Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich indicated that Sunday that he could take a commanding lead if Rick Santorum dropped out of the GOP sweepstakes.
"We're down basically to the fewer conservative [candidates] there are, the better we're doing," the former House speaker said on ABC’s "This Week."
He noted the gains his campaign has made since other conservatives —Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain — have fallen by the wayside. And he suggested that he would pick up even more if former Pennsylvania Santorum surrendered his corner of the conservative market.
"The fact is, when you combine the Santorum vote and the Gingrich vote . . . the conservative combined would clearly beat Romney," said Gingrich, who picked up Cain's endorsement Saturday night.
Castigating rival Mitt Romney, Gingrich said: "The clearer the debate gets, the more obvious it is that you've got . . . a governor of Massachusetts who was pro-abortion, he was pro-tax increase, he was pro-gun control.”
Romney "was never part of the Reagan movement, never part of conservatism in America," Gingrich insisted.
"As that becomes clearer, I think that he's not going to get the nomination," he said. "My hope is that gradually conservatives will come together and decide that a Newt Gingrich conservatism is dramatically better than Mitt Romney's liberalism."
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