Gingrich: 176K donors want me to stay in race

(CBS News) -- Newt Gingrich has been battling calls for him to drop out of the Republican presidential race, after losing both the Mississippi and Alabama primaries Tuesday. But the former House Speaker said today his campaign will continue up to the party's convention in Tampa.

When asked by Charlie Rose under what circumstances he would end his campaign before the convention, Gingrich replied, "Probably none."

"I have 176,000 donors," he said. "Everywhere I went in Illinois yesterday, people came up to me and said, 'Please stay in the race, please represent big ideas, please represent things like $2.50 a gallon gas, a personal Social Security fund.'"

Rose asked Gingrich if his biggest supporter, Nevada casino mogul Sheldon Adelson (whose family have given $10 million to the pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future), were to urge him to change his campaign would he do so then, Gingrich replied, "No.

"I'm happy to have somebody who cares passionately about the Iranian nuclear weapon and somebody who cares passionately about the survival of Israel independently support me - just as I'm sure Mitt Romney is happy to have 16 billionaires supporting him and, I assume, the president has hundreds of people supporting his Super PAC. That's unfortunately the way the game is current played, that's fine.

"But I have 176,000 donors at newt.org. They want me to stay in the race and I really represent their interest as individuals."

Gingrich also criticized President Obama, saying his administration's policies will not help the middle class facing higher prices at the gas pump.

"They've asked the Saudi Arabians to pump a lot more oil," he said. "So apparently drilling in Saudi Arabia is fine, paying the Saudis allow billions of dollars is fine, having the royalties go to the Saudi government is fine. It's the Americans Obama doesn't like to help. Why not drill in the United States? Why not have the money stay here? Why not create jobs here? They can't have it both ways. . . .

"This administration is punishing the American middle class with high unemployment rates combined with high gasoline prices," he said.


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