Feb. 28, 2012 at 10:07 AM ET
Former House Speak Newt Gingrich is taking a primary gamble, skipping the Arizona and Michigan contests to focus on the states up for grabs on Super Tuesday.
The former Georgia congressman, who is lagging behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the polls, won the South Carolina primary — but has lost every battle that followed.
Still, he told Matt Lauer on TODAY Tuesday, don't count him out.
“We’ll come out of Super Tuesday having picked up a number of delegates,” the former Georgia congressman insisted. It's a move Lauer called "optimistic."
“A lot of people feel the train has left the station and there are only two guys on it and you’re not one of them,” Lauer said.
But Gingrich waved off any suggestion that he may soon have to end his run. "I've been down this road before," he said.
Gingrich's strategy borrows a page from Santorum’s playbook of skipping states deemed unwinnable and moving on instead to more viable contests. Santorum bypassed several primaries and instead focused his efforts and resources to sweep Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado.
Gingrich called the move “intelligent.” His strategy also included deploying his daughter, former GOP hopeful Herman Cain and former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts to add a bit of high-profile presence on the trail. He’s also eyeing states with fewer delegates up for grabs.
The former college professor said there is room for middle ground in the debate over President Obama’s comments about Americans’ need to pursue higher education.
Santorum has portrayed the comments as elitist. Gingrich disagrees.
“I do think every American ought to get trained,” Gingrich said. “It doesn’t matter what your degrees are. It matters that you’re employable.”
Gingrich also rejected the notion his campaign is struggling and insisted that his proposal to return gas prices to $2.50 a gallon will “have a lot of appeal” to voters.