Calling the rumor of his departure from the race a "fantasy" spread by operatives of ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich reasserted his commitment to take his candidacy to the Republican National Convention in August in the face of a second straight defeat at the hands of Romney and a rumor that spread this morning that he was contemplating an end to his campaign.
Gingrich held a press conference at the posh Venetian Hotel and Casino as results from the Nevada caucuses trickled in showing a solid first place finish by Romney.
Gingrich downplayed his Nevada finish, citing Romney's previous success there in 2008 and the state's large Mormon population. The former speaker also predicted he would outperform Arizona US Senator John McCain's showing in Nevada four years before.
In 2008, McCain garnered 13% to come in third behind Romney and Texas US Representative Ron Paul but went on to win the Republican nomination for president.
Gingrich lambasted Romney throughout a press conference that took the place of a standard end of election party. The ex-speaker said he opted for the press conference as he did not want to conflict with the large number of Super Bowl parties and related events taking place across Las Vegas.
Beyond stating his intention to remain in the race, the Gingrich press conference offered little new from his standard attacks on Romney for being dishohest and a Massachusetts moderate. Gingrich did call Donald Trump a master media manipulator, a reference to Trump's endorsement of Romney after it was initially reported that the celebrity real estate developer was going to publicly back Gingrich.
Closing the media event on a light note, Gingrich revealed that he owns a share of the Green Bay Packers and that he will be cheering for the New York Giants.