But his heart's not really into it.
In an exceedingly low-energy interview with Fox News Sunday guest host Brit Hume, the former House Speaker, who just a few months ago led Mitt Romney in national polls, said he had no regrets as he winds down his campaign, and says he's sticking around to lobby for some planks in the Republican Party's platform.
Anyone read one of those lately?
On Fox, Gingrich admitted that Romney "will likely be the nominee," and said he'd do anything he could this fall to help him defeat Barack Obama in November.
But he said that political parties are about more than just their presidential nominees, and that's what the platform is all about. When asked specifically what he wanted to emphasize there, he mentioned energy independence (speaking of which, his pledge to limit gas prices to $2.50 a gallon hasn't seemed to sway too many primary voters), as well as personalized Social Security accounts, mentioning the famed Chilean model (left unsaid was how unpopular the idea was when President George W. Bush pushed that idea hard in 2005), as well as standing up "very firmly for religious liberties."
Before he entered the race, Gingrich was a commentator for Fox News and involved with a variety of think tanks. He's obviously steeped in public policy debates, but showed some naivete that his lack of financial resources wouldn't be a problem in running a first-class campaign (critics might say that Gingrich never really believed his candidacy would take fire, and thus never geared up for a serious run).
Gingrich's campaign might never have had a second wind once the primaries began if it hadn't been for the largesse of Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul whose family singlehandedly kept his candidacy alive by giving over $15 million to Gingrich's Super PAC. But he's severely in debt with his own campaign spending, to the tune of over $4 million.
"Unfortunately our guys tried to match Romney and it turned out that we didn't have anything like his capacity to raise money," Gingrich told Hume, adding that Hillary Clinton ended her 2008 run for president over $25 million in debt, so he'll find a way to make his supporters whole.
But back in December when Newt began surprisingly gaining traction as the anti-Romney, Gingrich shrugged off questions about his lack of financial resources, saying that he could get his message out by his appearances on broadcast and cable television.
Now he realizes otherwise, as he told the Washington Post on Saturday.
"It never occurred to me — and this is one of the lessons I’m contemplating for some future memoir — it never occurred to me the scale of the Romney fundraising capability,” Gingrich said. “I was fully prepared to be outspent 2-to-1, even 3-to-1. But when you’re up to 5- or 6-to-1, you’re being drowned. You’re not going to be able to match it.”
Maybe Gingrich could become a spokesman for some new form of financial campaign reform? Perhaps. But first it's all about defeating President Obama.
"Barack Obama is a genuine radical. And if he gets re-elected with this economy and these gas prices and this deficit, who knows what he'd do in a second term?" Gingrich wondered on Fox, blowing off Hume's suggestion that with a Republican House (and possibly Senate), the president would be constrained in what he could accomplish, paraphrasing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's comments to Congress last month that the administration would not need to get Congress' support to go to war.
That comment came at a Senate hearing regarding possible U.S. involvement in Syria. Panetta said the U.S. would "seek permission" from international organizations before committing troops to war. "And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress.”
In fact the Obama administration did not seek permission from Congress in getting involved in a NATO campaign to attack Libya last year, upsetting Congressional Democrats like Kathy Castor and Dennis Kucinich).