(CNN) – Newt Gingrich is campaigning in Michigan next week on the hopes that negative sparring between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will yield much-needed delegates before Super Tuesday.
The former House speaker is trailing his Republican presidential opponents in the latest Michigan poll. Since he has not spent any money on advertising there like his two rival contenders, Gingrich needs to pay a visit to convince voters that he’s still in the game.
In an interview Wednesday evening on FOX News, Gingrich laid out a strategy to pick up some delegates on Feb. 28, thanks to Michigan’s proportional representation, despite Santorum’s latest surge and Romney’s advantage as the son of a Michigan governor.
“My prediction is that if Mitt Romney goes and attacks Santorum as negatively as he attacked me in Florida and elsewhere, that what you’re going to see is he’ll peel votes off Santorum, but they’re going to come to me, they’re not going to go to Romney,” Gingrich said on the FOX News show, “On The Record.”
The former speaker predicted he would break 15% in the state, which allocates its 30 delegates proportionally.
Gingrich often attributes his rise and fall in the presidential race to the negative advertising brought on by Romney and Restore Our Future SuperPAC, who have spent millions going after opponents with negative advertising. The former speaker is hoping the Romney campaign’s focus on Santorum and negativity toward him and the former senator will diminish Romney’s front-runner standing.
Gingrich posited to Greta Van Susteren, “At some point it’s going to sink into people, if all Gov. Romney has is negative campaigning where’s his positive message?”
Gingrich wraps up a four-day swing through California on Thursday. The trip was geared to raise money, but he held a handful of public events where he tried to focus on a positive message of his own that included calling for getting back to $2.50 gasoline.
Although Santorum’s recent victories and fundraising are a credible threat to the former speaker, Gingrich would only comment instead on the threat it poses to Romney.
“People are looking for a positive leader who has a positive solution on jobs, a positive solution on gasoline and energy, and frankly somebody who’s going to stand up to the Obama administration’s war against Christianity,” Gingrich said. “So I think you have three or four different things coming together here where people want positive, issue-oriented leadership. They don’t just want somebody with a deep pocket of Wall Street money running negative ads.”