Huffpost Politics

Santorum Calling For Gingrich To Quit?

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CNN reporter Jim Acosta tweeted Tuesday night that Rick Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart told him that Santorum was "now calling for [Newt] Gingrich to get out of the race."

I called Hogan Gidley, Santorum's communications director, and he said that Stewart had said no such thing.

"We would never call on him to get out. That's absolutely ridiculous," Gidley said. "If she said it, she misspoke." He added: "She was saying 'absolutely' to the premise of the question."

So I went back and looked at the tape of Stewart's interview with Acosta on CNN.

"It seems to me what you guys might say is, 'Newt Gingrich it's time to go,'" Acosta said.

"Absolutely," Stewart responded. "Being a son of the South, he should be doing much better than this. But these numbers just indicate that Rick Santorum is the conservative in this race."

A few moments later, Acosta asked Stewart about Santorum's comment on the Glenn Beck radio show Tuesday that "it would be great if he would get out of this race."

Stewart responded: "I think all of them should get out of the race. They should both step aside, because Rick is the conservative candidate that can take on Barack Obama."

"After tonight this is going to be a two-man race. It's going to be Rick and Mitt, and we're going to clear the field and Rick's got a good shot down the road," Stewart said.

So a number of nods to the idea of Gingrich jumping out, and an assertion that he will, and a one-word answer of "absolutely" to a question of whether the Santorum campaign thinks Gingrich should leave the race. But no explicit call to do so.

Around the Web

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Santorum nudges Gingrich to quit - Spokesman.com - March 12, 2012

Would Santorum really win if Gingrich dropped out? - The Week

Santorum hints at Gingrich to quit - MontereyHerald.com :