Gingrich: I’m the ‘Tortoise’ Racing Against ‘Bunny Rabbits’

By Melanie Arter | March 8, 2012 | 10:13 AM EST

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/David Bundy)

( – GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich on Tuesday said that he is still in the Republican presidential race, comparing himself to a “tortoise” and the competition as “bunny rabbits.”

Gingrich said that when GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum claimed the victory in three states, the news media counted Gingrich out. At which point, Gingrich and his family recounted how the media had predicted his political demise many times before, only to be proven wrong.

“We looked at each other, and we thought, ‘You know, remember when it was Tim Pawlenty who was going to crowd me out. And remember then when it was Michele Bachmann, and then it was our good friend Herman Cain the first time, and then for a brief moment, it was Donald Trump almost, and then it was our good friend Rick Perry, and then it was Herman Cain the second time, and now it’s Santorum.’

“You just can’t quite get across to them, it’s alright, there are lots of bunny rabbits that run through – I’m the tortoise. I just take one step at a time,” Gingrich said.

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The former House speaker recounted the highs and lows of his political campaign in the national media’s eyes.

“We survived the national elite’s effort to kill us in the summer because of people like you, because of people who said, ‘we are not going to allow the elite to decide who we are going to nominate,’” Gingrich said.

He noted that his campaign survived “the two most difficult months of a career which goes back to August of 1958” – June and July – “and it was precisely because the national elite, especially in the Republican Party, had decided that a Gingrich presidency was so frightening that they had to kill it early, but you … wouldn’t let them do it.”

“So with your help and the power of large solutions and big ideas and clear communications in the debates, by December, according to Gallup, I was the front runner by 15 points and according to Rasmussen, I was the frontrunner by 21 points, because you believed in the power of ideas. You believed that people can make a difference, that in fact, Wall Street money can be beaten by Main Street work,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said “Wall Street money” was then able to reduce his support from 36 percent to 14 percent through three weeks of “a relentlessly negative $5 million campaign in Iowa.”

“And once again the media said ‘Oh, I guess this is over finally.’ But you all said, no,” he said. Gingrich increased his support and then “won a historic victory in South Carolina.”

The “forces of Wall Street” realized they were in “real trouble, and as the New York Times reported later, they held a meeting on Sunday morning after a Saturday night primary, and they said, ‘We have to destroy Gingrich.’ One of them was even quoted in the New York Times saying, ‘We have to eviscerate him.’” Gingrich said.

“And so they piled on $20 million in three weeks of negativity in Florida, and we were still standing. We carried all of North Florida, and interestingly, everywhere we were, when we won, the vote went up. When Wall Street won, the vote went down, which I think’s a pretty bad sign for this fall, if we end up with a Wall Street candidate,” he added.

“At that point, once again, they began to say, ‘Well, maybe he’s gone.’ And then frankly, Senator Santorum did something very clever. He went to three states nobody else was in, and he won them. And the news media, once again desperate to prove Gingrich is gone, suddenly said, ‘Ha, now we have the person who’s going to be the non-Romney,” Gingrich said.