UPDATE, 9:37 p.m.(PST):
LAS VEGAS — Turns out the new Newt is pretty much the same as the old Newt.
Addressing a roomful of reporters at The Venetian hotel tonight, Gingrich said he plans on staying in the race until the bitter end, despite the wishes of his opponents and the elite media.
“I am a candidate for President of the United States,” Gingrich said. “I will be a candidate for President of the United States, we will go to Tampa.”
Gingrich then explained that his senior staff had “frankly spent the last four days laying out a campaign for the next four months” — the strategy, Gingrich said, would net him an equal amount of delegates as Mitt Romney by the April 3 Texas primary.
And that was all we heard about the new strategy. Gingrich spent the rest of the press conference attacking his rival for being a “George Soros-approved moderate,” and accusing him of running “the most dishonest, dirty campaign I’ve seen in American politics.”
It went on — and on, and on — from there. At one point NYT political reporter Jeff Zeleney asked Gingrich if he had figured out a way to stop Romney from “getting in his head.”
“First of all I do not think Mitt Romney is in my head,” Newt replied. “That’s an interesting analysis on your part, and I am sure with a psychiatric degree, it would get you a lot of new clients.”
But Zeleney was pretty much on point. For all his good intentions, Gingrich simply cannot quit Mitt Romney. And it looks increasingly like it will finish him in the end.
LAS VEGAS — Newt Gingrich will announce a new campaign strategy after the Nevada caucuses here tonight, in a move to refocus his struggling White House bid.
Business Insider has learned that Gingrich plans to lay out a delegate-based strategy that will allow him to make good on his promise to stay in the race until the Republican National Convention this summer.
The plan is set to be the subject of Gingrich’s 8 p.m. press conference at The Venetian hotel here tonight. The former Speaker is also expected to announce a return to a positive campaign message. Two weeks of bloody interparty battle had visibly rattled Gingrich, so it is unsurprising that he is calling for an end to the mudslinging.
As the candidate careened into the Nevada caucuses, his senior campaign staff was called into Las Vegas for a weekend of marathon strategy meeting. The new delegate focus is an indication that the campaign is now thinking seriously about how it will get through the month-long lull in the primary calendar before Super Tuesday on March 6.
In reality, any campaign that is serious about winning has a ‘delegate strategy’ — a candidate has to win 1,144 delegates to lock up the nomination. Short of that number, it would still be possible for Gingrich to deny Romney an outright victory at the convention, particularly if another candidate, like Ron Paul, was also on board.
It is not clear if Gingrich will provide specific details tonight about how he plans to accumulate delegates.
Delegate selection varies widely between states. Ron Paul, for example, is concentrating on winning “unbound” caucus states, where the popular vote is less important than making sure supporters become delegates at the state and local conventions.
While Gingrich lacks the organisation to compete in caucuses, he benefits from new Republican Party rules that requires states that vote before April to award delegates proportionally, either by the popular vote or by Congressional district.
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