Gingrich staffer calls for him to drop out

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, March 7, 2012. AP Photo/David Bundy)

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, March 7, 2012.
AP Photo/David Bundy)

(CBS News) After failing to win any state other than his home state of Georgia on Super Tuesday, some conservatives have begun calling on Newt Gingrich to pull out of the race including one of his regional directors in South Carolina, according to a report on WIS-TV, a Columbia, S.C., station.

DeLinda Ridings, who supported Jon Huntsman before becoming one of Gingrich's regional directors in South Carolina, told WIS-TV on Wednesday that it was time for the former Speaker to exit the campaign.

"[Gingrich] has tried really hard, but I think it's time to drop, and it's time to put our allegiance behind the man that I believe can beat Barack Obama, and that's Mitt Romney," Ridings told a reporter.

Special Section: Campaign 2012

Leslie Gaines, who serves as the Deputy Political Director of Gingrich's national campaign, and who helped orchestrate his win in South Carolina's primary, downplayed the defection from Ridings.

"Our team in SC did a tremendous job helping Newt win the First in the South Primary," Gaines wrote in an email. "But, even the strongest among us can lose faith, but that doesn't change the fact Moderate Mitt as the nominee guarantees Barack Obama's second term."

Others in the party are calling on Gingrich to get out of the race in the hopes that his exit will clear the way for conservatives to coalesce behind Rick Santorum. Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, today issued a statement calling on Gingrich to become a "kingmaker" by dropping out and endorsing the former Pennsylvania senator.

"Speaker Gingrich's 'campaign of ideas' has kept him in the race and contributed mightily to the debate," Viguerie wrote in a statement. "But the results of Super Tuesday show that, going forward, ideas without the campaign infrastructure to sell them are not enough to compete with Romney's money and establishment backing."

He called on Gingrich to abandon his own personal ambitions for the good of party and country.

"Were Newt Gingrich to suspend his campaign now, and endorse Rick Santorum, he could provide that unity and, through such a great act of statesmanship, open a new chapter in his storied political career," he wrote.

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