Erik S. Lesser / EPA
Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, left, and his wife, Callista, listen to former GOP candidate Herman Cain during a campaign rally Saturday in Atlanta, Ga.
ATLANTA, GA – Newt Gingrich, acknowledging his campaign “all hinges on Georgia,” campaigned Saturday with a very familiar face in the state, fellow Georgian Herman Cain.
“I think Georgia is a very, very important state,” Gingrich said. “We actually have a very good chance of doing well here and that gives us a springboard then to go across the whole country.”
But the former House speaker cautioned “there are no slam dunk states anywhere in America.”
Gingrich and Cain, a former presidential candidate himself, appeared at three separate events.
The two men, who say they have been friends for years, not only cracked jokes with one another as they passed each other on stage, but also were full of compliments for each other during their speeches.
“Newt is not afraid to engage in a little smackdown when necessary,” a smiling Cain told the crowd in Cumming, Ga. “That’s bold leadership.”
Asked by reporters in Suwanee, Ga., what cabinet position Cain would hold in a Gingrich administration, the former speaker shied away from naming a specific job.
Cain, however, took control of the answer himself.
“My ideal job with a Speaker Newt Gingrich as president of the United States is to be a senior adviser not in charge of anything,” Cain said. “That's what I would want to do in a Gingrich administration.”
Cain, who dropped out of the race back in November, was one of many presidential candidates who made their way to the top of the pack at some point during the primary season.
Rick Santorum is currently in that front-runner role now, Gingrich said, but told supporters in Atlanta that he "will survive Santorum.”
The speaker was quick to criticize the way former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is running his campaign against the former Pennsylvania senator.
Romney, Gingrich told a packed event in Cumming, is “now doing to Santorum in Michigan what he did to me in Florida and it is an unworthy way for someone to try and become president of the United States by shrinking their opponents.”
Gingrich assured all the crowds Saturday that despite all the ups and downs he has seen in this campaign, where he has been the frontrunner twice and dead twice, that he will continue on the path toward the nomination.
“The fact is I have never seen anything like this nominating process. It has been wild. It will remain wild for a while,” he said. “Some places we’ve won and some places we’ve lost, but we are in the hunt.”