Newt Gingrich left Manhattan on Monday without the words he wanted to hear from Donald Trump: "You're endorsed!"
Still, the Gotham visit by the GOP presidential front-runner garnered serious political buzz -- and was a harbinger of the election year "circus" just around the corner.
"He is a genuine American icon in his own right," Gingrich gushed about The Donald during a joint news conference after their hour-long meeting.
The men traded compliments, and Trump even credited Gingrich for an idea to start a program for disadvantaged children in the city.
"We're going to be picking 10 young, wonderful children, and we're going to make them 'apprenti,'" said "The Apprentice" reality star.
Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, has already signed on to appear in a debate later this month hosted by Trump on the Ion cable network. The idea of a Trumpified debate isn't sitting well with other candidates, including Ron Paul, whose campaign said the forum would only add to the "circus-like atmosphere."
Gingrich and Trump got their own digs in at the perennial Libertarian candidate: "Ron Paul has zero chance of getting the nomination," said Trump, who's flirted with running in 2012 as an independent.
A clear candidate to challenge President Barack Obama has yet to emerge from the GOP presidential pack, although Gingrich's latest surge in the polls and his trip to New York on Monday has given him renewed exposure.