WASHINGTON – Less than a day after announcing he was cutting a third of his campaign staff and asking his campaign manager to resign, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told WTOP Wednesday he has no intention of dropping out of the GOP primary race.
“We’re staying in, that’s exactly why we’re downsizing,” Gingrich told WTOP’s Mike Moss and Bruce Alan Wednesday morning. “We’re doing the appropriate things to be able to campaign.”
Gingrich compared his campaign to a sports team coming from behind toward the end of a season, and stood by his repeated claim that he won’t give up until one of his opponents reaches the 1,144-delegate count needed to clinch the nomination.
“None of you guys would call a football team or a basketball team and say, ‘Why don’t you drop out?'” he said. “You’d say, ‘There’s a season. Let’s play the season.'”
Gingrich faces an uphill climb behind Romney’s 565 delegates — 37 percent of the total count — and former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., with almost 30 percent.
With only two primary wins so far — South Carolina and his former constituency of Georgia — Gingrich trails in delegates with 15 percent, and in the overall polls. A Gallup poll he cited Wednesday as proof he isn’t splitting the GOP vote shows he is losing support, with only 12 percent as of March 26. Romney leads with 39 percent ahead of Santorum’s 27 percent, according to that poll.
“Romney has to earn this, we’re not going to give it to him,” he said of the frontrunner. “Until Mitt Romney has 1,144 locked down solidly, I owe it to the people who have helped me in the last year to represent their views and their values.”
Hear more about the candidate’s strategy in the coming months by listening to the audio at right.