“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,” he said. “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.”
Is there anything that could make him leave the race?
Paying the bills
Nevertheless, as he tries to pick up a few convention delegates here and there in the remaining contests, there are other issues that the former representative from Georgia is going to have to figure out — such as how he will pay the bills for a campaign that, in its latest filing, was carrying as much debt as cash on hand.
He will find money to pay off the seven-figure debt “the same way I did in 1978 [when he was first elected to Congress after two losing campaigns], the same way I did in 1999 [after resigning the speakership]. You work and pay it off,” Gingrich said. “Whatever shape we’re in when this is over, you look at it, you take a big swallow and go to work.”
As for a means of earning a living, Gingrich said he isn’t much worried about that, either — despite the fact that his biggest private endeavor, the for-profit Center for Health Transformation, went belly-up last week. When Gingrich left the think tank about a year ago, it issued him a promissory note that, according to his disclosure form, was the former speaker’s biggest financial asset.
The center’s bankruptcy is “really sad,” he said. “They did good work, and I think if Obamacare is repealed, they would have been really, really valuable. Once I left, they just couldn’t find a way to sustain it.”
But Gingrich has more than Social Security and his congressional pension to fall back on. He notes that his wife, Callista, enjoyed surprising success with her children’s book and has contracts to write two more.
“She’ll go back, no matter what happens to me, I think she’ll go back to making [documentary] movies and writing books and doing a few other things,” he said.
“And if I end up not being the nominee, I suspect I’ll go back to making speeches and writing books and actually having a pretty good time.”