Newt Gingrich Says Rick Santorum Was Right Not to Drop Out

Feb 14, 2012 12:47am

Pasadena, Cal.— Newt Gingrich, down in the polls in upcoming primary states and nationally, deflected the notion of a two man GOP race between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney today in California, while Santorum said Sunday on CNN that he believes the Republican nomination is now between Romney and himself.

“We feel very, very good going into Michigan and Arizona,” Santorum said. “We’re going to compete, obviously, heavily in Michigan. We’re going to compete in Arizona. And we think this is a two-person race right now, and we’re just focused on making sure that folks know we’re the best alternative to Barack Obama and we have the best chance of beating him.”

Gingrich responded to Santorum’s comment that it was now a two man race today in South El Monte at a Hispanic leadership event.

“That’s exactly what I said when I suggested that Rick ought to drop out weeks ago, and he decided that wasn’t a good idea, and he was right,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said he still believes the race will go all the way to the convention.

“I’m very happy to continue this campaign based on real solutions as you saw from this audience, we’ve done it twice in the last three months and I suspect you’re going to see us do it again,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said he’s reformatting his message back to positive ideas and said the last two times he took a positive approach, he was ahead in the Gallup poll.

“I believe in a few weeks I will return to being the leader in the Gallup poll,” Gingrich said.

The National Review called for Gingrich to drop out Monday, an opinion Gingrich said they held in June when his campaign was at a near demise.

“You guys go around and pick up the same people who said I was dead in June, who I was dead after Iowa. Twice I’ve lead in the Gallup polls,” Gingrich said. “Now that strikes me as a fairly real candidacy and I did it spending radically less money than Mitt Romney.”

Although Gingrich thought the race would be only he and Romney at this point, he admits he has to change his strategy with Santorum who is on an obvious upswing in the polls and financially after his three state sweep last Tuesday.

“I think our strategy has to change. I think a strategy of having better, positive bold ideas,” Gingrich said. “I think I’m clearly bolder than either Santorum or Romney. I think my ideas are much clearer and much more specific and I have to focus on communicating those ideas. The two periods where I focused on communicating those ideas, I ended up number one in Gallup both times and we’re going to go back and do what we did that worked.”

Gingrich will continue to campaign and fundraise across California for the remainder of the week.

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