GOP Split on Gingrich Staying in Race

Thursday, 15 Mar 2012 01:35 PM

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Republicans have divergent views over whether former House Speaker Newt Gingrich should continue his run for the presidency. The candidate himself has vowed to stay in the race until the August convention.

But backers of Rick Santorum, of course, think Gingrich should step aside so that the former Pennsylvania senator has the opportunity for a one-on-one match-up against stumbling front-runner Mitt Romney, Politico reports.

Many of Gingrich's backers continue to support their man all the way. But after a string of primary defeats - most recently in Alabama and Mississippi, states seen as favorable to him - some of his backers are starting to question whether he should give up the ghost.

To be sure, they're doing so quietly - none would go on the record with Politico.

"If he is staying in to somehow thwart Romney at the convention, that would be fine with me," one of the supporters said. "But I would have to be convinced of his plan. If he is staying in it just because he can, I think that is selfish. I think his getting out now benefits Santorum. If that hurts Romney, fine. My trouble is I would hate to see Santorum get the nomination."

Gingrich himself says the problem is that not enough attention is being paid to his big ideas, MSNBC reports. That's partly the media's fault for ignoring the ideas, he says. And Gingrich isn't sure his rivals even have the intellect to fully comprehend them.

"The thing I find most disheartening about this campaign is the difficulty of talking about positive ideas on a large scale because the news media can't cover it and candidly, my opponents can't comprehend it," he said at a Republican dinner in Palatine, Ill., Wednesday. "The result is you can't have a serious conversation. It doesn't fit. It doesn't count. It is as though it doesn't occur."

Gingrich said he wants to earn the moniker as "the candidate of science and technology." Those are huge issues now, he noted. "We are at the edge of such extraordinary opportunities, and it is so hard to get this party to understand it," Gingrich said. "Our political system is so methodically and deliberately stupid."

The need for systemic change is huge, Gingrich said. "We cannot be a normal party. If we run a normal campaign trying to govern within the framework of the current system we have no future because people would rather have Democrats do it, they at least enjoy it," he said. "We are in the business of changing Washington, not being accepted by it.





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