“It never occurred to me — and this is one of the lessons I’m contemplating for some future memoir — it never occurred to me the scale of the Romney fundraising capability,” Gingrich said. “I was fully prepared to be outspent 2-to-1, even 3-to-1. But when you’re up to 5- or 6-to-1, you’re being drowned. You’re not going to be able to match it.”

And yet, the man whose political fortunes always seem to have one more gasp can’t quite bring himself to give up all hope.

“The only way I’ll be the nominee is if Romney makes a major mistake and ends up with a number of his delegates saying they just can’t do that,” he said. “On the other hand, that has happened in American history, and as a historian, I’m probably the calmest person about not getting out [of the presidential race] of anyone you know.”

Is there anything that could make him leave the race?

“Nothing.”

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