BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told ABC News that he has “no reason to get out of the race for Mitt Romney” and that him staying in the race would not be bad for the Republican Party, but rather “bad for Mitt Romney.”
“Yeah, I understand it. Everyone in the Republican establishment wants Romney and they’d like everyone else to go home,” Gingrich told ABC News’ Jon Karl in an interview Tuesday. “They’d like to have a coronation, but that’s not how this is done.”
Though Rick Santorum was the projected winner of the primaries in both Mississippi and Alabama Tuesday night, Gingrich’s spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC News there was a “zero percent” chance Gingrich would suspend his candidacy.
Gingrich said his expectation was to be in Tampa and have an open convention, and that taking the nominating process all the way to the convention would be “good for America.” Gingrich said that he and Santorum staying in the race would be helping conservatives because “Santorum and I are stopping Romney.”
Gingrich said that keeping the process going wouldn’t be “doom” for the Republican Party as Romney suggested.
“Let’s be clear his interest is Mitt Romney the fact is we’ve often had convention fights in American history we’ve often had you know – 2008 – which party decided first? The Republicans. Which party decided last? The democrats and who is president,” Gingrich said.
The Gingrich campaign sent out a memo earlier in the day stating that the race for delegates was far from over and called Louisiana on March 24, “half time.”
“The sequencing and pace of the second half favors Newt. When this process started, Newt’s team had two goals: block an early Romney nomination; and plan for a sequenced and paced second half,” the memo stated.
Gingrich said that despite Romney’s spending in the primary states so far, Romney is still unable to carry the votes necessary to secure the nomination.
“If Romney put in $40 million of his own money and ran for six years and has outspent the rest of us by enormous margins, and he can’t close the deal why would you think he can beat Obama,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich told ABC News he believes he can still win the nomination.
“I’ve been doing this for a very long time,” he said. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could still win. I have too many fun things to do in my life if it was hopeless.”