Politicians notoriously say stupid things when they are at the tail-end of losing campaigns. The night is darkest just before dawn, and victory is around the corner, and all that. But it takes someone with the special narcissism of Newt Gingrich to say stuff like this (via The Hill’s Alicia Cohn):

Newt Gingrich on Friday denied that the reason he’s able to stay in the GOP presidential race is because of funding by one major donor.

“No. I’m happy to have somebody who cares passionately about the Iranian nuclear weapon, and someone who cares passionately about the survival of Israel, independently support me,” Gingrich said on CBS’s “This Morning” when asked about Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who is the major donor to a super-PAC supporting Gingrich.

Rumors surfaced this week that Adelson might have written what CNBC’s John Harwood quoted as his “last check” to support Gingrich.

Without Adelson’s support, super-PAC head Rick Tyler admitted to The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent this week that fundraising would be “challenging.” But Gingrich maintained he would stay in the race even without the support.

“But I have 176,000 supporters at newt.org — they want me to stay in the race. I really represent their interests as individuals,” he said, claiming that “95 percent have given less than $250” — meaning they haven’t hit their legal limit and can donate more.

Newt didn’t deny, BTW, that Adelson has cut him off. Yesterday MSNBC reported that the Gingrich campaign had spent $16,000 on ads in Illinois, while the Adelson-financed Super-PAC Winning Our Future had spent a big $3,000 in Louisiana. Team Romney has already dumped more than $3 million in Illinois alone. All the “big ideas” in the world aren’t going to keep Gingrich in the race in anything other than a formal sense unless Sheldon reopens his check-book, and you’d think Newt would feel enough gratitude towards the casino mogul to show him more public respect.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.