Gingrich close to concession as Conover visit nears

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich all but conceded Wednesday that his White House campaign is over โ€” one day before he visits Conover.

Gingrich,โ€” who is scheduled to speak at the Sidewalk Cafe in Conover at 8 a.m. Thursday โ€” said he expects Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee. He called on the party to unite behind the former Massachusetts governor.

"You have to at some point be honest about what's happening in the real world as opposed to what you would like to have happened," Gingrich told supporters at a suburban Charlotte restaurant the morning after Romney swept GOP primary contests in five states.

"Gov. Romney had a very good day yesterday," Gingrich continued. "You have to give him some credit. He's worked for six years. He put together a big machine ... I think I would obviously be a better candidate."

Gingrich said GOP voters didn't agree, and that he would begin working to unite the party.