Newt Gingrich: ‘I’m not going to withdraw’
By Aaron Blake,
Newt Gingrich predicted during a press conference following Saturday’s Nevada caucuses that he would emerge as the GOP front-runner again by the Texas primary.
The one problem with that: We have no idea when Texas will hold its primary. A spat over redistricting is likely to push it beyond its scheduled date, April 3.
Gingrich’s remarks about regaining his front-runner status by Texas — which he repeated — capped a bizarre press conference held Saturday in Las Vegas.
Gingrich, shunning the traditional campaign rally for a half-hour press conference in the aftermath of his huge loss in the Silver State, weighed in on everything from his poor debate performances to the Super Bowl to Mitt Romney’s staffing decisions.
But the most important takeaway from Gingrich’s press conference was this: I’m not going anywhere.
Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a news conference Saturday at The Venetian in Las Vegas. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
The former House speaker said he will be in the race all the way through the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.
“I’m not going to withdraw,” he said. “I’m actually pretty happy with where we are.
“We will go to Tampa.”
Perhaps to prove his devotion to the long haul, Gingrich said he will be going to California after this week’s caucuses in Colorado, Maine and Minnesota. California’s June 5 primary is one of the last contests in the race.
Gingrich seemed to dismiss his performance in Nevada’s caucuses, noting Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) emphasis on caucus states and Romney’s inherent advantages in the state.
“It is a very heavily Mormon state,” Gingrich said, referring to Romney’s religion.
In a similar vein, Gingrich was on the defensive for much of the press conference, with the media pressing him on just how he intends to proceed.
Contrary to some reports, Gingrich insisted he will not go with a strictly positive campaign.
In fact, Gingrich said his debate performances have been thrown off by Romney’s dishonest campaign. And he said there is no way to combat such an effort without going negative himself.
Gingrich insists he will press on for the next seven months, but there is plenty of doubt that he can pull it off.
Unless, of course, he recovers his front-runner status by the Texas primary.
Whenever that is.