Turns out a “campaign of ideas” isn’t worth much if they’re all terrible ideas.
Making good on last week’s promise to get out of Mitt Romney’s way, perennial Republican troublemaker and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced today an end to his quixotic campaign for president.
Gingrich made the announcement during a press conference held in his current home state of Virginia. His absence from the campaign trail is not expected to have any measurable effect on the race going forward.
“Today I am suspending the campaign, but suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” said Gingrich. He went on to thank a number of fair-weather supporters all of whom likely lobbied for the overdue exit to happen sooner rather than later. Among the Gingrich allies named were Texas Governor Rick Perry, pizza magnate Herman Cain and Gingrich super PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson (who may have sunk as much as $10 million into the failed presidential bid).
The mere mention of Adelson served as a reminder that the zombie Gingrich campaign would have been six-feet under months ago if not for an outlandish Supreme Court decision and the casino mogul’s limitless largesse.
After apologizing to South Carolina for breaking their winning streak of picking eventual Republican nominees, Gingrich offered the requisite tepid endorsement of Romney. Employing one of his personal stylistic strengths, the former Georgia representative managed to pair his backhanded Romney endorsement with a dickish, factually inaccurate condemnation of President Obama.
“I’m asked sometimes, is Mitt Romney conservative?” said Gingrich. “And my answer is simple: compared to Barack Obama? This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan. This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical leftist president in history.”
Romney is still shy of the delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination at this summer’s convention in Tampa, Florida, but without any credible contenders remaining, his path looks clear. Gingrich may offer some limited value to the general election campaign as a surrogate in the deep south, but don’t look for his name on anything resembling a vice presidential short list.
See Gingrich's remarks to his donors below: