After an incredibly disappointing end to his campaign, including more than $4 million in debt, Newt Gingrich will officially “suspend” his presidential campaign next Tuesday at a press conference in Washington:
Newt Gingrich will officially end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination next week, his spokesman said Wednesday, and will back Mitt Romney in his bid to defeat President Barack Obama in November.
In a phone call Wednesday between the candidates, Gingrich told Romney that he planned on suspending his campaign next week, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said.
Details are still being worked out, but Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters, according to sources close to the Gingrich campaign.
The decision to hold the event next week was made for logistical reasons, the sources said, adding that Gingrich told Romney in the phone call that he will try to help elect Romney in November.
When it’s all said and done, I believe Gingrich’s campaign will go down as one of the worst in history. He entered the race and received a decent amount of support. But then he made mistake after mistake, such as taking a two-week cruise instead of campaigning in early primary states. He lost key staffers because they didn’t feel his heart was in the campaign.
Leading into the Utah GOP convention on Saturday, many were predicting that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) would manage to avoid a primary contest, and by extension the fate of his former colleague, Bob Bennett, in 2010. And while Hatch didn’t lose his bid for re-election, he will face Dan Liljenquist in a head-to-head matchup:
Sen. Orrin Hatch, forced into a primary election by a narrow vote of delegates at a weekend Utah Republican convention, heads into a nine-week campaign hoping his advantages in money, organization and name recognition will allow him to overwhelm a lesser-known opponent.
Mr. Hatch needed 60% of the convention vote to avoid a primary, but he fell short by 32 out of 3,908 cast. That means he will face his first primary opponent since he won election to the Senate in 1976. His rival will be former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, who received just over 40% of convention delegate votes.
Mr. Liljenquist and his supporters, including tea-party activists, cast the result as a big win and an important step in their nationwide efforts to unseat Republicans they consider insufficiently conservative.
Dave Hanson, Mr. Hatch’s campaign manager, said Sunday the senator had overcome difficult odds, given that tea-party activists two years ago unseated Sen. Robert Bennett, another Utah GOP incumbent, at the convention that year by depriving him of a spot on the primary ballot. Republican Mike Lee went on to win the general election.
It looks like it just got real for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). As you know, the 30+ year Senator is locked in a tough primary battle against Richard Mourdock, who is running to his right and has received the backing of several prominent conservative groups. Recent polls have showed Lugar holding a small lead ahead of the May 8th primary. However, a new internal poll from Mourdock shows the Lugar down by a point, though inside the margin of error:
With the primary less than three weeks away, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock is in a statistical dead heat against Sen. Richard Lugar, according to the results of a poll conducted for his campaign that were released on Wednesday. Mourdock leads Lugar 42 percent to 41 percent in a survey that was taken on Monday and Tuesday.
Mourdock’s slight advantage is well within the margin of error, but it represents a departure from most of the public polling taken on the race, which has mostly shown Lugar with a lead.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Lugar while 39 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. Forty-six percent said they held an favorable opinion of Mourdock while 22 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.
It’s obvious that Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) has a target on his back from conservatives in the upcoming primary. Grassroots organizations and advocacy groups have made that much clear to this point, choosing his primary opponent, Richard Mourdock, due to his votes for tax hikes, support for wasteful earmarks, and tax hikes.
Lugar’s bid for re-electioned was been bogged down in March, thanks to a ruling that he was ineligble to vote in the state — though that has now been resolved — and having to payback $14,000 to taxpayers for hotel bills. Lugar also received the “kiss of death” from former Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican turned Democrat that voted for the stimulus and ObamaCare.
However, these conservative groups had been relatively quiet on the ad from…that was until yesterday when the Club for Growth and the National Rifle Association dropped a bomb on Lugar a month before the May 8th primary (you can watch the ads below):
The National Rifle Association and the Club for Growth, two heavy-hitting conservative groups, are launching ads that paint Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) as a Washington insider and boost his Tea Party opponent, Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R).
Looking for away to bring conservatives together even as Republicans being to coalesce around Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum met with movement leaders in hopes to come up with a last ditch effort to make a comeback and take the GOP nomination:
The conversation focused on the struggling candidacy of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and whether a final push could be made to unite conservatives and stop the likely nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The idea of Santorum leaving the race was not raised.
“It was a discussion of how to win, not a discussion of anything other than that,” said Gary Bauer, a prominent social conservative leader who was at the meeting.
Despite this optimism, there are signs that the wear and tear of the campaign trail and the daunting odds against his winning the nomination are weighing on Santorum.
“He is exhausted,” said one influential Republican who has talked to Santorum in recent days. “He is very, very worried about losing Pennsylvania. He is trying to find a way to throw a very long pass that could change the game.”
That search for game-changers seems unlikely to produce success for Santorum. A Gingrich decision to exit the race and endorse Santorum in an attempt to unite conservatives seems unlikely to happen or to affect the outcome of the nomination fight.
If you’re Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, you’re taking a hard look this morning at whether or not you should stay in the race for the Republican nomination. Last night, Mitt Romney had a very good showing in three primaries — Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, taking some 90% of the delegates on the table.
- Romney: 49%
- Santorum: 29%
- Gingrich: 11%
- Paul: 10%
- Romney: 43%
- Santorum: 38%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 6%
- Romney: 70%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 11%
As it stands now, Romney has 655 delegates, more than half of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum is far behind with 278 delegates. Gingrich has 135. And Ron Paul, who has had a better showing that four years ago, only has 51.
It’s becoming more apparent that Romney isn’t going to be stopped at this point. And The Hill reports this morning that Santorum may go ahead and withdraw from the race before Pennsylvania, his home state, heads to the polls on April 24th. It would be a face saving move. He wouldn’t risk losing his home state to Romney, where he only holds a small lead, and he wouldn’t harm his chances in 2016 — assuming Romney doesn’t win in the fall.
If you’ve been paying attention to the Republican Senate primary in Indiana, you know that Sen. Dick Lugar has had a rough time lately. Last month, he was declared to be ineligble to vote after not being able to produce proof of a permanent residence inside the state.
But it keeps getting worse for Lugar as he has had to pay $14,000 back to taxpayers for spending on hotels when he visited Indiana:
Sen. Dick Lugar is paying back more than $14,000 to the federal Treasury — three times his earlier estimate — after a closer review of his 35-year career found he owed additional money for hotel stays in the Indianapolis area.
The Indiana Republican said Friday that an investigation by the Senate’s disbursing office initiated at his request found he improperly billed taxpayers for his hotel stays for all but seven years during his time in office, amounting to $14,684.85. He cut a personal check paying that amount on Friday.
“Your office has compiled a comprehensive list documenting cases in which I incurred per diem expenses during trips that included a stop in Indianapolis … during August recess periods and sine die adjournments,” Lugar said in a letter to Christopher Doby, financial clerk of the Senate. “Vouchers for per diem expenses incurred in the Indianapolis area during these periods should not have been submitted or paid, even though they all pertained to official business.”
Lugar suggests he paid more back to the Senate out of caution. Lugar’s admission came after he acknowledged last week that he erroneously billed taxpayers $4,500 for hotel stays after a review by his staff of records dating to 1991. He began the inquiry after POLITICO asked about the matter, and later acknowledged the errors.
With polls in Wisconsin showing Mitt Romney with a healthy lead headed into tomorrow’s primary, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both respected conservatives, have endorsed the former Massachusetts Governor in hopes to put him over the top.
Ryan, whose “Path to Prosperity” has become the budget blueprint for House Republicans, endorsed Romney on Friday:
“Who will make the best president? And who has the best chance of defeating Barack Obama? … In my opinion, Mitt Romney is clearly that person,” Ryan said on “Fox & Friends.” “I am convinced that Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what it takes to get America back on track.”
Asked if this was a message he has conveyed to Rick Santorum, Ryan, whose budget plan passed the House on Thursday, said he is planning on speaking to the former Pennsylvania senator later on Friday.
“I’m just convinced now, that if we drag this thing on until summer, it’s going to make it that much harder to defeat Barack Obama this fall,” he added. “The more we drag it out, the harder it is to win in November.”
Johnson, a part of the 2010 Tea Party class who has become a strong voice on health care, announced his support of Romney yesterday during a visit to Meet the Press:
Johnson announced the endorsement on MSNBC’s Meet the Press (MTP), according to a Sunday morning tweet from MTP executive producer Betsy Fischer.
With all of the excitement over this week’s arguments in the Supreme Court, the on-going race for the Republican nomination for president has largely fell off the radar. However, there is still plenty of news to share, but not all of it is good, depending on which candidate you’re backing.
Republicans in Wisconsin will head to the polls next Tuesday, April 3rd, to cast their votes in the race. And while Rick Santorum had been doing well there recently, it looks like Mitt Romney has surged to the front in the latest poll:
The GOP race for president has flipped in Wisconsin since last month, with Mitt Romney overtaking Rick Santorum in the latest poll by Marquette Law School.
Romney leads Santorum 39% to 31% in a survey of GOP primary voters taken last Thursday through Sunday.
Ron Paul is running third in the poll with 11%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 5%.
The new numbers represent a major shift from Marquette’s February poll, which showed Santorum leading Romney in the state 34% to 18%, followed by Paul at 17% and Gingrich at 12%.
They are also roughly consistent with a poll done almost one week ago on March 21 by Rasmussen Reports, which showed Romney leading Santorum 46% to 33%.
If Santorum loses in Wisconsin, the pressure will only increase on him to drop out of the race. Many are saying that if he wants to be a player in 2016, assuming Romney doesn’t beat Barack Obama, than he needs to bow out very soon. But people close to Santorum say that a exit from the race is unlikely.
At a time when many conservatives are realizing that Mitt Romney is on a near-certain path to become the Republican nominee, Rick Santorum seems to be doing his best to help out President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election.
Like Newt Gingrich did back in May of last year when he slammed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and re-emphasized that he supports the concept of an individual mandate (of course, Romney has his own problems there), Santorum said yesterday during a campaign stop in Texas that Obama might as well be re-elected if the GOP nominates Romney:
“You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there,” Santorum told supporters in San Antonio. “If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future.”
Santorum was referring to Romney, whose campaign strategist said recently that they would be able to “reset” the campaign when they transition to the general election “like an Etch A Sketch.”
The Santorum camp later clarified the candidate’s remark, saying he didn’t mean to insinuate that voters would be better off re-electing Obama than choosing Romney.