As you may have heard, the day before the SEC seated the delegates for the convention, the Gingrich campaign sent a blast to the media and the SEC requesting I not be seated as a delegate for Newt. This is really sort of a dumb move on their part. As I said long ago, I like Newt. I still do. I think he is the smartest person in the race. I thought the same thing when I said conservatives need to back Rick Santorum so someone could stop the Romney express on super Tuesday.
Turns out I was right.
Election results show Newt was too far down in Tennessee and he would only have been a spoiler possibly ending the race weeks ago. Since Santorum won, it broke Super Tuesday up and allowed the race to continue. Possibly even to a convention where Newt could be in back in play.
After the election someone from the Gingrich campaign called me and asked if I would be willing to step aside as a delegate for Newt. At the time it would not have been that big a deal for me to do it. Santorum had already asked me to be a delegate for him so either way I would have gone to the convention. I was open to the idea.
The only issue was media reports had said if I did step down Newt would have lost the delegate all together. No replacement was allowed. No good would have come of that. I had already said I was committed to Newt for the first two rounds and if he was in play I would happily still supported him after that.
I relayed my concerns to the person from the Newt campaign and they said they would check into it and get back to me.
They never did.
Instead of playing it straight up and doing the work of a few phone calls a few weeks ago, The night before the SEC set the delegates for the campaigns, the Gingrich campaign decided to play cutesy and sent out a media blast asking the SEC not to seat me. By that time all the Santorum delegates were set.
The Gingrich campaign waited so long to do anything it would have left me nowhere to go (I guess this was the plan). They then made it worse by going public instead of talking to me about it one on one. They attacked me and mislead people about what I had said. It would have been a pretty good political "gotcha" except for one thing. The SEC came out and said while it might be possible to replace me without losing the delegate (in contrast to previous understanding) it was completely up to me. Not them.
Oopsie. Not a good way to ingratiate yourself to the one person who can help you.
Even though they decided to go down that road I still tried to accommodate them. Even though I figured it was too late, I put forward the effort. I was on the phone until 1:30 in the morning talking with the Santorum people trying to make things so we could do it. I was right. It was too late.
As the saying goes, "If you are going to swing at the king, You better kill him. Because if you don't...."