WASHINGTON (AP) - A spokesman for Newt Gingrich is confirming that the former House speaker plans to shut down his presidential campaign next week.
R.C. Hammond says Gingrich spoke with Mitt Romney Wednesday and is planning an event at which he'll endorse the likely Republican nominee.
Gingrich had pinned his last hopes of extending his campaign on a strong showing in Delaware's primary. But that did not materialize, as Romney swept all five of yesterday's contests.
At an appearance in North Carolina this morning, Gingrich told supporters that at some point, a candidate has to be "honest about what's happening in the real world." Gingrich says he still thinks he "would obviously be a better candidate," but acknowledged that Republican voters didn't agree.
Gingrich said Romney has "put together a big machine" and the GOP needs to unite behind him, adding that no conservative "should have any doubt about the importance of defeating Barack Obama."
Gingrich is carrying more than $4.3 million in debt and has been spending more money than he is taking in.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)