Newt Gingrich Confident After Florida Primary Loss: ‘We Will Be in Tampa as the Nominee’

Feb 1, 2012 12:58am

ORLANDO, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wants to make one thing clear: he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Gingrich’s second place finish in the Florida primary Tuesday was what Gingrich says is proof this is now a two man race for the nomination with Mitt Romney. As a winner take-all-state, Gingrich will receive none of the 50 delegates that were up for grabs.

“I think Florida did something very important coming on top of South Carolina. It is now clear this will be a two person race between the conservative leader Newt Gingrich and the Massachusetts moderate. I think Florida really made that clear,” Gingrich said.

The Gingrich campaign held up signs Tuesday that said “46 States to Go.” Those 46 states, however, will actually only be 45, as Gingrich did not make it onto the ballot in Virginia.

The “46 states” signs was a clear statement from the campaign that Gingrich is intent on running a national campaign, regardless of the 50 Florida delegates that were awarded to Romney Tuesday night upon his victory.

Earlier in the day Tuesday Gingrich told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl that he suspects the race will go on for six more months.

“I would say June or July,” Gingrich said. “Unless Romney drops out earlier.”

“If you’ll notice a number of folks are holding up a sign about 46 states to go,” Gingrich said at his primary party in Orlando. “We created this in part for the elite media, you know, the same people who said I was dead in June and July, said I was gone after Iowa, who seemed totally quiet the night of the South Carolina victory, are now going to be back saying ‘what’s he going to do?’ Well, I want to reassure them tonight. We are going to contest every place and we are going to win and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August.”

Gingrich’s Federal Election Commission report was released Tuesday and showed he raised almost $10 million in the fourth quarter, and will have $2.1 million cash on hand. The campaign still has not paid down the $1.2 million debt accrued from the beginning of the campaign.

In contrast, Romney posted a whopping $24 million earned this quarter and more than $19 million cash on hand. Tonight Gingrich told the crowd, “We’re going to have people power defeat money power in the next six months.”

Gingrich begins campaigning in Nevada Wednesday afternoon.

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