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Gingrich loses again, signals exit from race

CONCORD, NC -- Newt Gingrich alluded that he may exit the presidential race in the coming days after a disappointing finish in the Delaware primary Tuesday night.

“I want you to know over the next few days, we’re going to look realistically at where we are at” in the campaign, Gingrich told a crowd of just one hundred people at his election night rally, calling himself a “citizen” rather than a candidate.

“We want you to know that as citizens, we are going to be right there standing shoulder by shoulder with you and that as we think through about how we can best be effective citizens over the next week or two – we are going to rely on you for help and you for advice,” he said, speaking at his first election night event in nearly two months.

The former House speaker finished nearly 30 percentage points behind Mitt Romney in Delaware’s primary -- a state Gingrich spent the majority of his time over the past month campaigning in. That was the state Gingrich said he hoped would bring him back into contention in the GOP race.

Though never referencing his poor finish in the election while speaking Tuesday night inside the Vintage Motor Club, Gingrich said he knew it would be a good night for his competitor.

“I want you all to understand that Gov. Romney is going to have a very good night and it is a night that he has worked hard for, for six years,” Gingrich said. “And that if he does end up as the nominee, I think every conservative in the country has to be committed to defeating Barack Obama and let’s be very clear about this.”

Gingrich, standing with his wife, Callista, by his side but no Newt 2012 signage in sight, assured his supporters in North Carolina, who do not take to the polls here until May 8,  that he would remain in the state this week and attend all his scheduled events.

While dodging most questions from reporters after the speech on the ropeline, Gingrich finally acknowledged “the results were clear enough” in Delaware tonight. He also signaled that he would not make his final decision about exiting the race before Sunday.

No matter when Gingrich exits the race, he promised to carry the conservative platform to the convention in Tampa, Fla., in the summer.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to make sure conservatism is in fact fully represented in Tampa, fully represented in the campaign, and fully represented in the next administration,” he said.