ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — As he ends his own presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich is urging conservatives to rally behind Mitt Romney as a better alternative than Barack Obama.
Gingrich says it's "not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan." Instead, he says, it's a choice between Romney and a man Gingrich calls "the most radical, leftist president in American history."
The former House speaker today formally left the presidential race, after a campaign that seesawed from implosion to frontrunner and then back again. He promised supporters that he will continue to push conservative ideas, on college campuses and in newsletters and films -- saying "suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship."
Early in the race, Gingrich's senior staff resigned when Gingrich seemed unwilling to follow a traditional campaign schedule -- leaning instead on social media platforms and broadcast interviews. The nontraditional campaign and some strong debate performances helped him win in South Carolina and in Georgia, the state he represented in the House. But there were no additional victories.
Gingrich leaves the race with more than $4 million in campaign debts. His aides have been talking with Romney's campaign about how his one-time rival can help him retire that debt.
APPHOTO VAEV110: Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announces that he is suspending his presidential campaign, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in Arlington, Va. His wife Callista is at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (2 May 2012)
<<APPHOTO VAEV110 (05/02/12)>>
APPHOTO VAEV114: Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announces that he is suspending his presidential campaign, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (2 May 2012)
<<APPHOTO VAEV114 (05/02/12)>>