The Last Nail in Newt’s Coffin
UPDATE: Conservative Leaders Huddle With Santorum, Seek Deal With Newt
Posted on | April 5, 2012 | 53 Comments
Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Center for Health Transformation, which has offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and St. Louis, plans to liquidate its assets, according to a filing Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta. . . .
The center listed estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million dollars and 50 to 90 creditors. . . .
Political observers said the negative publicity surrounding the bankruptcy spells the end of the former U.S. House speaker and Georgia congressman’s campaign.
“This ends his campaign. He’ll now be completely on the defensive about this,” said Emory University political science professor Merle Black.
Next? Newt will endorse Mitt Romney, and probably before the April 24 Pennsylvania primary. (I first predicted Feb. 3 that Newt would ultimately quit and endorse Romney, although it is taking longer than the “few weeks” I expected at the time.)
To be more specific, Newt will endorse Mitt sometime before his campaign’s March FEC report is due April 20, because otherwise the size of Gingrich’s presidential campaign debts would become a major element of the coverage. So expect Newt to join the “Roll Over for Romney” movement probably in an April 13-16 time-frame. Gingrich will portray his sellout — siding with the “elite GOP Establishment” and “money power” he was railing against all the way from Iowa to Louisiana — as a matter of fundamental conservative principle.
What Gingrich is hoping is that Rick Santorum will quit before then, so that there won’t be any reason to notice — or resent — Newt’s hypocrisy.
UPDATE: Putting aside my resentment that they gave this scoop to the New York Times, here’s the latest Santorum campaign news:
A group of conservative leaders met with Rick Santorum on Thursday to consider how to persuade Newt Gingrich to drop out of the Republican presidential nominating contest.
The conservative leaders met with Mr. Santorum and his top aides in northern Virginia . . .
The prospect that Mr. Gingrich might draw enough votes from Mr. Santorum in Pennsylvania — Mr. Santorum’s home state — on April 24 to cost him the primary has given new urgency to the task of getting him out of the race. . . .
“The leaders told us that they wanted to stop Romney, defeat Barack Obama and unite conservatives behind Rick,’” according to an aide to the Santorum campaign who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley refused to confirm or deny to confirm reports of the meeting, which was first reported in a tweet by Time magazine’s Mark Halperin.
Checking my cell phone again . . . Nope, no calls from Santorum staffers this morning. A fine way to treat the Future Ambassador to Vanuatu. But it is absurd to hope that Gingrich would endorse Santorum: Newt’s support is up for auction, and there’s no way Rick can outbid Mitt.
(Hat-tip: Azn_Chick on Twitter.)
UPDATE II: Tina Korbe at Hot Air:
If [Santorum's] supporters can convince Gingrich that his nomination is not only still possible, but even probable without Gingrich in the race, maybe they can inspire Gingrich to let go.
Careful, Tina — you could be sued for libel. No one can accuse Newt Gingrich of giving a damn about anyone but Newt Gingrich.
- April 2: Newt Neutered: Gingrich’s Pathetic Shadow Campaign Stumbles Onward
- March 29: Newt Ally Says We’re Doomed
- March 28: NEWT MET SECRETLY WITH MITT BEFORE LOUISIANA PRIMARY
- March 28: When Did Newt’s Campaign Become Unsustainable? And What Was the Result?
- March 27: Big Fake Boobs
- March 27: Spilled Milk and Misplaced Anger: Political Psychotherapy Session
- March 26: Newt Campaign Death-Watch Begins