In Kings Mountain on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich stopped just short of confirming he would drop out of the presidential race.
The crowd in Kings Mountain gave Gingrich a standing ovation when he arrived.
“I just trust him to no end,” one supporter said.
When his supporters calmed down, Gingrich gave them sobering words.
“Look, I just think there are times when the mountain gets bigger than your ability to climb it,” he said.
He told the packed house that this is the most important presidential election in U.S. history.
In the past, he has said he was the only candidate who could beat Barack Obama. On Wednesday, he said the crowd should back Mitt Romney.
Gingrich never came out and said he was ending his campaign. And when members of the media asked specifically, he responded: “I'm not going to talk to the press. I'm talking to these guys, and anybody who is a non-reporter is allowed to ask questions.”
People there believed Gingrich has no choice.
“It breaks my heart because I know he sees a bright future,” supporter Wanda Lougter said.
Gingrich has lagged in the primary elections. He secured 137 delegates, barely half as many as Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney has 844 and is gaining momentum.
Gingrich told the crowd he will be active in politics as a citizen.