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Gingrich suspends campaign for U.S. Republican presidential nomination

(Xinhua)

08:19, May 03, 2012

WASHINGTON, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday announced in Washington he is suspending his campaign to become Republican Party's presidential nominee.

"Today I'm suspending the campaign," said Gingrich. "But spending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship. Callista and I are committed to being active citizens."

Gingrich said he will continue to campaign for issues he cares about, including space programs. He thanked supporters and family for all their efforts during the campaign.

Gingrich didn't give an immediate endorsement to the all but certain GOP nominee Mitt Romney in his speech. He said when he was asked whether Mitt Romney is "conservative enough. And my answer is simple: 'Compared to Barack Obama?'"

He said the general election was not "a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan, it's a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical leftist president in American history."

Gingrich has only won two contests so far in the Republican race, South Carolina and Georgia, which he represented in Congress for over two decades. According to a CNN count, he has only 141 delegates, far behind Romney. His campaign is reported to be in 4 million dollars of debt.

Gingrich made the decision to quit the race following the five primaries Romney swept last Tuesday. Romney's victories made it virtually impossible for Gingrich to secure the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination.

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