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It appears that Newt Gingrich is now referring to his campaign in the past tense and is essentially positioning himself to move from candidate to supporter. Gingrich has recently acknowledged his campaign is over $4 million in debt and is running on little to no budget.

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Report from Fox News:

Newt Gingrich acknowledged Sunday that his campaign is “operating on a shoestring,” as he signaled he is preparing to transition from candidate to surrogate in anticipation of Mitt Romney winning the nomination.

While not throwing in the towel just yet, the former House speaker spoke frequently in past tense about his presidential bid in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” He said he wants to continue to try and influence the party platform, but said he’s already discussed with the Republican National Committee how he can best help the nominee defeat President Obama if it’s not him.

Romney, he said, “is far and away the most likely” nominee. Looking back on the race, Gingrich said he has “no regrets” — he became visibly emotional as he discussed on Easter Sunday how his faith helped him through the campaign.

“I’m glad I did this,” Gingrich said of his decision to run, calling it “the right thing for me to do.”

Gingrich spoke openly about his campaign’s money troubles. He said the campaign has had to dip into personal funds — “a little bit, but not dramatically” — and that the campaign is “slightly less” than $4.5 million in debt.

“We owe much more than we wanted to,” Gingrich said. He explained that the Florida primary in late January “got to be a real brawl” and that his campaign “tried to match Romney.”

Gingrich has said he’ll remain in the campaign until Romney reaches 1,144 delegates, the number needed to clench the nomination. I would wonder whether he will actually stick it out that long considering he has become irrelevant in terms of campaigning and is so far in campaign debt. Perhaps he is working out some kind of deal to erase some debt in exchange for dropping out and endorsing. That is pure speculation and remains to be seen.

Update

Gingrich “cleared up” his comments to plainly state that his prior words were not meant as a concession to Mitt Romney. Report from Fox News Insider:

Newt Gingrich appeared on Hannity to clear up comments he made on Fox News Sunday, in which he stated that Mitt Romney is “far and away the mostly likely Republican nominee.” He told Sean what he said “got somehow translated almost instantly into something I didn’t say.”

He likened the campaign to yesterday’s Masters Golf Tournament, where the “two guys in sudden death were neither one in first place” but that neither of them dropped out in the first round.

Mentioning the “elite media” Gingrich questioned why it’s so hard for them to get into their heads that he’s staying in the race. He pointed to his forehead and said, “I am in here, I think I’m going to get it tattooed up here, all the way to Tampa.”

According to Gingrich, he didn’t say what he sort of said. Or, at least, now he’d like to walk it back a little bit.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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