Looking beyond today’s contests in Michigan and Arizona, former Speaker Newt Gingrich said he is concentrating on Super Tuesday to make a showing in the Republican presidential race. He even went as far as to say he will win the contests in Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
Speaking on NBC’s Today, Gingrich sounded off on several positions staked out by Rick Santorum and said that, despite setbacks in the last three contests where Santorum swept, he is still confident of his chances.
“I think we'll come out of Super Tuesday with a number of delegates, then to Alabama and Mississippi where we'll win both of those,” Gingrich said. “We'll continue to amass delegates.”
Gingrich praised Santorum for his strategy in the last few contests, and his ability to gain the attention of the media. But he also said the former Pennsylvania senator’s recent boost does not concern him.
“Rick Santorum did something intelligent: he skipped South Carolina, Florida and Nevada, put his resources into three states nobody competed in and the news media anointed him the alternative,” Gingrich said. “You have to live through a couple of weeks. We have done it before. I lived through Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump.”
The former House speaker did not shy away from criticizing both Mitt Romney and Santorum, but he focused on Santorum and his comments about President Obama’s plan to push for higher education, in which Santorum called the president a "snob." Gingrich said the president’s plan was “completely reasonable.”
“I think every American ought to get trained,” Gingrich said. “Doesn't matter what your degrees are. It matters if you're employable.”
On Fox & Friends, Gingrich also addressed Santorum's comments on John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech on the separation of church and state—a speech that he said made him want to throw up. Gingrich said that he did not agree with Santorum's take.
“It was a remarkable speech at a particular point in American history and it was making a key point that no president would obey any foreign religious leader," he said. "It was to reassure people that in fact his first duty as president was to do the job of president and I think that’s correct.”
Gingrich is in third place in the delegate race, amassing an estimated 30 thus far. Romney leads the pack with an estimated 115.
Jonathan Miller contributed. contributed to this article.