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Gingrich Makes it Official: 'Today I Am Suspending the Campaign

No formal Romney endorsement.

Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday officially ended his campaign for president, but did so without an endorsement of Mitt Romney.

"Today I am suspending the campaign," Gingrich said during a 23-minute speech in Virginia surrounded by his family, exactly one week after sources first said he would drop his bid.

While Gingrich has said he would back the eventual Republican presidential nominee -- and was expected to throw his support behind Romney -- he stopped short of offering an official endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor.

"The question I'm asked sometimes, is Mitt Romney a conservative?" Gingrich said. "My answer is, compared to Barack Obama?"

Gingrich frequently criticized and drew into question Romney's conservative credentials on the campaign trail.

"This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan," he continued. "This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical leftist president in American history."

Following Gingrich's announcement, the Romney campaign said in a statement: “Newt Gingrich has brought creativity and intellectual vitality to American political life."

Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are the only two candidates remaining in the race; Romney leads the delegate count with 847 to Paul's 80. 1,144 delegates are needed to clinch the GOP nomination.

Gingrich said the campaign had been "an amazing year" for him and his family.

This post has been updated.

One last thing…
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