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I Think You Have to Be Realistic': Gingrich Calls Romney 'The Most Likely Republican Nominee

AP

GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich acknowledged Sunday that rival Mitt Romney is most likely to come away with the party's nomination, saying he would support him if he does.

"I think you have to be realistic," the former House Speaker said about his own struggling campaign on "Fox News Sunday" according to Politico. "Given the size of [Romney's] organization, given the number of primaries he's won, he is far and away the most likely Republican nominee."

At 660 delegates, the former Massachusetts governor has more than half the delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has 281 and Gingrich has 135.

"If he does get to 1,144 delegates, I'll support him," Gingrich said.

It's a different tone for Gingrich, who has vowed to remain in the race through the Republican National Convention this summer. Saying the "primary goal of the entire Republican Party has to be to defeat Barack Obama," Gingrich indicated he would take on a surrogate role to "do everything I can this fall to help [Romney] beat Obama."

Gingrich, whose campaign saw several surges but has limped along since Super Tuesday, said he has "no regrets" about his decision to run but said it turned out to be "much harder" than he thought it would be.

"I'm glad I did this. For me it was important as a citizen to try to do some very important things to try to bring new ideas and new approach," he said. "It was the right for me to do in both my life and where I thought the country was."

Gingrich said he's "operating on a shoestring" budget and said he has contributed some of his own money to his campaign.

"A little bit, but not dramatically," he said.

He said the campaign owes "much more than we wanted to. Florida got to be a real brawl. Unfortunately, our guys tried to match Romney."

"I hit him as hard as I could, he hit me as hard as he could," Gingrich said. "Turns out he had more things to hit with than I did. That's part of the business."

One last thing…
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