Failed Presidential contender Newt Gingrich, reluctantly and defiantly accepting reality, formally dropped out the Republican White House sweepstakes Wednesday, offering no reasons for his long delay in recognizing the inevitable while offering a weak endorsement of presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.
“This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan,” the former Speaker of the House said in a press conference in Virginia. “This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical leftist President in history.”
In the end, Gingrich’s political hyperbole was as bombastic as ever as he ended a campaign mired in debt along with a political career tattered by failure and forever scarred by scandal.
Yet Gingrich appeared ever ready to fight on.
“Today I am suspending the campaign but suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” he declared.
While his remarks displayed his usual bluster, Gingrirch leaves the campaign a broken man. The self-proclaimed heir to the mantle of Ronald Reagan did not have the appeal to win over voters and his now-shelved campaign is millions of dollars in debt. An upset win in South Carolina remains his one-shining moment in a campaign destined to fail because of the candidate’s self-destructive ego.
He appeared with his third wife – and former mistress – Callista Bisek Gingrich, decked out in designer clothes and platinum-dyed hair. Their extravagant lifestyle, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to the luxury jeweler Tiffany & Company and an cruise to Greece when he was supposed to be campaigning, highlighted a hypocrisy that even Gingrich’s volatile rhetoric could not overcome.
Gingrich left the presidential stage as he once dominated it – equally defiant and detached from reality, a fading political star alone on a platform that no longer embraced or needed him.