Gingrich on dropping out: ‘Hell no, I won’t go’

Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign stop Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican Newt Gingrich on Monday dismissed calls to drop out of the presidential contest in order to set up a direct contest between rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The former House speaker insisted that his ideas and a new determination to stay positive would help him once again resuscitate his flagging candidacy.

“I think my ideas are much bolder than Santorum or Romney’s. I think my ideas are much clearer and more specific and I have to focus on communicating those ideas. Let’s see how it plays out,” Gingrich told reporters after addressing a Hispanic leadership event near Los Angeles. He is spending most of the week in California attending fundraisers.

Gingrich’s comments came as the National Review, an influential conservative magazine, published an editorial calling on Gingrich to step aside and endorse Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who has recently surged in polls. Santorum himself suggested in an interview Sunday that he would like Gingrich to clear the way.

Gingrich called the National Review article “silly” and said he had no intention of abandoning the race. He noted that he had been counted out several times before in the presidential race but had rallied back each time.

“The National Review wanted me to drop out in June,” Gingrich said, adding that he planned to revive his candidacy with policy speeches like the one he delivered Friday at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee. The speech was well received, but Gingrich nonetheless placed third in the group’s presidential straw poll.

Gingrich was riding high in polls before Iowa’s kickoff caucuses Jan. 3, before Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Romney’s campaign, attacked him with negative ads casting him as a tainted Washington insider. The ads helped sink him to a weak fourth place finish there.

Gingrich came back to win a resounding victory in South Carolina’s primary Jan. 21, at which time he urged Santorum to consider dropping out. But Romney’s campaign, along with Restore Our Future, launched some $15 million in negative ads against Gingrich in Florida, crushing his momentum. Romney won Florida’s primary Jan. 31, and Gingrich has struggled to catch fire again while Santorum has surged.

Speaking to a tea party group in Pasadena, Gingrich depicted Santorum as a flash in the pan whose own candidacy had been nearly left for dead before he won contests in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado last week.

“He had a really good Tuesday and suddenly the same people who said I was dead in June are saying, ‘See, I told you so,'” Gingrich said. “I have a message for them — I’m still here.”

Hoping to mount yet another comeback, Gingrich has set his sights on states like Georgia and Ohio holding contests on Super Tuesday, March 6.

The four remaining Republican candidates, including Ron Paul, will meet for a nationally televised debate Feb. 22 in Arizona, which holds a primary Feb. 28, as does Michigan.

Gingrich showed no sign of backing off his vivid rhetoric when he suggested that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which he called “bigoted and anti-religious,” should be impeached for its recent ruling invalidating a California ballot initiative that had overturned gay marriage rights in the state.

Gingrich edged out of a potentially embarrassing exchanged with Orly Taitz, a California dentist who pioneered the “birther” movement questioning whether President Barack Obama had been born in the United States and therefore eligible to be president. Taitz suggested to Gingrich that he should pursue the debunked birther agenda as a way to propel his campaign.

“Somebody who wouldn’t be good enough, who wouldn’t be certified to pick tomatoes or clean bathrooms is sitting in the White House,” Taitz told Gingrich, to gasps and some applause from the tea party audience.

Gingrich demurred and said, “I think I have enough issues to debate Obama with.”

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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2 Responses to "Gingrich on dropping out: ‘Hell no, I won’t go’"

  1. Sandy Price  February 14, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Anger is driving Speaker Gingrich. He feels assaulted by his own party who actually was glad to see him go when he was thrown out of Congress.

    In his mind, he is now a Catholic and must be forgiven for his sins. I would tell him the same thing I told my own kids when they pulled that B.S. about Jesus forgiving them. I made it clear they had to pass my opinions first; when I approved of their actions, they were free to head for church and check it out there.

    I have been aware of the anger of this troubled man for many years and to me it triggered what was wrong within the GOP from the beginning.

    It is difficult enough to enter politics without a false faith in God. To believe in God is to live by the rules of that faith. There is no “get out of jail card” handed to anyone when they are baptised.

    Poor Newt has tried everything and the anger has taken over his mind. Will he turn it on his wife soon or is he back in his crib reaching for the warm hug from his new mother figure?

    Newt wants nobody in the White House. If he can’t have it, nobody will. One of my best friends has this anger and has become an outraged hermit. I’m losing many friends of my age to old age. I cannot find the magic words to bring this one back.

    We cannot let this monster anywhere near the white house.

  2. Carl Nemo **==  February 15, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Isn’t it fascinating to witness a human being so full of themselves, totally controlled by their false ego’s to presume they are ‘all that’ such as Newt Gingrich.

    This guy is ‘legend in his own mind’, an egomaniac beyond any textbook description. So too he’s a tragic soul, doomed to endless karmic incarnations of being what he is; I.E. a slave to illusion and the false things of our Pinda world constuct.

    Newt Gingrich isn’t going anywhere, but off our TV monitors soon…! : )

    Carl Nemo **==

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