ELLISVILLE, Miss. - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says he won't be dropping out of the race for the nomination anytime soon, even if he loses the Southern states Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday.
"We'll clearly do well enough to move on and I think there's a fair chance we'll win. But I just want to set this to rest once and for all, we're going to Tampa," Gingrich said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Gingrich was walking back comments made by his spokesman R.C. Hammond on Wednesday in which Hammond was asked if Gingrich had to win Mississippi and Alabama to remain a viable candidate, to which Hammond simply replied, "Yes."
Another reporter followed up asking, "He has to win?" to which Hammond again replied, "Yes. Everything between, as I was talking about, from Spartanburg to Texas, those all need to go for Gingrich."
One poll released today showed Gingrich leading Romney in Mississippi. Another poll released today showed Gingrich leading Rick Santorum by only one point in Alabama.
Gingrich refused to comment on the polls Friday while at an unplanned stop at an oil drilling training site, saying he only wanted to talk about questions about energy policy. Hammond also refused to comment to ABC News about the polls.