Former House speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday pushed back against suggestions that he may be preparing to drop out of the GOP presidential race, arguing that downsizing his campaign is precisely what he needs to do in order to ensure that he can continue running.

“We’re staying in,” Gingrich said Wednesday morning in an interview on WTOP radio. “That’s exactly why we’re downsizing and doing what we need to to be able to stay in. I think you have to respond to reality and we’ve had, you know, the cash flow was shorter than we’d like it to be. So we’re doing the appropriate things to be able to campaign.”

The interview came the morning after news broke that Gingrich, who once briefly led the GOP field but has since struggled to stay relevant, is trimming down his campaign schedule and is laying off one-third of his staff, including his top aide, Michael Krull.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Gingrich is expected to deliver a speech at Georgetown University at 5 p.m. Wednesday ahead of next Tuesday’s District primary.

Asked what his “one reason” is for staying in the race, Gingrich responded that the GOP primary has yet to come to a conclusion – and that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) must “earn” the Republican nomination.

“Mitt Romney doesn’t have 1,144 delegates,” Gingrich said, referring to the number of Republican National Convention delegates necessary to clinch the nomination. “There is no sign yet that he is guaranteed getting 1,144. For some reason, everybody in the establishment is chanting that (former senator Rick) Santorum and I should quit. Well, Romney has to earn this. It’s not going to be given to him. And we have every right to run.”

He likened the GOP race to a sport and argued that it would be unheard of to call on a team to drop out before the end of the season.

“Until Mitt Romney has 1,144 locked down, solidly, I owe it to the people that have helped me over the past year to represent their views and their values,” Gingrich said.