After finishing fourth in Iowa and New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich predicted Sunday that he would take first place in the upcoming South Carolina primary.
“I’m probably gonna win next Saturday, because as a Georgia Reagan conservative I fit much more comfortably,” the former House Speaker told CBS host Bob Schieffer.
“Do you think [former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney] would be the weakest candidate that Republicans could field this time out?” the CBS host asked.
“I think it’s pretty challenging for a candidate, once you get to the real record, for that candidate to arouse the enthusiasm of a certain segment of the conservative movement,” Gingrich replied.
“We’re all going to do everything we can to defeat Barack Obama. The re-election of Barack Obama in this environment with this record, would lead him to be so arrogant and so aggressive that it’s hard to imagine what his second term would be like. … I just think a clear Reagan conservative has a much better chance of defeating him that somebody who’s comes out of a Massachusetts moderate background.”
A Reuters/Ipsos poll of South Carolina voters released Saturday found that Romney had a 21 point lead over Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who were tied at 16 percent. Gingrich was in fourth place with support from only 12 percent of South Carlina Republican voters.
The South Carolina primary will be held Jan. 21.
Watch this video from CBS’s Face the Nation, broadcast Jan. 15, 2012.