Newt Gingrich gave his post-primary speech tonight while gracelessly declining to congratulate the man who beat him by double digits. According to the Romney campaign, Gingrich hadn’t called to congratulate the Florida winner as of 9:30 p.m. ET.
The speech was vintage Gingrich, comparing his predicament to Lincoln at Gettysburg and vowing to conduct a “people’s campaign.” He made one small run at Romney, calling him “the Massachusetts moderate,” and then wandered into a rather trite recitation of his commitment to change. He rambled a bit, getting nostalgic about his Contract with America and assuring us he’d been studying “how to do this” since 1958. (He was running for president as a child?) He is going to get rid of White House czars, move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and halt the war on religion. If there was a theme in there, it was hard to spot.
He obnoxiously ended by pledging: “My life, my fortune, my sacred honor.” But he’s not doing any of that. And it’s quite an insult to American patriots who have said that and meant it.
Gingrich has been reduced to a smaller-than-life figure. He’s a guy with a lot of words and very little appeal, whose meanness got the best of him and helped to wreck his campaign on a heap of attacks, insults and downright vile accusations (the latest being his claim that Romney is hostile to religion).
He might go on, as he promised. But, really, how many Republicans will follow him? Fewer and fewer, I suspect.
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