After losing in both southern states of Alabama and Mississippi last night, former Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich was adamant about staying in the race in his speech to supporters at the Gingrich Headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.
“You have my promise, at a time when I hope this evening we have ended any news media talk of the inevitability of their hand-picked candidate,” started Gingrich referring to a third place finish by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. “At a time when we can forget about trying to nominate a Massachusetts moderate and start talking about when the primaries are over, and it’s clear that no one person has won, who would do a best job of representing America, governing, and winning the election against Barack Obama.”
Although he has not lived in the South for over a decade, the former Speaker of the House put a lot of weight on winning the southern states, claiming the status of a southerner after he represented Georgia for 20 years in U.S. Congress.
Gingrich ended up coming in second in Alabama with 29% of the vote behind former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who captured 35%. Romney came in third with 28%.
In Mississippi, the Speaker also came in second with 31%, Santorum 33% and Romney 30%.
Gingrich congratulated Santorum on Senator’s unexpected winnings, but didn’t have many kind words for Romney.
“If you’re front runner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a front-runner,” said Gingrich. “Frankly I do not believe that a Massachusetts moderate who created Romneycare as the forearm of Obamneycare is going to be in a position to win any debates this fall and that’s part of the reason I have insisted on staying in this race. We need someone who can go toe to toe with Barack Obama and debate him and win the debates decisively.”
Gingrich went on to say that he believes his “big ideas” are what the country needs, and those are lacking in the campaigns of his rivals. The Speaker pointed out that he’s already been “changing the national dialog” about energy and gasoline prices with his $2.50/gallon plan.
“If you’ll notice, The President now made three speeches and a press conference on energy, the White House press secretary has attacked me twice on energy, and this afternoon we were told that the secretary of anti-energy Dr. Chu announced this afternoon that he actually wasn’t for European level prices of gasoline,” Gingrich pointed out. “So I would say in a middle of a campaign in these two states [Alabama and Mississippi], we are already impacting the national debate on a scale that all of Romney’s ad money hasn’t achieved. And we’re doing it because ideas matter. “
Gingrich closed with a warning to his supporters that they will hear in the main stream media that he should get out of the race and forward his conservative support to Santorum.
The Speaker reassured that he will stay through the process to get to Tampa, Florida for the Republican Convention but admitted that fundraising will be more difficult now. He asked his supporters to use social media to bring in more money.
“With your help we will continue in this campaign,” he said.
Gingrich said that another reason for staying in the GOP contests is a donor Samuel Sanford, an unemployed cancer patient who donated $2.50 to Gingrich campaign after hearing the Speaker talk about his energy plan. Because Sanford was the 175,000th donor, Gingrich called him and Sanford said he donated because he wanted to be “a part of saving America.”
“We need at a time of great problems great solutions,” said Gingrich. “And great solutions require substance. And substance requires actually knowing something. Unfortunately, virtually everything President Obama knows is wrong.”