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Newt Gingrich ending presidential bid next week, aims to help Romney

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times –

Newt Gingrich will suspend his campaign next week and plans to help presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in his fall campaign against President Obama, according to Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond.

Romney called Gingrich on Wednesday morning before word had leaked out that the former House speaker was likely ending his bid, and asked him to join his team should Gingrich exit the race, Hammond said.

“Newt relayed to him that he did have plans to suspend next week and he was fully committed to helping Governor Romney mobilize Republicans this fall to stop Obama’s second term,” Hammond said.

“In addition to the conversation he had with Governor Romney this morning, Newt is also making plans for how we can best help Speaker (John) Boehner retain the House majority and Senate Republicans retake the majority, as a governing coalition of Republicans is as important as a Republican president. Once you’re hired, you have to then do the job.”

The two men plan to meet soon, Hammond said.

Gingrich, whose campaign has faced increasing financial woes and electoral marginalization since it peaked with a win in the South Carolina primary, acknowledged the inevitability of Romney’s  nomination at a Wednesday morning event in North Carolina.

“I do think it’s pretty clear that Governor Romney is ultimately going to be the nominee, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that he is, in fact, effective, and that we as a team are effective both in winning this fall and then, frankly, in governing,” he said.

Gingrich had reportedly been counting on a win in Delaware’s primary Tuesday to rekindle his presidential ambitions, but Romney won the state by a margin of nearly 30 percentage points.

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