The former Speaker is likely to appear with Romney next week at a campaign event to make a formal endorsement.
Newt Gingrich began taking steps Wednesday to shut down his debt-laden White House bid, setting the stage to endorse one-time rival Mitt Romney next week and rally Republicans behind their apparent nominee.
Gingrich had a friendly telephone conversation Wednesday with Romney and had started planning an event where he would throw his support behind the likely nominee, Gingrich spokesman R.C Hammond said. The pair agreed to work together to unite conservatives against President Barack Obama.
“It’s clear Romney is the nominee and the focus should be on defeating Obama. We should not focus on defeating ourselves,” Gingrich told disappointed supporters in Kings Mountain, N.C., the morning after Romney tightened his grip on the nomination by sweeping primary contests in five states.
Gingrich also telephoned Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and supporters, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in states with upcoming primaries to inform them of the decision he had been hinting at for days. Perry endorsed Gingrich when he ended his own White House bid in January but later Wednesday posted an endorsement of Romney on his campaign website.