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newt gingrich suspends his campaign Newt Gingrich announces that he is suspending his presidential campaign, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in Arlington, Virginia. His wife Callista is at right. (Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Election 2012: Gingrich Suspends Campaign

"Wild ride" is over for Newt

By Ben Frigon | May 3 , 2012

Newt Gingrich officially suspended his campaign for President on Wednesday. His announcement had been expected for some time after a string of disappointing results in the Republican primary. Gingrich won the South Carolina primary and the Georgia primary, but consistently finished behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in nearly every other election.

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., Gingrich reflected on his campaign and spoke of his goals moving forward.

"Callista and I are going to focus on a series of key issues and try to educate and move policies in Washington, D.C.," Gingrich said. "Probably central to this is a deep commitment to American exceptionalism."

He went on to recap many of his policy positions, specifically mentioning religious liberty and domestic energy independence. He also stood by his desire to see space exploration become an American priority.

While thanking his supporters, he described his campaign as a "truly wild ride."

Gingrich's exit leaves two Republicans left in the race. Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee thanks to his 847 delegates. Ron Paul only has 80 delegates, but has so far refused to bow out of the primary.

After Gingrich's announcement, Romney and Paul issued statements about his candidacy.

"Newt Gingrich has brought creativity and intellectual vitality to American political life," Romney said in his statement. "During the course of this campaign, Newt demonstrated both eloquence and fearlessness in advancing conservative ideas. Ann and I are proud to call Newt and Callista friends and we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead as we fight to restore America’s promise."

Paul conveyed similar sentiments.

"As he exits the race for the Republican nomination, I'd like to acknowledge my former colleague in the House Newt Gingrich for running a spirited campaign," Paul said. "In particular, I want to thank the former Speaker for echoing my calls for monetary policy reform...that will bring America closer to lasting economic prosperity for middle-class Americans who bear the brunt of the dangerous and unjust inflation tax."

With Gingrich no longer in the race, Romney's position as the likely Republican nominee is more secure. Although Gingrich did not specifically endorse Romney in his suspension speech, he declared that the "gap" between Romney and Obama "is as wide as any point in American history."

But an endorsement is likely to come. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed that Gingrich and Romney are scheduled to meet later in the month.

Kid Reporter Ben Frigon interviewed Newt Gingrich in March before the Tennessee primary. Watch his interview here.

ELECTION 2012

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