That was fast. Newt Gingrich will formally end his campaign in Virginia this afternoon, and he’s reportedly already getting on board with bitter rival Mitt Romney. The Republican National Committee says it’s going to help Gingrich pay down debt, a nice gesture that may at least help keep him in line for the rest of the campaign season:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, on the eve of suspending his roller coaster presidential bid, said in an interview with USA TODAY that he will embrace Mitt Romney‘s candidacy Wednesday and is ready to campaign for his former rival.
The two men will make a joint appearance in a few weeks, when Gingrich will make an official endorsement. The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee have offered to be helpful as Gingrich works to retire his campaign debt.
Gingrich had these gracious words for his former opponent in an interview with USA TODAY:
“Mitt Romney met the first criteria of being a good candidate: He won,” Gingrich said. “Now you have to respect that.” He added, “We sure didn’t give it to him. We did everything we could to slug it out with him, and he ended up being tough enough and being good enough at raising money” to prevail.
Ha! Did you see how he masterfully slipped those jabs into a statement that’s framed as a compliment? Romney was a good candidate…because he won. And he won because…he was just too good at raising money. Classic diva concession speech.
Today there will be a big show of unity as Gingrich steps aside and backs Romney, and this is just a hunch, but I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing much of the former Speaker on the trail. Romney doesn’t need a frenemy spouting out backhanded compliments during campaign events, which is obviously what Gingrich would end up doing. Plus, why would Romney want to lend any credibility to Newt, when the Obama campaign has already started using the former Speaker’s own words in its anti-Romney attack ads? It’s probably best for the GOP if Gingrich sits the rest of this game out.