NEW ORLEANS - Newt Gingrich made a campaign stop at the Audubon Zoo today and took the opportunity to hit Mitt Romney for his negative attack ads credited for bringing down Gingrich's lead in the polls earlier this year.
Among the flamingos a lady told Gingrich she voted for him. "Please save our country," another lady says.
Gingrich toured the elephant exhibit with zoo director Ron Forman and talked about the election while walking from the monkeys to the animatronic dinosaur exhibit.
Gingrich told Forman that he feels like he's playing "catch-up" every day and that both he and Santorum are enduring attacks from Romney.
"With both Santorum and me, he's now confused as to who he is attacking," Gingrich said. "It's his only technique. I tell people he's like a 4-foot-8 guy who wants to play center and his only technique is to shrink the others, which I think bodes very badly for a general election."
Gingrich was asked if the race would go all the way to the convention.
"Well it depends, if we are successful and he doesn't have an absolute-if he doesn't have 1,000 delegates, I mean you know, if he's close, attrition will get him the last 100," Gingrich said. "But if he's under 1,000 delegates, I don't think he's going to get the nomination."
Gingrich told Forman the election process has been "a little bit like you after the hurricane."
"It's more difficult and challenging than I thought it would be, but the direction is right and you can feel it beginning to work," Gingrich said.
Before entering into the animatronic dinosaur exhibit, Gingrich said neither Santorum nor Romney want to debate him.
Gingrich finished up his zoo visit among the moving T-Rex and triceratops dinosaurs. An avid fan of dinosaurs, Gingrich got in the face of one of the moving creatures as it roared. He left the building with a big smile on his face.
"This is why I'm not afraid of taking on Washington, after taking on dinosaurs they aren't scary," Gingrich said.