March 26th, 2012
05:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich: Not quitting, because race isn't decided

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich may be far behind in the GOP delegate count – he has a quarter of the number frontrunner Mitt Romney does – but said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that he isn't bowing out of the race.

"I think this is not over until it's over and obviously, if he does become the nominee, I will support him," the former House speaker said of Romney, calling him "the weakest front runner in modern times."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The former Massachusetts governor leads a four-man field - including Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul – ambling towards 1,144, the so-called "magic number" of GOP delegates needed for the nomination. Almost two-dozen contests remain, the last of which, Utah, votes on June 26.

"If he can get to 1,144, he's the nominee," Gingrich said. "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, I think it becomes pretty wide open."

He likened the Republican race this year to the 2008 Democratic primary, when then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wrangled for months after Sen. John McCain became the de facto GOP nominee.

In the case Romney does not win outright, Gingrich said "we'll have a discussion for those 60 days for who ought to be the right person to beat Barack Obama."

Santorum has also committed to remain in the race and is currently second in the delegate count. When pressed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Gingrich said Santorum "he doesn't have a guaranteed lock any more than I do or Romney does" on the nomination.

When President Obama spoke out on the death last month of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, Gingrich called his remarks "disgraceful." Asked about his comments, and a critical response to them by one of President Obama's reelection advisers, Gingrich did not repeat the criticism.

"I think he should show empathy for that family. I think he should show empathy for every family that loses a child," Gingrich said. "We should be concerned about any young American of any background who ends up getting killed. I think all of us should reach out with our hearts to any American."

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," as many know it, before the Supreme Court, Gingrich said he expects the court to find unconstitutional its requirement that individuals carry health insurance or face a penalty – and, because of that, strike down the entire law. He said his past support for an individual mandate came with a "libertarian opt out clause" which would allow individuals "other ways of meeting their financial responsibilities."

Also see:

Santorum: Romney 'worst Republican' to run against Obama

Ryan's open to V.P spot

Graham's 'comfortable' with Romney

Plouffe calls out GOP candidates over Obama reaction

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt, the race was decided several weeks ago. No one wants you, very few want Rick, and 40% want Mittens.

    March 26, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. diridi

    The other two clowns, one Santorum, and the other Mittens, deserve. Just pull on. Good for GOP idiots. Good luck with all your stuff.

    March 26, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. V in Chicago

    It's over Newt. Pick up Ricky and you boys take you etch-a-sketches and go play now. Leave the real work to the adults! Mitt Romney has some more money to spend and President Obama has an election to win. All of you clowns on the right are delusional if you think you will beat President Obama in 2012.

    March 26, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    ""the weakest front runner in modern times.""

    Indeed. And what does that say about the Ayatollah Santorum, Newtered and Rondroid, who are all losing to the "the weakest front runner in modern times"? Hey, CNN, how's about you repost some of those entertaining articles with your mindless bobbleheads opining about the GOP/Teatrolls' massive lead in terms fo "voter enthusiasm"....we could use the laugh.

    March 26, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Dave

    Give it up Newt! You can't win. You are making a fool of yourself.

    March 26, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. GonzoinHouston

    For Newt, it isn't whether you win or lose, it's how many books you can sell after it's over.

    March 26, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Niko_in_Richmond

    Can anyone say "delusional?" And, he wonders why the American people don't want him as president. If the man gets anymore full of himself, he'd be twice the size he is right now...

    March 26, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. Slightly Left of Center

    I still think he looks like Barney Rubble's evil angry twin.

    I wonder, Neut, how does it feel to be losing to the weakest front runner? You know, the one you say you'll support if he's nominated.... Doesn't that make you weakest to the third degree?

    March 26, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. B

    Last gasp Gingrich blathering his endless rhetoric and hate mongering because he knows he is political history and can’t get off the stage.


    March 26, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. Wake up people

    After spending all of this money, am I the only person worrying about them stealing another election?? Does Florida ring any bells for anyone? These people are desperate to get President Obama out and they know Mittens is going to be toast against the President. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them.

    March 26, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Drew

    Ah Newt, Shucks buddy, it is soo over for you.

    March 26, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Newt is the new Pat Paulon.

    March 26, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Newt has got to hit Romney and Santorum harder. Take off the gloves and play hard ball. That is the only way to drag this out to the convention.

    March 26, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. lynnmarie2u

    Aww Newt. Sorry you will have to fund that moon base without taxpayers money. It goes to show the mental state of this man,he actually thinks he can win,and what's more,the few voting for him do also. Delusional is a man named Newt

    March 26, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    It's obvious Newt is trying to win for Calissa because nobody else wants him. Newt should just take her shopping at Tiffany's because I'm sure that's the trade-off he made with her.

    March 26, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    He said his past support for an individual mandate came with a "libertarian opt out clause" which would allow individuals "other ways of meeting their financial responsibilities."
    Good idea. Let people be on record saying that they do not want health care insurance, so when they go to a hospital looking for free major medical care we can legally turn them away if they cannot guarantee payment. Yup, I believe that that is the gist of Ron Paul's debate response to Wolf Blitzer.

    March 26, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. buffalo

    Newt's Reasons for Not Quitting: 1): Free snacks backstage at the debates 2): "Newtie's Cuties"-Women jockeying to be Wife #5. 3): Gets to check under empty seats after debate for lost change and unopened bottles of real spring water. 4):Nothing on TV, really. 5): Would actually have to interact with his new Stepford Wife.

    March 26, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Have you ever had a party and an uninvited guy shows up at wont leave ?

    Newt needs to go home and write another fictional history book.

    March 26, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Gingrich: Not quitting, because race isn't decided◄
    Dang, what brick wall did ginGRINCH's head collided
    with because he just does not "get it" and should know he's losing this event
    Is he ever going to WAKE UP and realize he is NEVER going to be president!!!???

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    March 26, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. RI Jim

    Yup, while the Repubs keep beating each other up, the Dems have got to be loving it. Keep it up, guys. All you're doing is handing the election to the Dems.

    March 26, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Diana

    Sir, you are an adulterer.
    Your third wife/mistress is an adulteress.
    Neither of you are honorable, wise or responsible. In no way should you and that woman hold the highest and most honorable positions in the United States of America.

    March 26, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. ED FL

    Newt won't stop running due to his ability to turn every negative thing into something[he considers positive] like reading his name on the same page as primary matters where the term president is used.

    March 26, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. ????

    Hey Newt, it's over, game set and match. Pick up your marbles and call it a day.

    March 26, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Donkey Talk

    The part that has been decided is that it sure isn't going to be Newt

    March 26, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Decorah

    The reason he isn't quitting is due to his wife. She doesn't want to give up the chance for the glamour of it all. There is something to be said when one is a candidate-even if the person is a failing candidate.

    March 26, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
1 2