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Gingrich: 'I have to win Georgia'

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a rally in Woodstock, Ga. on Thursday, March 1


WOODSTOCK, GA -- Newt Gingrich told Georgians Thursday just how vital a win here in his home state next Tuesday really is to his campaign.

“I have to win Georgia, I think, to be credible in the race,” Gingrich told a sold-out Cobb Country Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Atlanta this morning.

The former House Speaker is trying to mount a third comeback in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum potentially stand in his way as they’ve already won 128 and 29 delegates respectively. Gingrich has also secured 29 delegates. Winning the state of Georgia with 50 percent of the vote would give a candidate 76 delegates, the most of any of the 10 states on Super Tuesday.

And even Gingrich acknowledges Romney or Santorum could become the nominee even though he finds them irrelevant.

“One of them may win because money matters but I don’t think they are relevant because they are just politics, they are just the same old bologna,” he said. “One is Massachusetts’s moderate bologna, the other is Pennsylvania big labor bologna but they are bologna.”

But, Gingrich says of Romney, who is seen in the eyes of many as the inevitable choice to compete against President Barack Obama this fall, is still beatable. 

“You’ve now seen Governor Romney, who’s spent maybe 10 times as much money as the rest of us, can’t close the sale,” Gingrich said. “Well, if he can’t close the sale our job is to go out and keep making the sale until we finish closing it.”

The Romney campaign and the Restore Our Future super PAC have far outspent Gingrich as the Gingrich campaign and his Winning Our Future super PAC have not been able to raise as much money as the former Massachusetts Governor.

Just in Georgia alone, the pro-Romney SuperPAC has spent $1.5 million while Winning Our Future has spent $1.1 million; the Romney campaign itself spent $327,000 and Gingrich just $15,000.

Gingrich told the crowds today, he hopes his message will resonate with voters even without the big money his competitors can attract and he can win with “people power.”

In the end, the race comes down to which of the remaining candidates can beat Obama, Gingrich argues.

“We have two nice people running who are not visionaries,” the Speaker says about his two chief Republican opponents during a speech outside the Cherokee County Georgia Republican Headquarters here. “We have a president who has the wrong vision. So we need to match our positive vision of an American future with his negative vision of a socialist, bureaucratic, secular future.”