(CNN) – Newt Gingrich, still looking to grab a second win in the 2012 Republican nominating process, said Sunday he didn't have any plans to drop out of the race, despite calls from his rival's advisers to step aside.
Speaking to CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union," Gingrich pointed to rival Rick Santorum's own refusal to drop out in January, when Gingrich urged the former Pennsylvania senator to get out of the race.
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"I'm taking Rick Santorum's advice," Gingrich said. "He stayed in, he was running fourth in every single primary, suddenly he very cleverly went to three states nobody else went to, and he became the media darling and bounced back."
Gingrich pointed to the Gallup daily tracking poll, which has shown support for the former House speaker rising nationally since the Arizona and Michigan primaries on February 28. The most recent survey, taken February 27-March 2, showed Gingrich with the support of 17% of Republicans nationwide, putting him third behind Romney, who was at 36%, and Santorum, at 22%.
"We have had a steady closing in the Gallup poll every day for the last two weeks," Gingrich said. "I'm very confident in largest state that will vote on Tuesday, Georgia, which has more delegates than any other state, we're going to win a very decisive victory. We're going to do well in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio, and many other states. I'm happy to continue."
Despite President Barack Obama's improving favorability ratings, Gingrich said Republicans were still poised to take the White House and the Senate in November.
"People take stock," Gingrich said. "The price of gasoline is becoming a genuine crisis for many American families. If it continues to go higher it will crater the economy by August. People will have no discretionary income. As a result the president will go into the fall with very expensive gasoline, a weakening economy, a disastrously bad policy in the Middle East. I think that's a pretty big burden."
Gingrich said the GOP would not be harmed by the controversy surrounding radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, who this week used incendiary language to describe a law student after she testified in a Congressional hearing over contraception coverage. Limbaugh apologized for the remarks Saturday.
"The Republican Party has four people running for president, none of whom is Rush Limbaugh," Gingrich said. "One of them will end up as the nominee, and that person will be the Republican spokesman. I don't think any of them were involved in this controversy at all."
Aside from high gas prices, Gingrich said the president's foreign policy would hamper his chances of reelection. The GOP White House hopeful shot down Obama's assertion that his apology for the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan saved American lives.
"I don't believe the president saved lives by what he did," Gingrich said. "I believe the president set a terrible precedent of a commander in chief not standing up for American troops."
He continued, "This excuse of his is baloney. He has apologized so many times, in so many countries, it is frankly embarrassing to have a president who thinks apologizing for the United States is a good policy."
Gingrich added that he believed Obama has taken "no steps" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The administration says its policy of forging international sanctions against Iran to isolate the Tehran regime is the best way forward for now, and it adds that all options – including possible military action – remain on the table.
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