Although Newt Gingrich lost the Delaware primary by an overwhelming 29 percent to Mitt Romney, the former speaker of the House still did not announce the suspension of his presidential campaign Tuesday night.
Gingrich, who simultaneously lost to Romney in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, said earlier in the week that if he lost the winner-take-all state of Delaware — where he focused his campaigning — he would “reassess” his presidential bid. On Tuesday night a more subdued and somber Gingrich told a small crowd in Concord, Delaware that while he still wants to take the conservative fight “all the way to Tampa” to the Republican National Convention, he also wants to be pragmatic.
“Over the next few days, we’re going to look realistically at where we are at,” Gingrich said.
Possibly hinting that he will be returning to regular life as a non-candidate, Gingrich told the crowd at Concord’s Vintage Motor Club that he wanted to stand together to defeat Obama.
“So 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,” Gingrich said.
One man shaking Gingrich’s hand on the rope line pleaded with him to stay in the race.
“I think there’s a point where we have to be realistic about what you can accomplish. But as a citizen, I’m not … I’m going to stay at it,” Gingrich told the man.
Another telling sign the Gingrich campaign was possibly moving on Tuesday was that Callista Gingrich’s stump speech, which has not varied much since she began introducing her husband, left out a key component: she did not refer to him as “the next president of the United States.”
Gingrich told the crowd he wanted to be clear that he was going to continue to campaign in North Carolina as he evaluates his place in the GOP race.
“We have, I think, 23 events all together here in North Carolina this week. We will be at 23 events here,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich conceded that Romney was “going to have a very good night.”
“It is a night that he has worked hard for, for six years. 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,” he said.
Gingrich told one reporter that he would not make any decisions before Sunday.