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Newt Gingrich continues attacks on Mitt Romney, vows to fight on

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Former House speaker Newt Gingrich continued his attack against rival Mitt Romney on Sunday, vowing to fight on in the Republican presidential primary despite his distant second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses Saturday.

Evan Vucci


Republican presidential candidate former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Gingrich accused the former Massachusetts governor of taking “timid” policy positions which would undermine the GOP’s efforts to unseat President Obama in the fall.

On “Meet the Press”, Gingrich said that in the general election, “I am prepared, for example, to talk about young people having the right to have a personal Social Security savings account, which actually saves Social Security, increases their income, and eliminates about 50 percent of the disparity of wealth in the country within a generation.

“So I think the difference between timidly trying to manage at the margins a system that has to be profoundly changed and boldly taking it on is a very, very big difference,” he said. “And I don't think a timid approach is going to beat Obama this fall.”

In a separate appearance on “Face the Nation,” Gingrich described Romney’s record as, “frankly, not very distinguishable from President Obama.”

In both appearances, Gingrich said he would devote the next month to making the argument to Republican primary voters that “a genuine conservative” is best positioned to win against Obama.

“The challenge is to say do you really want to go into a fall election with a moderate candidate?” Gingrich said on “Meet the Press” with host David Gregory. “The last two times we nominated a moderate—1996 and 2008—we lost badly.  A conservative candidate can offer a much greater contrast with President Obama; can offer a much bigger difference.”

Gingrich made it clear he was not dropping out of the race, and was counting on staying so he could make it to Southern states including Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas. Gingrich expressed confidence on “Face the Nation” that former GOP presidential aspirant Rick Perry could help deliver a critical win in vote-rich Texas. “And so my job all the way to Super Tuesday and then beyond to Texas, my goal is –with Governor Perry’s help and others –to have basically be about tied in delegates around the time we come out of Texas,” he said. “My job is to communicate that, in fact, there is a very big choice. To do that on television with you, to do that on talk radio, to do that over the internet, to do that with paid media.”

“We believe by the time Texas is over, we'll be very, very competitive in delegate count, and I think that the key, from my standpoint, is to make this a big choice campaign,” he said on NBC.

While Gingrich has now lost two contests in a row to Romney, he told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that he has shown he can inspire greater voter intensity than his main opponent. “In Florida, every county that I carried, and I carried most of the northern counties in the state, every county that I carried had an increase in turnout over last time. Every county that Governor Romney carried had a decrease in turnout over last time,” Gingrich said. “In South Carolina we set the record. We had a one-third increase in turnout.”

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