Presidential Campaign

Pressure? What pressure?

Pressure is mounting on former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) to leave the
GOP race. Though some conservatives who have supported him have
encouraged him to continue the fight, others are reconsidering, hoping
an exit now could preserve his influence in the party later.

The same cannot be said for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
He says he knows he can’t win. He doesn’t even think Santorum can win
the nomination, saying on Fox News Sunday that Mitt Romney is the most
likely nominee. Gingrich admits his history-making, convention-busting
plan to get to Tampa, divide the party and somehow end up the nominee is
beyond a long shot. But he just won’t leave. When asked by The Washington Post if there was anything that would cause him to exit the race, Gingrich replied, “Nothing.”

He also conceded he doesn’t have a chance to win the nomination unless something (politically) terrible happens with Romney and he is rejected at the eleventh hour.

{mosads}”The only way I’ll be the nominee if is Romney makes a major mistake and ends up with a number of his delegates saying they just can’t do that,” he told the Post. “On the other hand, that has happened in American history, and as a historian, I’m probably the calmest person about not getting out [of the presidential race] of anyone you know.”

Calmest. There are other words that could be used to describe the state Gingrich is in. Rested is another. Gingrich admits to enjoying sleep-filled nights once again, now that his campaign schedule is down to nearly nothing. One night recently he nabbed 13 hours of Z’s. He is also working on his platform fight for Tampa, an effort to push for a balanced-budget amendment, plans for energy production and a “science research project to map the brain.” He is searching for the right way to break through to relevance once again. “If you find the right issue,” he says, “it suddenly becomes not just the platform. It suddenly becomes a thematic.”

After winning two contests, Gingrich’s campaign debt has reached seven figures, and he has consistently come in third (or, often, fourth, behind Ron Paul) in recent primaries. But he is holding out for a Tampa “thematic.”

IS OBAMA GOING TOO FAR, TOO FAST IN ATTACKING ROMNEY? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, April 10. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to Thank you.


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