The former House Speaker said he would formally engage reporters at the Concord event.
He did not.
“You said earlier you would take questions from the press,” CNN asked Gingrich.
“I know, but I decided the results were clear enough I think I gave you your answer,” the candidate responded.
In the Concord speech itself, Gingrich echoed the sentiment about a period of reassessment.
“We are going to think carefully about how we can be the most helpful to this country,” the candidate said.
And yet Gingrich repeatedly talked about his potential effectiveness as person seemingly not in power.
“We want you to know that, as citizens, we’re going to be right there, shoulder-by-shoulder, with you,” Gingrich told the crowd. “And that as we think through how we can best be effective citizens over the next week or two, that we’re going to rely on you for help and you for advice.”
After his speech, talking one-on-one to supporters, Gingrich echoed the line.
“I think there's a point where we have to be realistic about what you can accomplish,” Gingrich specifically told one man in the crowd, adding, “Well as a citizen, you can have all of my ideas on a regular basis. I'm not going to back off at all."
Though the candidate continued to say he would go on to the GOP convention, he sharpened his goal for going there.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that conservatism is, in fact, fully represented in Tampa, is fully represented in the campaign, and is fully represented in the next administration,” Gingrich said.
Meanwhile, Gingrich was very specific on at least one issue.
“I want to be vividly clear: we have, I think, 23 events altogether here in North Carolina this week,” Gingrich said. “We are going to be at 23 events here in North Carolina this week.”