Newt Gingrich urges rivals to drop out, declares that a vote for Santorum or Perry is a vote for Romney

by
January 18, 2011

The Mail

Buoyed by his strong debate performance in Myrtle Beach, Newt Gingrich has called his rivals to drop out of the race because “consolidating into a Gingrich candidacy” would “virtually guarantee victory” in the South Carolina primary and stop Mitt Romney becoming the Republican nominee.

Making the case to a crowd of almost 200 in an art gallery in the old railroad junction town of Florence, South Carolina he said: “If you look at the polling, I’m the only conservative who realistically has a chance to be the nominee.

“So any vote for Santorum or Perry in effect is a vote to allow Romney to become the nominee. Because we’ve got to bring conservatives together in order to stop him.”

Gingrich was speaking in Florence (which holds the distinction of equidistant between New York City and Miami) some two hours after Romney had held asparsely-attended event in which barely 100 voters turned up – a sign that in this portion of the state at least of a lack of enthusiasm for the frontrunner.

Having predicted on Monday night that he would win South Carolina, where the latest poll has him trailing by 14 points, today he went a step further by declaring: “If we win on Saturday, I think I will  be the nominee.”

Afterwards, he told reporters: “You can make a pretty good case I actually know how to design a national campaign. I actually know how to set up a conservative alternative to Obama in a way that will be very, very effective and very strategic.

“And, I don’t think Santorum can do any of that. Because, again, it’s not because he’s not a nice guy. But he doesn’t have any of the knowledge for how to do something of this scale.”

A “Massachusetts moderate” like Romney would be unable to draw the contrasts with Obama necessary to secure victory, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives argued.

Gingrich, never short of self-regard, was on bullish form. When a supporter asked if he could take on Barack Obama and bloddy his nose, he responded: “I don’t want to argue with you about the analogy. I don’t want to bloody his nose, I want to knock him out.”

But he may have reinforced concerns about whether he can ever be a team player by batting back an inquiry about whther he would consider being a vice-presidential running mate with: “I can tell you, I can’t imagine a presidential candidate who’d want to have me as their vice president.”

It would be a fair bet that Mitt Romney would agree with him on that one.

To read more, visit: http://harndenblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/01/newt-gingrich-declares.html

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