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Gingrich drops out from US presidential race

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Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich walks backstage after he announced he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on May 2, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has ended his bid for the White House in Washington to pave the way for nomination of his one-time rival Mitt Romney.

The former speaker of the US House of Representatives formally announced his decision on Wednesday, but pledged to take up the role of “active citizen,” AFP reported.

“Today I am suspending the campaign. Suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” Gingrich said in a speech in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia.

His withdrawal leaves only Texas congressman Ron Paul in the race against Romney.

Gingrich, who was very critical of Romney during the nomination race, endorsed Romney against President Barack Obama, who is seeking a second term.

“As to the presidency, I am asked sometimes, is Mitt Romney conservative enough? My answer is simple, compared to Barack Obama?” Gingrich said.

“This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan. This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical, leftist president in American history.”

Gingrich had only won two contests since the start of the state-by-state contest in January; one in his home state Georgia and one in South Carolina.

According to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Gingrich’s campaign ended last month with $4.3 million in debt, up from $1.5 million at the end of February.

The March debts include payments for ordinary campaign consultations, massive spending on private jets, expenses at a private security firm, and payments to staffers who had to cover their own travel and lodging expenses.


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