Gingrich to suspend campaign next Tuesday

Newt Gingrich will exit the Republican presidential contest next Tuesday, a campaign spokesman confirmed to The Hill.

“Speaker Gingrich plans to suspend his campaign next week,” said R.C. Hammond.

{mosads}”Newt is committed to helping the Republican Party take back the White House and help Speaker Boehner maintain the Republican majority in the House, along with winning back the Senate, because a governing coalition of Republicans is as important as just winning the presidency,” he added.

Hammond said Gingrich hoped to secure a speaking spot at the party convention in Tampa, Fla., and wanted to contribute to drafting the platform.

“Newt has been very vocal on the campaign trail that a conservative platform is key to rallying conservative voters for this election,” he said. Hammond added that Gingrich hoped to see a 10-point boost for the GOP candidate from the August convention.

A report by Fox News citing an anonymous senior aide said that the former House Speaker will “more than likely” endorse GOP front-runner and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney at that time.

He will likely hold his final campaign event in Washington, “where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters,” according to CNN.

Speaking to a civic group in North Carolina on Wednesday, Gingrich called for a united conservative base to defeat President Obama, and acknowledged it was “clear” Romney would capture the party’s nomination.

“I am committed to this party, I am committed to defeating Obama, we will try to find ways to be helpful. I do think it’s pretty clear that Gov. Romney is ultimately going to be the nominee, and we’re going to do everything that we can to make sure that he is in fact effective,” Gingrich said, according to the AP.

Gingrich also said he intended to stay “very, very active.” 

“We’re working out the transitions and will have information for the press in the next couple days,” he added.

Gingrich had pinned his long-shot hope of re-emerging as a viable challenger to Romney on a victory in Tuesday night’s winner-take-all primary in Delaware. Gingrich campaigned heavily in a state that Romney hadn’t visited for weeks, but in the end couldn’t derail the presumptive nominee.

Romney took more than 56 percent in Delaware, with Gingrich placing a distant second at 27 percent.

At his concession speech on Tuesday night, the former House Speaker didn’t reveal any clues about his plans, hewing close to his traditional campaign stump speech. 

He had previously vowed to take his campaign all the way to the Republican National Convention this August, but Romney’s increasing lead in the delegate counts made it highly unlikely there would be a floor fight for the nomination.

Romney has 844 delegates, according to a count by The Associated Press. Rick Santorum, who dropped out earlier this month, has 260, Gingrich has 137 and Ron Paul has 79. It takes 1,144 to clinch the GOP nomination.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he expected Gingrich to support Romney after he exits the race.

“I have a lot of respect for Speaker Gingrich. I think he’s really smart. I think he’s got a lot of great ideas. I suspect he’s going to be very helpful to Gov. Romney in any way he can. I think he’s going to be a team player.”

— Adele Hampton contributed.

— This story was updated at 12:10 p.m.
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