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Gingrich Makes it Official: He's Out of the Race; Iowa Strategist Says Distraction-Free Path Clear for Romney

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who won two primaries in the GOP nominating process, but finished fourth in the Iowa Caucus, officially suspended his campaign today.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich officially ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, the Huffington Post reported.

Gingrich characterized his time on the trail as "a truly wild ride." He said that he and his wife, Callista, had "an amazing year."

Check out Iowa City Patch's coverage of Gingrich's to Iowa City.

Addressing the future of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign, Gingrich said that he's been asked whether the former Massachusetts governor is "conservative enough." He said the contest "isn't a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan." Rather, he said in taking a shot at President Barack Obama, it's "a choice between Romney and "the most radical, leftist president in American history."

Despite hitting bumps in the road, it wasn't too long ago that Gingrich vowed to continue his campaign all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa in August, the website reported. On Tuesday, he released a web video addressing his decision to abandon his presidential operation.

"The Speaker's departure, though widely anticipated for weeks now, helps in continuing to sharpen the focus on Governor Romney," said strategist Eric Woolson of West Des Moines, who previously served as Rep. Michele Bachmann's Iowa campaign director.

"We've known for weeks that it will be a Romney-Obama contest this fall, but as long as there are distractions to be reported, they will be reported," Woolson said. "The Speaker's announcement today eliminates one more distraction."

Gingrich finished fourth in the January Iowa Caucuses with 13 percent support of voters. In the days and weeks after the loss he criticized Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul for a blitz of negative advertising against him.

The former spealer was subjected to an unprecedented $3.3 million negative campaign of television spots and direct mail by Restore Our Future, an independent but Romney-connected super PAC, which reversed Gingrich's rise. Paul’s campaign, and then Perry’s, blasted Gingrich as well.

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