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Despite increasing calls for Newt Gingrich to step aside, he said he's staying in the race.
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said he will stay in the race, despite increasingly direct calls for him to drop out, according to CBS News.
Gingrich canceled his planned trip to Kansas to concentrate on Alabama and Mississippi which are vital if his campaign is to continue, said CBS News. Gingrich's spokesman R.C. Hammond said, "A big win in Georgia kept us in the race. Big wins in Alabama and Mississippi will add even more fuel to the tank."
Addressing calls that he should drop out of the race to let rival Rick Santorum become the "conservative alternative" to Mitt Romney, Gingrich said, "I would say with all respect to my friend from Pennsylvania Senator Santorum, there is a big difference between being a good team member and changing the game. I'm not going to Washington to be a good team member. I'm going to Washington to change Washington itself."
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John Brabender, a senior campaign strategist for Santorum, said, "It’s time for conservatives to say ‘look we’re going to rally behind one candidate. Rick Santorum is that candidate," according to The Washington Post.
Stuart Roy, an adviser for the super PAC that supports Santorum, echoed Brabender's statement, saying, "It is time for Newt Gingrich to exit the Republican nominating process. Newt has become a hindrance to a conservative alternative," reported The Post.
Santorum, when asked about his campaign calling on conservatives to push Gingrich to drop out, said, "If they're doing so, they're not doing so at my knowledge, let's just put it that way. I've been very very clear about my position on this," reported Politico.
Santorum said, "I'm not saying I don't want him to get out. If he wants to get out, I'm all for him getting out. I'm for Mitt Romney getting out. I wish President Obama would just hand me the thing, but that's not going to happen. So the idea is let folks decide what they think is best, for getting a conservative, someone that's going to put this country on the right track elected to president," according to Politico.
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Here is a portion of Gingrich's speech where he said he will not drop out, courtesy of CBS News: