Republicans Believe Gingrich’s Legacy Will Be As Romney Debate Coach

Sometime next week, the long, slow death of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign will finally come to an end. After a year of dizzying highs and terrifying lows, Gingrich is throwing in the towel and suspending his bid for the White House after winning two states and several more presidential debates.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus perhaps summarized Gingrich’s impact on the race best. 

“I don’t know that. I just don’t know right now,” he told TPM on a conference call when asked what, if anything, we’ll be talking about in the fall thanks to Gingrich.

“I will tell you that I have a lot of respect for Speaker Gingrich, I think he’s got a lot of great ideas,” Priebus said. “I suspect he’s going to be very helpful to the party moving forward and obviously I would suspect as he’s stated he’s going to be very helpful to Gov. Romney but as far as any more specifics — I mean who knows, I can’t answer that right now.”

Other observers were more direct when it comes to what Gingrich’s long campaign has left on the table for the general.

Ford O’Connell, a D.C.-based unaligned Republican strategist said Romney will be a more polished debater this fall, thanks to Gingrich.

“He made Romney a better debater, trust me,” O’Connell said. “Let me tell you something: Romney still has some stuff to work on in debates and obviously Obama at this juncture is a superior debater but really Gingrich taught Romney how to debate and how to be more presidential.”

Read more from Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-26 00:41:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy