WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) --
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's ready to abandon his bid to be the Republican presidential nominee, indicated he will back rival Mitt Romney.
Gingrich, whose campaign is swamped with debt, had said he would formally leave the campaign trail Wednesday.
In an interview with USA Today on the eve of his announcement, Gingrich said he would support Romney's candidacy and is ready to stump for the former governor of Massachusetts.
Gingrich said he would officially endorse Romney's candidacy when the two men make a joint appearance soon, USA Today reported Wednesday.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Gingrich said he didn't regret his decision to run for president, but had "regrets about not being smarter about how to run."
With "more discipline and more courage to be more outside the mainstream, it might have worked better," said Gingrich, who won only his home state of Georgia and South Carolina.
He also praised Romney after challenging his conservative credentials.
"Mitt Romney met the first criteria of being a good candidate: He won," Gingrich said. "Now you have to respect that. We sure didn't give it to him. We did everything we could to slug it out with him, and he ended up being tough enough and being good enough at raising money."
In a March 31 report to the Federal Election Commission, the campaign said it owed $4.3 million. A campaign official said about $500,000 has been paid since the report.
Gingrich posted a message to supporters on YouTube Tuesday, thanking voters and volunteers and warning that re-electing President Obama "would be a genuine disaster."