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Newt Gingrich is weighing in on Mitt Romney's controversial comment that President Barack Obama won reelection by promising "gifts" to young and minority voters.

The former U.S. House Speaker, who battled Romney for the Republican nomination this year, pointedly criticized that assertion on two different grounds.

Said Gingrich on PBS:

“I’m very disappointed with Governor Romney’s analysis, which I believe is insulting and profoundly wrong. First of all, we didn’t lose Asian-Americans because they got any gifts."

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Rick Santorum posted another convincing win in yesterday's Louisiana's GOP primary, but still faces doubts over whether he can broaden his appeal to win the race.

The Republican presidential candidate said the race was far from over, recalling the naysayers who said Ronald Reagan was too conservative to win the nomination.

But the road ahead is difficult for Santorum, who's slogging it out a game of numbers to clinch the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the party's nomination.

Rick Santorum Pic

Santorum will win at least eight of the 20 delegates up for grabs, according to CNN. Going into Louisiana, Mitt Romney had 563 delegates to Santorum's 251.

At this point, it is very unlikely that Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul can overtake Romney, with their only chance being to keep him from hitting 1,144.

If that were to occur, the nominee could be decided at an open convention when party officials convene this summer, but it remains a long shot at best now.

The candidates get a few days of breathing space before the next round of primaries on April 3 when Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia vote.

Louisiana Republican primary results:

  1. Rick Santorum 91,305 (49%)
  2. Mitt Romney 49,749 (27%)
  3. Newt Gingrich 29,655 (16%)
  4. Ron Paul 11,460 (6%)

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was loving life as he seized upon Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom likening Romney to an Etch-A-Sketch, busting out the popular toy as a prop to lambaste the GOP frontrunner during a speech.

Gingrich, along with many conservatives, could not help but roll their eyes at the remark, given Romney's long-held reputation as a middle-of-the-road technocratic flip-flopper lacking core beliefs or any sort of political consistency.

Still, Newt's personal disdain for Mitt clearly played into this display:

"How many of you have ever had an Etch-a-Sketch? My children had Etch A Sketches," Newt told a crowd in Louisiana. "They were great for car rides. But you'll notice that their pictures aren't permanent, their pictures aren't locked down."

"You can redo it any time you want. That's the problem. If you're somebody who invents RomneyCare and at the signing ceremony say that your closest collaborator was Teddy Kennedy, it's really hard to explain to us that you're really conservative."

"So here's Gov. Romney's staff, they don't even have the decency to wait until they get the nomination to explain to us how they'll sell us out, and I think having an Etch A Sketch as your campaign model, raises every doubt about where we're going."

And so it went. Rick Santorum, too, stopped at Toys R Us and bought an Etch A Sketch for campaign events, Watch him incorporate it into a speech below:

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Mitt Romney rolled to victory in the Illinois Republican primary Tuesday, regaining some momentum in a race in which he has been unable to put away his opponents.

The presidential hopeful made the case that he has the best chance of beating President Obama as he sought to overcome doubts from more conservative voters.

After narrow margins of victory over Rick Santorum in battleground states like Ohio and Michigan and a string of losses in the South, Romney cruised in Illinois.

Mitt in IL

He was poised to collect three times as many delegates as Santorum, which aides hoped would increase his lead enough to tamp down talk of a contested convention.

Romney is looking to build an unassailable advantage in the race for the GOP nomination and look ahead to a bruising fall campaign against President Obama.

Yet unless his Republican rivals decide to step aside, that won't happen.

While he has a sizable lead in delegates, Romney has only about half the 1,144 needed to win and will not be able to move beyond the primary for at least two months.

Things are looking up for the frontrunner though. The Illinois electorate is reflective of relatively moderate states that will vote across the Northeast in April.

Illinois Republican Primary Results

  1. Mitt Romney 428,434 (46.7%)
  2. Rick Santorum 321,079 (35.0%)   
  3. Ron Paul 85,464 (9.3%)       
  4. Newt Gingrich 72,942 (8.0%) 

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Rick Santorum scored another two wins in the race for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night, indicating a potentially protracted race ahead.

