For the normally reclusive Prince of Darkness, the decision to hold a press conference at the Washington Airport Marriott to reveal that he would not be supporting Mr. Gingrich struck many as extraordinary.
Dressed in his traditional red cape and carrying a smoldering pitchfork, Satan stated in no uncertain terms that he would be withholding his endorsement from his former colleague: "Not only am I not supporting Newt, I am giving his soul back."
Satan's announcement was particularly hurtful to the potential G.O.P. presidential candidate because, in the words of Gingrich supporter Tracy Klujian, "Newt and Satan have worked so closely in the past."
According to a close associate of the Prince of Darkness, Satan's rift with Gingrich stemmed from the former House Speaker's decision to confess that he had had an extramarital affair with a staffer while pursuing the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair with a staffer.
"The fact that Newt confessed it to Jerry Falwell really ticked Satan off," the Satan aide said.
Gingrich supporter Klujian remains hopeful, however, that the breach between the two infernal colleagues can somehow be mended: "You can win the G.O.P. nomination without Satan's help, but it's not easy."
Elsewhere, President Bush kept expectations low for his tour of Latin America, telling reporters, "I never got good grades in Latin."
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