Why don’t Gingrich and Paul quit?

To use a Titanic reference (that’s trendy right now), Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul seem to be fighting over control of the rudder, making sure they steer the thing into an iceberg no matter what Captain Mitt Romney may want.

Or perhaps they are more like the JetBlue captain who goes berserk and seems determined to bring the party’s plane down.

You could add Rick Santorum to that list. Even though he suspended his campaign this week, he didn’t endorse Romney. He didn’t even mention him during his little speech.

Barack Obama must be loving this.

A CNN poll at the end of March found 61 percent of Republicans wanted Ron Paul to leave the race and 60 percent wanted New Gingrich gone. Only 39 percent felt that way about Santorum, but now that he’s gone it would be interesting to see how feelings have changed. (Read the poll here.)

So why don’t Gingrich and Paul leave? What happened to the idea that the party needs to close ranks and get behind the nominee in order to win in November?

This blog by Susan Milligan of U.S. News (also written before Santorum dropped out), says, “The answer is partly a function of basic delusion. When one has amassed the emotional energy and ego required to run for president, it’s understandable that the candidates might imagine they could still get the nod.”

She also says Super PACs could be playing a roll because the candidates may not feel as pressed for money as they would have before. But that doesn’t wash. A Gingrich check to get on the ballot in Utah’s primary bounced, which he explained as having to do with an account that had been closed. It sounded a lot like the sort of excuse renters give when they can’t afford to stay.

Gingrich sent out an email Wednesday to supporters. It said, “As the last remaining conservative in this race, we urgently need your financial support today. We have set an ambitious goal of 12,000 donations by midnight tonight. Will you donate $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help us reach this goal?”

I think the “basic delusion” explanation sounds the most plausible.

[poll id=”5″]

Categories: Campaign 2012

About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.


  1. LDS Liberal

    2 reasons –

    $$$ and ego.

    The same reason ALL politicians keep running.

    The poor and humble public servants are in Classrooms.

  2. FormerRepublican

    Articles like this amuse me. It’s funny how people with the least comprehension assert themselves so vigorously. Ron Paul represents a transitional movement that cuts across party lines. Our country is headed down a path toward repressions of all freedoms. The Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. They are beholden to the same special interests. Blind support for either of them is tantamount to following your favorite professional wrestler. The game is rigged. You can choose to accept it and support Ron Paul or stick your head back in the sand as your civil liberties disappear. I choose to accept the world as it is, not as MSMS tells me it is. For the sake of our country I suggest others follow suit.

  3. Sherm

    Gingrich and Paul won’t quit because they don’t need to. Hillary Clinton stayed in the race against Obama right up to the end. It is obvious that as far in the lead Romney is in the primaries, he’s not very popular among republicans. In the mad rush to pick “anyone but Obama”, the GOP seems perfectly content to pick someone as similar to Obama as they can. Mitt Romney is in this race because he believes he is a Republican alternative to Barack Obama. Newt Gingrich is in it because he really believes he is a traditional conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Ron Paul is in it because he believes he is a genuine alternative to a failed status quo. Whether or not either of them are correct, they do offer a diversity of ideas that are more important than getting an early start to the general election season.

  4. jean michel

    With 10,000+ people coming out to events for RON PAUL in every sate, and Romney nat able to draw a few hundred? Romney is finihsed and with Santorum trhowing his weight behind PAUL.. Why would DR Paull drop out? only a STUPID person would ask such a question..

  5. David King

    Jay, why should Ron Paul drop out? He actually believes in something! When both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have Goldman-Sachs as a top donor, you know you’re not getting the best choice. The bank bailout, the Patriot Act, the NDAA, individual mandates, the Federal Reserve, stimulus packages; Obama and Romney agree on ALL those things. Why in the world should Ron Paul drop out when’s he offering a choice? The Paul Ryan won’t balance the budget in the next 20 years and has absolutely zero Democratic support. You think Ron Paul is the delusional one motivated by ego? Who has been switching every position he has held for the last 20 years just to win an election? Gosh, Jay, I usually agree with you, but you’re way off-base here.


    Lumping Ron Paul into the same category with Newt Gingrich doesn’t fly with me. Please address them as separate presidential candidates because lumping them together suggests they have similar platforms or that they’re both fighting a losing battle. Paul has more of a chance than people realize and if they haven’t given him the attention he deserves then they should read up on his positions.

    Visit http://www.ronpaul2012.com and read his Plan to Restore America.

    Ron Paul is on fire because he truly believes in the Constitution of the United States of America. His rallies are packed. His delegate count is much higher than the mainstream media gives him credit for and his campaign officials are tracking these delegates at the precinct level. Just wait until the convention.

  7. Big Dave

    Gingrich won’t quit because he hates Mitt. Paul won’t quit because he has nothing better to do.

  8. Rich

    The GOP has no choice but to nominate Ron Paul. IF they don’t he will take a good portion of the GOP party with him to the independent party. Romney will have no chance to beat Obama with only part of his party behind him. So the RNC will have their hands tied and have to nominate RON PAUL or the election is lost before it is even started. Its not about how many delegates you have its about who can beat Obama…Warren Harding election all over again

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