Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who looked positioned to finish second in both the Alabama and Mississippi Republican primaries Tuesday night, used the results to challenge what he called the news media’s manufactured “inevitability” aura around former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"If you're the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you're not much of a front-runner," Gingrich said during his concession speech at his Alabama headquarters in Birmingham.
He showed no sign of leaving the race, and predicted that Romney would fail to achieve the magic number of 1,144 delegates in coming primaries, leading to a contested Republican convention in Tampa this summer.
"We are already impacting the national debate on a scale that all of Romney's ad money has been unable to achieve," Gingrich said.
He said he has altered the national conversation by driving an argument that he would bring back $2.50 per gallon gasoline prices. He cited the backpedal by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who earlier Tuesday recanted his 2008 statement that the U.S. would benefit from gas prices at European levels because it would reduce consumption.
Gingrich also justified continuing his campaign by pointing to his repeated resurgences after bottom-scraping in the polls.