355 Days and 8 Zoo Visits Later, Newt Gingrich Is Bowing Out of GOP Race

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When Newt Gingrich officially ends his bid for the White House on Wednesday, his campaign, in all likelihood, won't be remembered for his tax plan or his foreign policy prescriptions, but for some of his quirkier proposals.

From building a colony on the moon to allowing schoolchildren to work as janitors, Gingrich has touted some rather unorthodox proposals during his year-long presidential campaign.

As the former House speaker becomes the seventh major GOP presidential candidate to bow out of the primary, here is a look back, by the numbers, of Gingrich's rollercoaster ride toward the Republican nomination.

355 Days on the Trail

Gingrich will have been campaigning for nearly a full year – 355 days to be exact – when he calls quits to his presidential campaign next week. He officially announced his bid for the White House on May 11, 2011.

$266,000 Taxpayer Dollars

Since Gingrich got Secret Service protection in early March, taxpayers have shelled out about $266,000 per week for the top-notch security detail. After outcry over the hefty expense following Gingrich's unofficial decision to drop out of the race this Wednesday, the former House speaker's Secret Service protection was pulled last Thursday.

Based on testimony from Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, first dug up by The Daily Caller, protecting a candidate for one day costs taxpayers about $38,000. If the price tag is similar this cycle, Gingrich's taxpayer-funded security detail racked up a bill of more than a quarter million dollars per week.

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is still receiving Secret Service protection and former candidate Rick Santorum was also receiving coverage prior to dropping out of the race earlier this month. GOP hopeful Ron Paul has refused the taxpayer-funded security.

2 States Won

Out of the 38 states that have held their Republican primaries so far, Gingrich has emerged the victor in two. He scored his first win in South Carolina's January primary and won his home state of Georgia on Super Tuesday in March.

8 Zoos Visited

Gingrich, an avid animal enthusiast, did not let his presidential campaign get in the way of one of his favorite pastimes: going to the zoo.

The candidate stopped at no fewer than eight zoos over the course of his campaign, and he made sure the world was aware. Gingrich live streamed his trip to the San Diego Zoo and live tweeted his stop at the Salisbury Zoo in Maryland.

1 Penguin Bite

Newt Gingrich may love zoo animals, but not all zoo animals love Newt Gingrich. During a VIP visit with two Magellanic penguins at the St. Louis Zoo in April, one of the feisty creatures took a bite out of Gingrich's finger. The wound required only a small bandage.

4 Books Published

Gingrich, along with his wife Callista, have published four books since he launched his presidential bid last May. A fifth is set to hit shelves in May. As he kicked his campaign into high gear, leading up to the first primaries, Gingrich one book signing per week, on average, from September through November.

4 Moon-Mentioning Debates

Gingrich mentioned his plan to colonize the moon, a typically uncommon topic in presidential politics, in 4 of the 21 Republican debates throughout the GOP primary race.

13,000 Residents Required

Gingrich not only wants to build cities on the Moon, but has outlined a plan on how those moon colonies could apply for statehood after reaching 13,000 residents.

8 Years Envisioned

Eight years from now, the year 2020, is the target date for a would-be President Gingrich's ambitious plan to begin sending frequent U.S. flights to Mars.

$1.5 million Credit Line

One week after announcing his presidential bid, it was reported that Gingrich had a $500,000 credit line at the high-end jewelry store Tiffany's. One month later, his financial disclosures showed he had a second line of credit, worth up to $1 million, at the store.

3 Staff Exoduses

If there was a prize for losing the most senior staffers during one presidential campaign, Gingrich would take the trophy. Sixteen of the candidate's top aides quit en masse in June, two top fundraisers abandoned him three weeks later, and in March, with his campaign strapped for cash, he laid off a third of his remaining staff.

17-State Dry Spell

After winning in Georgia on Super Tuesday, Gingrich entered a 17-state dry spell, not having won a single primary in more than seven weeks before he announced that he would be leaving the race.

$4.3 Million In Debt

Gingrich's campaign was $4.3 million in debt as of March 31. The campaign owned the most money – about $1 million – to a private charter plane company, Moby Dick Airways Ltd.

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