"But I'll be a citizen," Gingrich continued. "I've been an active citizen since I was 15."

On Wednesday, Gingrich's aides confirmed he planned an exit and likely endorsement of Mitt Romney sometime next week. But in the following days, Gingrich is pressing on, visiting preplanned meetings with voters with his staff and Secret Service detail in tow.

Gingrich downplayed any speculation Romney might make a surprise decision to add him to the Republican ticket.

"I think the vice president will be somebody much younger," Gingrich said. "That would be my advice to Romney."

Gingrich also acknowledged the need to refocus his efforts on earning some personal income.

"We're also going to go back to the private sector to earn some money," Gingrich said. "It's been a long, expensive 2 years."

Gingrich's health care lobbying firm declared bankruptcy earlier this year and the former Speaker has racked up millions in campaign debt.