Newt Gingrich, confirming he met with Mitt Romney last week in New Orleans, said on Friday that he and his rivals in the Republican presidential contest are talking about ways to make sure the eventual nominee can beat President Obama.
“We have all three been talking with each other all during the process because we all three understand that the No. 1 mission is to defeat Barack Obama. So I talked to Santorum recently and I think that’s just a part of the process,” Gingrich said in an interview with WTMJ radio in Milwaukee.
“We are in the same party,” the former House speaker said. While each man would like to win the nomination, he added, “in the end we are people that want to make sure the Republican Party candidate is capable of defeating a guy that we think would be a disaster to reelect, and I think you also see us focusing more and more attention on Obama.”
An ever-growing number of party VIPs, including former President George H.W. Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, have been urging that the primary season come to an end. The former president said explicitly on Thursday that front-runner Romney’s rivals need to know "when to fold 'em.”
Gingrich has won only two primaries and has sunk into last place in several national and state polls. His comments suggested that while he is not ready yet to quit the race, he is heeding the message that it’s time to stop attacking Romney, whose image has deteriorated during a divisive primary season.
Asked if he and Romney made any kind of arrangement or deal at their meeting, Gingrich said no. “My whole point is we talk regularly. The three of us were together when we did the Mike Huckabee Show recently and we chatted for a while,” he said, referring to a March 3 jobs forum in Ohio that Huckabee conducted for his Fox News program. “We are all beginning to focus on how do we make sure this fall that we beat Obama.”