(CNN) – Mitt Romney, fending off talk of a contested GOP convention from rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, said Monday it would be catastrophic if Republicans continued to battle for the nomination until August.
"If we go to a convention we would be signaling our doom in terms of replacing President Obama," Romney said in an interview on Fox News. "We need to select someone to become our nominee, get that person nominated and get focused on rebounding and getting him out of the White House."
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Romney said Santorum would need a "miracle" to clinch enough delegates to become the Republican presidential nominee.
"If he is able to pull off a miracle, he will be the nominee, but we have a selection process and we are in the middle of it and I am strongly leading and I will continue to lead and you will see me get the delegates to become the nominee," Romney said.
CNN currently estimates Romney to have secured 458 delegates, more than twice the amount won by Santorum, who is estimated to have 203. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to clinch the GOP nomination.
In the interview Monday, Romney became incredulous when contemplating the notion of a GOP convention without a presumptive nominee.
"All the way to the end of August to select a nominee? And have campaign working during a convention? Can you imagine anything a bigger gift to president Obama? That will not happen," Romney said.
Rival campaigns don't have the organization to go head to head with the incumbent Democrat, Romney asserted, suggesting the support he's seen in southern states with upcoming contests was indicative of his strength against Obama.
"We need to get behind the guy who can beat President Obama, and I can," Romney said. "The other guys are nice folks but they have not organized a campaign with a staff, the organization, the fundraising capacity, to actually beat Obama. I have and that is why so many people in Mississippi and Alabama are joining my effort."