- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va. — Newt Gingrich now can call himself a former presidential candidate.

As expected, the former House speaker has bowed out of the Republican presidential contest just short of a year after he got into the race. It was “an amazing year” for him, his wife, Callista, and his entire family, he said.

After losing contests in five states last week, Mr. Gingrich said it was clear that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be the nominee, and Mr. Gingrich signaled that his topsy-turvy campaign had reached its end. He did not immediately endorse Mr. Romney on Wednesday.

Mr. Gingrich now has the added challenges of rebuilding his image as a one-man GOP idea machine and paying off at least $4.5 million in campaign debt.

Joined by his wife, he made the announcement at an Arlington hotel, across the river from Washington.

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