Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Aide: Newt Gingrich Should Drop Out

Posted: Updated:

The Rick Santorum campaign is formally calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race and endorse the former Pennsylvania senator, following Tuesday night's three-primary sweep by Mitt Romney.

Santorum's communications director Hogan Gidley made the statement during a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC.

"We are still in this to win it," Gidley said. "What we would like for are all the conservatives, including people like Newt Gingrich, to bow out of this race and get behind us obviously. I think that the polls show, even last night, that the percentage points that Gingrich had, had he been out, we would have been able to beat Mitt Romney in Wisconsin."

In the past, the Santorum campaign has responded a bit more delicately when asked about Gingrich's continued presence in the race. Aides have usually insisted that they would never force a candidate to decide when to end his bid, but that they would of course welcome Gingrich's support.

But Romney's Tuesday night primary wins in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington D.C., combined with growing pressure for Santorum himself to drop out, have changed the dynamics of the race. Perhaps the only thing that could cause voters to reassess, the argument goes, would be if Gingrich were to end his campaign and endorse Santorum.

That said, Gidley's logic isn't exactly solid. When asked who their second choice would be, Gingrich backers have often been split between Romney and Santorum.