WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former pizza magnate Herman Cain will not endorse former rival Newt Gingrich for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, contrary to a media report, a spokesman for Gingrich’s campaign said.
Cain dropped out of the race on Saturday after accusations of sexual misconduct overwhelmed his bid to become the Republicans’ choice to oppose Democratic President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.
His departure shaped the Republican race more clearly into a matchup between Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and spurred speculation as to whom the former Republican front-runner would support.
Cain said on Saturday he would endorse one of the contenders for the nomination. The Fox television station in Atlanta that first reported allegations that Cain had had an extramarital affair said he was preparing to endorse Gingrich on Monday.
Cain has denied the affair.
Gingrich seemed the most logical choice for a Cain endorsement because his campaign has appealed to the same conservative wing of the Republican party targeted by Cain, who had positioned himself as an anti-Washington tax reformer.
R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for Gingrich, said there were no plans for Cain to endorse the former Speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday, despite media reports over the weekend.
“Like Mark Block, I am not expecting any endorsements today,” Hammond said. Block, Cain’s campaign chief, has said he does not expect Cain to endorse any of his former rivals soon.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Paul Simao