Nearly a week after he signaled that he was considering leaving the GOP primary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich officially announced today that he was suspending his campaign for president.
It was an up-and-down process for Gingrich, who endured losing nearly his entire campaign staff early in the campaign, finishing low in Iowa and New Hampshire, rocketing back to relevance by winning South Carolina, and then slowly being buried by Romney attack ads and a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease. It didn’t help when his ex-wife accused him of asking for an open marriage, or when he vowed to put a colony on the moon. He won Georgia, but lost ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who took up the Republican Party’s conservative mantle before he dropped out.
While he had support from former GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain and Rick Perry, they eventually threw their support behind Romney once it became clear the former Massachusetts governor was going to be the Republican nominee. What kept Gingrich in the race as long as possible was the support of Sheldon Adelson, a casino owner whose family put $16 million into the pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future, enabling him to remain in the public eye even as Gingrich’s own campaign ran $4.3 million into debt.
The real end came when Santorum left the race, and both the party and the pundits coalesced on Romney as the presumptive Republican nominee. Romney sealed the deal by winning all five states that held their primaries on April 24, 2012.
All that was left was for Gingrich to bow out, and although it took him nearly a week to do so, eventually he did. The drawn-out ending was a fitting coda to the wild and sometimes wacky campaign Gingrich ran.
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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