Gingrich carefully navigates Cain exit
December 3rd, 2011
10:26 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich carefully navigates Cain exit

Staten Island, New York (CNN) - As the GOP presidential race narrowed in the wake of Herman Cain suspending his campaign, Newt Gingrich was complimentary of his formal rival but reluctant to acknowledge it was now a two-man race between him and Mitt Romney.

Within hours of Cain’s announcement, the former House speaker praised the former pizza executive’s “9-9-9” tax plan as he appealed to tea party supporters at a town hall event and book signing in New York City’s most conservative borough.

“Whether you liked it or disliked it, it raised the general level of the discussion and got us to the right level of positive ideas in a way I thought really enriched the debate,” said Gingrich, speaking to reporters before the Staten Island Tea Party-sponsored town hall. “He will be a very active private citizen and will have an impact on the politics and the ideas of this country."

Cain said he plans on endorsing another candidate soon, but Gingrich, who is a personal friend, isn’t sure whom the former presidential hopeful will support.

“I don’t anticipate anything; Herman Cain’s got to make up his own mind,” said Gingrich, who said he spoke with the businessman Saturday before he announced his decision and said the pair plan to meet next week.

Gingrich, who has been rising in the polls and stands to benefit from Cain’s exit, wouldn’t say whether it is now a two-man race - a contrast from his comments earlier this week.

“I’m not going to say that any of my friends can’t surprise us,” said Gingrich, sizing up the remaining field. “This thing could have two or three more cycles between here and figuring out who’s actually in the final round, and I don't want to preclude any of them from having the opportunity to rebound just as in the end I was able to rebound.”

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Pete/Ark

    Although everyone else is asleep,I venture to guess fhat Newt et al are wide awake spinning a story...

    December 3, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  2. Thunkforyourself

    Join the r3VOLution.

    December 3, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    ►“I don’t anticipate anything; Herman Cain’s got to make up his own mind,” said Gingrich,◄

    ginGRINCH cannot be trusted!!! I think it was the GRINCH who stole Cain's election and is behind the whole scandal!!!

    In reality – none of the candidates would welcome Cain's endorsement – that's like accepting an endorsement from Sarah Palin – it will ruin their candidacy!!!

    Obama 2012

    December 3, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Gingrich carefully navigates Cain exit ?

    Now Newt thinks he's an Admiral !
    Next Newt will go Napoleon and adorn himself Emperor . Will he enact the Lese-majesty law. Emperors thus enjoyed the legal protection provided for the divinities of the church .

    December 4, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  5. Dan5404

    It takes one to know one, as they say.

    December 4, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  6. Bruce

    Gingrich is shrewd. By pointing to Cain's 9-9-9 plan, he tries to steer the conversation away from what he and Cain REALLY have in common- the extramarital affairs. After all, if it took out Cain's candidacy, why does it not stand to reason it will take out Newt, too. Newt knows this is the time to duck and cover- stay out of the conversation and let it all just blow over. But it won't. He doesn't control the media and he IS accountable for his actions, whether he wants to talk about them or not. And we haven't even gotten to the reasons he was ousted as Speaker of the House.

    December 4, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  7. Brian

    I really hope Newt gets the nomination. If so, us Dems have nothing to worry about. He is unelectable. Romney is the only one who has the slightest chance...

    December 4, 2011 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  8. god

    thief liar cheat =newt
    how is he not in jail for stealing bailout money?
    He received over 1 million right before Freddie mac went bankrupt, then was bailed out by tax payer money.
    thief liar and a cheat you belong in jail not in the capital

    December 4, 2011 04:50 am at 4:50 am |

    Newt wears the GOP dirty tricks bullseye now and he knows all about it. He wrote the GOP dirty trick playbook. What goes around...

    December 4, 2011 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  10. frag

    Carefully navigates Cain exit? How? By going on a reality TV show with Donald Trump. That will certainly add to his "gravitas". lol

    December 4, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  11. Wildone

    Somehow I don't think an endorsement from his "personal friend" Cain is going to be all that valuable. But then again, moral lapses have always been excused by Republicans if it's one of their own. Gingrich will undoubtably get the nomination with or without Cain's support because rank and file Republicans really don't care that he's a snake.

    December 4, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  12. McShannon

    Shouldn't we be concerned that no one has followed the Gingrich 2 million jewel purchase. There could be more to this story such as a third party paying off women who might come forth. The transaction has the face of impropiety beyond the normal for even Donald Trump. No remarks about Cain's alledged infidelity? What's he afraid of?

    December 4, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Wildone

    Quoting from Wikipedia: "In a 2011 interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network Gingrich addressed his past infidelities by saying, "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."" Keep in mind that Gingrich resigned as Speaker of the House of Representatives days after being elected to his 11th term and was fined $300,000 after being charged with 84 ethics violations. He also was involved in an extramarital affair with his, 23 years younger, current 3rd wife, while he led the attack of former President Clinton for his moral lapses. Is this the kind of person that the Republican Party wants to lead the country? I sincerely hope not.

    December 4, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Clwyd

    He better be careful as people are bound to compare Cain the accused womanizer with Newt the unfaithful husband twice!

    December 4, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |