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Newt Gingrich: 'I will go all the way to the convention'

January 28, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Newt Gingrich greets people at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Newt Gingrich greets people at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )

Reporting from Port St. Lucie, Fla. — Newt Gingrich, shaking off signs that his campaign is stalling in Florida, pledged to fight for the GOP nomination through the summer.

“I will go all the way to the convention. I expect to win the nomination,” he told reporters after holding a small rally outside the PGA golf museum here. “You just had two national polls that show me ahead. Why don’t you ask Gov. Romney what he will do if he loses since he is behind in both national polls.”

Gingrich had a busy day Saturday, with six events across the state. This comes after a week with two debates,  formats that have largely been shining moments for the former House speaker during the campaign – strong performances helped revive his candidacy and drove his win in South Carolina. But he failed to have breakthrough moments in the Florida debates. Gingrich said he was dissatisfied with the face-offs against Mitt Romney.

“You cannot debate somebody who is dishonest. You just can’t.  The people say I’m a good debater. I can’t debate somebody who won’t tell the truth,” Gingrich said of Romney, repeating the theme of an advertisement he released Friday.

Gingrich said his chagrin over claims Romney made about his voting record and investments was evident during the debates.

“A couple scenes you can go back and replay, I’m staring in amazement.  I know what he’s saying is untrue,” he said. “And I also know that in that particular audience it would not have worked to take him head on."

Gingrich also responded to Romney’s comments comparing him to “Goldilocks."

“This last [debate] Speaker Gingrich said he didn’t do so well because the audience was so loud. The one before, he said he didn’t do so well because the audience was too quiet,” Romney said. “This is like Goldilocks, you know? You’ve got to have it just right.”

Gingrich deemed the remarks “silly.”

“All I can say is that he’s got to get new consultants. They've got to come up with better material,” he said. “I’d be happy to debate tomorrow, 90 minutes, no moderator,  OK? He’s not going to debate. ... I'd debate him Sunday and I’d debate him Monday.  He’s not going to debate. So it’s just baloney.”

seema.mehta@latimes.com

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