Gingrich Pulls Plug On "Wild Ride" White House Bid

Newt Gingrich ended his run for U.S. president on Wednesday after dazzling in televised debates but slumping to defeat in dozens of Republican primaries under attack from rivals who portrayed him as the consummate Washington insider.

The former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, the face of the Republican Party in the mid-1990s, badly trailed front-runner Mitt Romney in polls and his campaign piled up a debt of $4.3 million.

Gingrich announced his departure from the White House race in a long statement to the media at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia outside the capital that included references to his many grandiose ideas like the establishment of a U.S. colony on the moon.

He fell short of endorsing his former rival Romney but said voters had a clear choice in November's general election between Democratic President Barack Obama and the former Massachusetts governor.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said Gingrich will quickly be back on the campaign trail, likely as an "attack dog" for the Republican Party as it seeks to unseat Obama.

"The GOP needs him. They need conservative attack dogs who can break up the Obama message machine," said O'Connell. "He has the ability to take complex items and boil them down to be palatable Kool-Aid for conservatives."

"He's one of the best messengers of the right who, on a moment's notice can rebut someone."

Read more from Deborah Charles at Reuters

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published this page in In The News 2012-05-02 19:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy