Despite trailing Mitt Romney in Florida, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said he expects the GOP presidential race to “go on all the way to the convention” as he vows to consolidate conservative support behind his candidacy.
“This race is going to go on. The conservatives clearly are rejecting Romney. He is nowhere near getting a majority,” Gingrich said today on “This Week.”
“There’s no evidence anywhere that Romney’s getting anywhere near 50 percent,” Gingrich added. “Gradually, conservatives are consolidating,”
Gingrich cited his recent endorsements by former presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry, as well as last night’s surprise endorsement by former candidate Herman Cain, as signs that he is gaining ground as the non-Romney candidate.
“As you look around, you see an awful lot of grassroots conservatives coming together,” Gingrich told me. “I think you’re going to see a continued movement that…the fewer conservatives there are, the better we’re doing.”
As he has done often on the debate stage and the campaign trail, Gingrich criticized Romney as lacking true conservative principles and distorting his past record.
“You have a governor of Massachusetts who was pro-abortion, he was pro-tax increase, he was pro-gun control,” Gingrich said. “He can’t even remember his own voting record.”
Gingrich said he hopes that as more time passes that “gradually conservatives will come together and decide that a Newt Gingrich conservatism is dramatically better than Mitt Romney’s liberalism.”
“He was never part of the Reagan movement, never part of conservatism in America,” Gingrich said. “As that becomes clearer, I think that he’s not going to get the nomination.”