Can Newt Gingrich keep his sputtering campaign alive?
Until this week, Newt Gingrich was running a distant third in the GOP presidential nominating race. With Rick Santorum out, Gingrich now runs a very distant second behind Mitt Romney. What reason does he have to stay in the fight?
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Although he’s been a political survivor, becoming influential and wealthy since he left Congress under a cloud, Gingrich appeared to burn at least one bridge recently when he declared that CNN was “less biased” than Fox News.Skip to next paragraph
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“We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX,” he said this week. “That’s just a fact.”
To which Fox News chief Roger Ailes replied that Gingrich was just “trying to get a job at CNN because he knows he isn’t going to get to come back to Fox News.”
Gingrich picked up the endorsement of a state lawmaker or two. But as Matthew Payne of the Wall Street Journal points out, he’d need a lot more than that to turn a miracle.
“According to RNC rule No. 40(b), to be considered on the convention's first ballot a candidate needs the plurality of delegates from at least five states. So far the former speaker has won only two,” Mr. Payne explains. “Even if Mr. Gingrich were somehow to deny Mitt Romney of the 1,114 delegates required to win the nomination, he still needs to win three more states. If he doesn't, many of his pledged delegates will be released to vote for Mr. Romney on the first ballot – likely putting the former Massachusetts governor over the 1,114-delegate threshold anyway.”
So at this point, it seems, Gingrich is working mainly to keep his reputation as a political player – perhaps to be granted a prime-time speaking spot in Tampa.