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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) said today that GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is “conservative enough” to be the party’s nominee.
Gingrich, whose own campaign for president is faltering, instead shifted blame for Romney’s perceived lack of conservative chops to the former Massachusetts governor’s staff.
“[He’s] conservative enough [and] I suspect he will accept a solid, conservative platform, but he does have consultants who are of the Etch a Sketch tradition,” Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to comments made last month by Romney senior political adviser Eric Fehrnstrom.
Fehrnstrom, appearing on national television, was trying to emphasize how priorities shift when a primary race is “reset” for the general election, but he drew flak because of Romney’s own personal shifts on several key issues from his time as governor to now.
As for Gingrich, who has been an especially tough critic of Romney throughout the campaign, he said he is committed to defeating President Barack Obama and is ready to support Romney if he has enough delegates.
“If Mitt Romney ends up as the Republican nominee, I will work as hard for him as I would for myself,” Gingrich said, adding that he’s already spoken with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus about how he can help the party win in November once it has chosen the nominee.
But the former Speaker also gave no indication he’s ready to leave the race.
When pressed about his financial woes — his latest filing revealed he has as much campaign debt as he does cash on hand — Gingrich said “it’s hard” and noted he has dipped into personal funds “a little bit, but not dramatically.”
In an interview published today with the Washington Post, Gingrich said nothing could make him get out of the race at this point.
“The only way I’ll be the nominee is if Romney makes a major mistake and ends up with a number of his delegates saying they just can’t do that,” Gingrich told the Washington Post. “On the other hand, that has happened in American history, and as a historian, I’m probably the calmest person about not getting out [of the presidential race] of anyone you know.”