Republican Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, officially brought his presidential campaign to an end with a 23-minute speech at the ballroom of the Arlington Hilton hotel on Wednesday.
The Washington Post reports Gingrich was accompanied by his wife, Callista, his daughters Kathy and Jacky, Jackie's husband, Jimmy and Gingrich's grandchildren, Maggie and Robert.
The conference room was filled with reporters and cameramen, and only about a dozen supporters, who sat in the front rows.
In his speech, Gingrich gave on a half-hearted endorsement of the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, but used the opportunity to, once again, attack President Barack Obama.
He joked, uncharacteristically, about his much-ridiculed plan for a permanent moon colony. The Washington Post reports he said: “I want to just say I’m cheerfully going to take back up the issue of space. My wife has pointed out to me approximately 219 times, give or take three, that moon colony was probably not my most clever comment in this campaign. I thought, frankly, in my role as providing material for ‘Saturday Night Live,’ it was helpful.”
Space.com reports Gingrich had announced a plan, during a campaign speech on the Florida Space Coast on January 25, to establish a permanent lunar base by 2020.. He said: "By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be American."
But experts in space policy questioned the feasibility of the plan's timeline and asked where the funds would come from, especially after he said he would cut down on NASA's funding.
Gingrich made a second reference to his moon colony plan toward the end of his speech. He said: “I’m not totally certain I will get to the moon colony. I am certain Maggie and Robert will have that opportunity to go and take it. I think it’s almost inevitable on just the sheer scale of technological change.”
Gingrich said he and his wife would be campaigning for “a Republican president, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, Republican governors, Republican state legislators.”
Then he spoke about Mitt Romney, giving a rather tepid endorsement. He said: “As for the presidency, I’m asked sometimes, is Mitt Romney conservative? And my answer is simple. Compared to Barack Obama? You know, 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 American history.”
He, however, said that the former Governor of Massachusetts "knows about 600,000 times more than does President Obama," about creating jobs in the private sector.
Gingrich then criticized Obama, referring to his visit this week to Afghanistan to mark the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden. In Gingrich's opinion, it was "nice" that Obama made the trip, but he implied that he went to the wrong place, saying that the "center of al-Qaeda today is Yemen." His criticism was sharp: “I’m not sure the White House has gotten that briefing yet, but they will eventually. The fact that we assume our opponents are as stupid as our bureaucracy is very dangerous, and I think you have to recognize we do not have a grand strategy in this zone.”
Gingrich urged support for the Republican candidates, saying that “a Republican sweep this fall would revitalize America just as the Reagan sweep of 1980 revitalized America. We have done it before. We can do it again.”
He thanked supporters, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. He thanked two of his biggest financial backers Sheldon and Miriam Adelson “who single-handedly came pretty close to matching Romney’s super PAC.”
Comedy Central: 'Good Night Moon Colony'ABC News reports Comedy Central released a seven page picture book based on the popular children's story "Goodnight Moon." The Comedy Central book "Goodnight Moon Colony" spoofs Gingrich's plan for a moon colony, a plan Gingrich's opponents consider bizarre and outlandish.
The introduction to the book's online edition posted to Comedy Central's Indecision website on Wednesday morning, read: "Our storybook farewell to Newt Gingrich's campaign, which we'll always remember for its nuanced policy positions and bold vision of... ah, screw it. We'll remember the moon colony thing."
Space.com reports the book's illustrations mimic the artwork in the classic 1947 Margaret Wise Brown picture book. The gallery illustration shows Gingrich in bed with a base on the moon shining through his bedroom window and says, "Good Night Moon Colony."
The pages that follow say "goodnight" to Gingrich's famous campaign statements: "Goodnight, Dirty Unwashed Occupy Wall Street Protesters," a reference to Gingrich's comment about Occupy Wall Street protesters, and "Goodnight, Bankrupt Health Care Think Tank," which pokes fun at Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation, founded in 2003, but which finally went bankrupt.