The former U.S. Senator won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, overcoming the financial advantages of Mitt Romney and Southern allegiances to Newt Gingrich.

Santorum strengthened his candidacy as the GOP campaign rolls into a state-by-state delegates battle in the weeks, and very possibly months, ahead.

An aggressive push by Romney to try and capitalize on the still-divided conservative electorate failed to take hold, and he finished third in both states.

Santorum Wins Again

“We did it again,” Santorum said, addressing jubilant supporters in Louisiana, which votes next week. “The time is now for conservatives to pull together.”

The outcome of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries bolstered Santorum’s argument that he should emerge as the final GOP competitor to Romney.

But Gingrich, who finished a close second in both states, noted that he earned about as many delegates as his rivals, and pledged to continue on.

“The elite media’s efforts to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed,” Gingrich said, addressing a subdued crowd here in Birmingham.

“If you’re the front-runner and you come in third, you’re not much of a front-runner.”

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The protracted race for the GOP presidential nomination grew a bit tighter today as Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses by an overwhelming margin.

With 97 percents of the precincts reporting in the Sunflower State, Santorum earned 51 percent of the vote, with Mitt Romney second with 21 percent.

Newt Gingrich with 14 percent and Ron Paul with 12 percent to finish in third and fourth, respectively. Alabama and Mississippi hold primaries Tuesday.

Santorum stands to gain a substantial number of Kansas' 40 delegates, which he called crucial to competitive in the race for his party's nomination.

R Santorum Pic

"We have to do well here in Kansas," Santorum said this week in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. "We have to win here in Kansas, and win big."

Romney and Gingrich largely skipped Kansas in favor of the states voting next week. Santorum and Paul had been the most active campaigners in Kansas.

Romney began the weekend with 339 delegates, with 107 for Gingrich, 95 for Santorum, and 22 for Paul, according to the Republican National Committee.

The RNC totals do not reflect any wins in states where delegates are not bound to the winning candidates, and also differ from various media estimates.

Romney remains the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nod and face off with President Obama in the fall, but his opponents clearly aren't going quietly.

With 1,144 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, it will take many more weeks for Mitt to reach that total, if he's able to do so at all.

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Former Alaska governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin threw her weight behind Newt Gingrich as Republican presidential nominee Tuesday.

At the same time, she coyly left open the door for her own White House run.

The GOP firebrand said she voted for Newt in the caucus/primary in Alaska, one of 10 states to cast ballots yesterday (see THG's full Super Tuesday results).

"I will tell you who I voted for... the cheerful one, it's Newt Gingrich," Palin said, referring to the one-word description Newt gave himself in a recent date.

"I have appreciated what he has stood for, stood boldly for," she said. "He has been the underdog in many of these primary races and these caucuses."

"I've respected what he has stood for."

She spoke as as longtime frontrunner Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but failed to deliver a knockout blow.

Romney won six states, including Alaska, with a whole 33 percent of the vote, while Rick Santorum won three and Gingrich cruised in his native Georgia.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared to pull off a narrow win in Ohio on Super Tuesday but lost several other states to challenger Rick Santorum.

The day of 10 primaries and caucuses produced no knockout punch, rather another split verdict that overshadowed Romney’s claim of collecting the most delegates.

Romney remains ahead in the delegate count, and thus the race for the nomination, but any hopes of asserting himself as the inevitable nominee fell short again.

Romney Ohio Pic

Far from bringing more clarity to the GOP presidential race as some in the party had hoped, Tuesday’s elections gave every candidate cause to keep driving forward.

Newt Gingrich won a definitive victory in Georgia. Santorum won in Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Ron Paul even posted several second-place finishes.

Romney won Massachusetts, where he served as governor; Virginia, where neither Gingrich nor Santorum qualified for the ballot; and Vermont, