ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- Newt Gingrich can now call himself a former presidential candidate.
The former House speaker bowed out of the Republican presidential contest Wednesday as expected, just short of a year after he got into the race. And without using the word "endorse," he did just that with a vow to help Mitt Romney defeat President Barack Obama in November.
After losing contests in five states last week, Gingrich said it was clear that Romney would be the nominee and signaled that his topsy-turvy campaign had reached its end.
Gingrich now has the added challenges of rebuilding his image as a one-man GOP idea machine and paying off more than $4 million in campaign debt.
Gingrich said the campaign was "an amazing year" for his entire family.
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