With the state's Republican primary looming next week, GOP leaders gathered in Midtown for their annual dinner Thursday night as all thoughts turned to presidential politics. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Newt Gingrich isn’t giving in, at least not until Mitt Romney has the required 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.
“Mitt’s not yet at 1144 [delegates]. And as you know, this is a big sports town. And you have no obligation to quit until the game’s over," Gingrich said.
Gingrich spoke to NY1 Thursday during a two-day swing through New York ahead of next week’s primary. While he’s promised to pursue his campaign through the August GOP convention, he also says he’ll get behind Romney if he wins the nomination and concedes that could come sooner than later.
“We’ll see," Gingrich said. "I mean, if Romney gets to 1,144 before then, you have to accept mathematical reality. And I’m a party loyalist, and I very much think we have an obligation to beat Obama. So I am going to do everything I can to make sure we win the election."
In remarks at the state Republican party’s annual fundraising dinner Thursday night, Gingrich addressed what he calls a failure to talk honestly about radical Islamists, taking a swipe at Mayor Bloomberg’s response to the failed car bomb in Times Square.
“The mayor promptly goes on TV and says on CBS, ‘We shouldn’t rush to judgment. It could have been somebody who’s opposed to Obamacare,’" Gingrich noted. "Now I want to make two points about this. The first is, statistically, to the best of my knowledge, there have been thousands of bombs in the last decade from radical Islamists. And to the best of my knowledge, there have been no bombs by people opposed to Obamacare."
Still, it’s clear Gingrich’s campaign is at this point, mostly symbolic. Even State Republican Chairman Ed Cox, who introduced Gingrich, is backing his rival.
“In the end, Governor Romney is our nominee going forward at this point," Cox said.
While the results may not ultimately carry much significance, the Republican presidential primary will take place next Tuesday here in New York and four other states.