January 30th, 2012
11:58 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney shrugs off Gingrich vow

Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) - Saying he felt good about his chances in Florida, Mitt Romney shrugged off a vow by his rival Newt Gingrich to stay in the race until the GOP convention in August.

On Saturday, Gingrich told reporters in Port St. Lucie that he would take his presidential campaign "all the way to the convention," and his spokesman added Monday the campaign saw a path forward thanks to the party's complicated system of amassing delegates.

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"That's usually an indication that you think you're going to lose," Romney told reporters on his campaign charter Monday. "When you say 'I'm going to go on no matter what happens,' that's usually not a good sign."

Romney added that "everybody has the right to stay as long as they'd like" but said he was hopeful he could rack up enough delegates to clinch the nomination.

The GOP candidate, who ventured into the back of the campaign charter plane to serve birthday cake to a reporter and then flung bags of chips at the cluster of journalists that immediately formed around him, said he felt encouraged by the audiences in Florida.

"In South Carolina the crowds were good, but you could sense that it wasn't going our way," he said. "Here the crowds are good, and you can sense it's coming our way. It's getting better and better every day."

Gingrich stunned the political world by pulling off a double digit win in South Carolina's primary, but has faltered recently in Florida.

Regardless of his increasingly strong position, the Romney campaign signaled they would not be caught off-guard again by another embarrassing defeat.

"You're not going to see Mitt Romney go into cruise control after Florida, no matter what happens in Florida," said senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom.

Romney pointed to one state he said could be an "uphill" challenge for him.

"Nevada has a strong tea party component that I'd like to connect with and get support from tea parties," he told reporters.

The day after Florida's Tuesday primary Romney will make a stop in Minnesota, another early voting state, before continuing onto Nevada.

He appeared to be in a strong position heading that state's caucus, where voters will weigh in Feb. 4.

After taking a few questions, Romney grabbed a bag of chips and told reporters: "now, onto the Cheetos" as he headed back to his seat.

Also see:

Gingrich supporter trails Romney

Romney would consider pulling NBC ad

Romney holds 14-point lead over Gingrich in new Florida poll

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    As long as Newt remains in the race, Romney needs to keep the hammer down. This is excellent preparation for taking on the billion dollar Obama Smear Machine he will face later. I'm glad to see Romney finally getting into true fighting form. As they say, politics ain't bean bag.

    January 30, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth wrote:

    As long as Newt remains in the race, Romney needs to keep the hammer down.
    You could probably count on one hand how many times Mitt Romney has picked up a hammer. I just love Romney's line about how he wasn't given a head start, that earned his wealth. To prove it, Romney points out that his first job was as a partner at an investing firm. That's ripe. He didn't start off as CEO is what he's saying.

    That's what I call being out of touch with the 99% of Americans. How many people are able to put up enough spare cash to be a partner at an investment firm? Less than 1% of us.

    January 30, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Thinkagain!

    Romney must not be cocky and think everything is in his bag already. We have witnessed twist and turns since the process started. He was declared a winner in Iowa and came to be stripped off the win in few days. He was reading in polls in S. Carolina and later he lost. I won't be surprised to see un-expected results even in Florida.

    January 30, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. diridi

    Flip-Flopper, does any thing. desperate...

    January 30, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    Mittens obviously has to do the "shrug it off" thing but you know he's not happy. Newt will continue to hammer away at his credibility, making Obama's job so much easier

    January 30, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Hey Rudy, why do you hate rich people so much??? There have ALWAYS been rich people and poor people as long as there have been people on this planet. Do you think Obama and his socialist ideology is going to change that? Dream on!

    Obama is now show casing what I call "Obama's T-Ball Society". Obama thinks he's going to "level the playing field" to allow everybody that shows up at the game to get a trophy. No score need be kept (wealtch and income). No need to excel because you're going to get aq trophy just like the guy that can't hit the ball off the T and lives in his Mom's basement. What a wonderful "fair" world it will be! Home run hitters need not apply.

    January 30, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. unsub

    @ truth
    your posts are irrelevant!

    January 30, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. jcroshaw

    Thinkagain! needs to think again. Gingrich is on a downward trend. Personally I don't think he will last through February when his money starts to run out, his rich money-bags casino donor stops footing the bill, and he loses several primaries in a row.

    January 30, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Larry L

    @Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    "This is excellent preparation for taking on the billion dollar Obama Smear Machine he will face later."
    Your delusional approach to politics continues to amaze me. Smear Machine? Who do you think invented the "swift boat" tactics of dirty politics? Which Supreme Court Justices voted for unlimited and unknown use of PACs? Who does Karl Rove work for? Who promoted the "birther" myth? Who continues to call our President a "socialist" and a "Muslim"? The right-wing is motivated by fear, hate and bigorty. They are funded by corporate greed and radical right-wing ideology. They use the right-wing, hate media to brainwash people like you. You are not a patriot – but rather a pawn of the Rupert Murdoch's and Koch brothers of the wealthy, radical right.

    January 30, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. William

    Nice setup, looks like there's no one on the plane.

    January 30, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Mitt Romney , 16 grandchildren , five sons who avoided military service.

    There is more to love about America then MONEY .

    January 30, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Bill

    Right now Gingrich has more delegates than Romney (23 19) and he will stay in and take it all the way to June or the convention. It is a long road to the number needed for nomination, Mittens. And most of upcoming states award delegates on proportional basis. I would not crack the chmapage yet.

    January 30, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Rick Santoram

    Before South Carolina, Mitt said he was leading and we all know what happened. This time is also the smae thing! The scared boasts the most before a fight! Age old behavior

    January 30, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Thinkagain!


    " Gingrich is on a downward trend. Personally I don't think he will last through February when his money starts to run out, his rich money-bags casino donor stops footing the bill, and he loses several primaries in a row".
    You are confirming to what the rest of us knew already. It is money which is speaking and not what the candidates stand for or will do differently.

    January 30, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. anagram_kid

    Please Me. Gingrich stay in as long as possible. You are doing a great job of soiling the GOP!
    Obama 2012

    January 30, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Who is the Trust Fund Baby claiming to be like this week? The unemployed? Seniors on Medicare? The disenfranchised? Ex-pat Cubans? Or maybe Pablo Escobar???!!
    This man has more faces than the moon.
    Obama 2012.

    January 30, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |