published Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Gingrich pins hopes Tuesday on big Georgia win

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich arrives to speak in Duluth, Ga., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich arrives to speak in Duluth, Ga., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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THOMAS BEAUMONT,Associated Press

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is banking on a big win Tuesday in Georgia to keep his fading hopes of winning the nomination alive.

He said rival Mitt Romney, who has raised more money than his rivals, would wither as the nominee.

"Anyone who thinks Romney can outraise Obama, it ain't going to happen," Gingrich told the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce in suburban Atlanta on Tuesday. "The only hope we have to beat Obama is to have better ideas and to communicate clearly, to break through his billion-dollar campaign."

The former House speaker was hoping momentum from an expected win in Georgia, the state he represented in Congress for 20 years, would boost a campaign that has struggled since his lone victory in South Carolina on Jan. 21.

He has said he needs to do well in Georgia. He told supporters in Alcoa, Tenn., on Monday, that it appeared he would prevail in Georgia "by four or five times the margin that Romney had in Michigan."

Gingrich signaled he would stay in the race by scheduling campaign events in Alabama on Tuesday before the votes in Georgia were counted. Likewise, he planned to begin airing ads this week in Alabama and Mississippi. Both states hold primaries Mar. 13.

Gingrich leads by wide margins in Georgia polls. He trails former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Romney in Tennessee, although the race there is tight and Gingrich was closing the gap in some surveys.

The former Georgia congressman campaigned doggedly across Tennessee on Monday. A key supporter, former candidate Herman Cain, campaigned for Gingrich in Oklahoma before joining him at a rally in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Gingrich touted himself as the only candidate experienced with the issues facing the nation, drawing on his four years as House speaker during the Clinton administration.

"The biggest difference in this race between the three major contenders is one of us has consistently shown leadership," Gingrich told about 150 people in the upstairs conference room of a Food King grocery store in Kingsport, Tenn.

Gingrich has been helped by four political action committees, including one financed largely by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Yet Gingrich sought to portray a win in Georgia as a triumph in light of heavy spending on anti-Gingrich attack ads by the pro-Romney political action committee Restore Our Future.

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