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Newt Gingrich Dropping Out of Presidential Race: NBC
CNBC.com | April 25, 2012 | 11:41 AM EDT

Newt Gingrich will suspend his bid for the Republican presidential nomination next week, NBC News confirmed Wednesday, a day after Mitt Romney added to his commanding lead in the race with primary wins in five states.

After a four-hour meeting Tuesday night, Gingrich decided to end his run on May 1, NBC reported, citing a senior campaign source. The date was chosen for logistical reasons so his family can come up to the area, NBC said.

There is a "high likelihood" he will endorse the GOP nominee then, as well, NBC said.

After watching Romney sweep five Republican presidential primaries Tuesday, Gingrich said his campaign was making a transition. Speaking at a civic club in suburban Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday morning, Gingrich did not formally withdraw from the race but said he was now campaigning as a "citizen," The Associated Press reported.

He did not explain what he meant. He did say that he expects Romney will be the GOP nominee and called on the party to unite behind the former Massachusetts governor.

On Monday, he told NBC: "I think we need to take a deep look at what we are doing."

Gingrich , who rose to be the most powerful Republican in the United States during his leadership of the House in the 1990s, finished first in two of the 36 states that have voted in the 2012 presidential contests.

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