Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has acknowledged that Mitt Romney is "far and away the most likely" presidential nominee for the Republican party. But Gingrich said he will continue the nomination race to "influence the party's platform."
According to Fox News, Gingrich speaking to "Fox News Sunday," said :"I think you have to be realistic, given the size of his organization, given the number of primaries he's won. He is far and away the most likely Republican nominee." Gingrich said he would support Romney if he gets the required 1,144 delegates to secure the party nomination. He said: "I'll support him. I'll do everything I can this fall to help him defeat Obama."
AP reports Gingrich said running for president "turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be." Fox News reports he turned visibly emotional as he talked about how his religious faith helped him through campaign trials. Bloomberg reports he said: “I have no regrets, but it’s clear that Governor Romney had done a very good job of building a very substantial machine."
AP reports Gingrich described the Florida primary he lost as a "real brawl." He said: "Unfortunately, our guys tried to match Romney. It turned out, we didn't have anything like his capacity to raise money."
According to ABC News, Gingrich admitted that his campaign is in debt. He said he owes "much more than he wanted to," and that his campaign is "operating on a shoestring." According to Fox News, Gingrich estimated his campaign debt at "a little less" than $4.5 million. ABC News reports he fired a third of his campaign staff two weeks ago.
Gingrich, alluding to the bouts of "negative" campaigning between his campaign and Romney's, said: "I hit him as hard as I could. He hit me hard as he could. It turned out he had more things to hit with than I did and that's part of the business. He's done the fundraising side brilliantly."
But Gingrich, in spite of what appears to analyst an inevitable defeat, insisted he was not dropping out of the nomination race. He said: "I do think there's a desire for a more idea-oriented Republican Party, but that doesn't translate necessarily to being able to take on the Romney machine."
Gingrich, in what Fox News described as signal that "he is preparing to transition from candidate to surrogate in anticipation of Mitt Romney winning the nomination," said if Romney won the nomination, he would campaign for him. Bloomberg reports he said: "I will work as hard for him (Romney) as I would for myself.” He said Republicans are all committed to defeating Obama, whom he described as a “genuine radical."
Fox News reports he said he wants to "continue to try and influence the party platform," to push for increased domestic oil production, "stand up very firmly for religious liberty" and reform the Social Security system. He also said he has discussed with the Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus, how he can best help the Republican party nominee that emerges defeat President Obama.
Gingrich had surged to frontrunner status just before the Iowa caucuses but failed to sustain the momentum after a heavy bout of "negative" campaigning Romney targeted at him at the height of his surge.
Gingrich is trailing far behind Romney and Santorum in number of delegates. He has won 135 delegates compared with Romney's 660 delegates and Rick Santorum's 281.