Days after ending his run for the GOP presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich said Sunday he would not accept the Republican vice presidential slot if offered, and said Romney should focus on picking a young running mate.
“I can't imagine it,” said Gingrich on CNN's State of the Union Sunday of the possibility of joining Romney on the GOP ticket.
“I think Romney is going to look for somebody who is younger. I think he's got somebody like Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio. You look at a Susana Martinez, Bobby Jindal, or you look at somebody like Mitch Daniels. We have a really, we have a big, deep bench now,” he said.
Gingrich's exit from the presidential campaign on Wednesday eliminated the last major hurdle for Romney to secure the GOP nomination.
The former House Speaker still owes vendors nearly $30,000 in campaign expenditures. Gingrich paid off $500,000 in debts in April and the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee have offered to help him retire his remaining debt.
Gingrich has yet to endorse Romney and has said he would like a role drafting the party’s platform at the August convention in Tampa, Fla. and a possible speaking role. But Gingrich denied there were negotiations between him and the Romney camp on these matters.
“There's no negotiation,” he said. “If they think I'm helpful speaking at the convention, I'm glad to do it. I've done lots of conventions in my career and as we're proving this morning I can get on TV fairly often with or without speaking at the convention. Obviously I'd love help with paying off the debt.”
Gingrich did offer praise for Romney on Sunday, saying that he expected the GOP’s conservative base to rally behind the presumptive nominee.
“The first thing you want to say to people is, look, this is not some magic show. You're either going to get Barack Obama or you're going to get Mitt Romney. Now, I don't see how any conservative given that choice could end up favoring Barack Obama, and that's what it's going to come down to,” he said.
“I believe that Mitt Romney will be a dramatically better president for the United States than Barack Obama. I believe that he has earned the right to represent the Republican Party and he's earned it the hard way. He has fought his way to the nomination. Nobody gave him an inch,” he added.
Gingrich was the last major opponent to the former Massachusetts governor's White House bid. Weeks earlier, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum abandoned his campaign for the Republican nomination.
Asked again about the possibility of a VP nod during an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation, Gingrich joked: "Would you pick me?"
"It is inconceivable," he added.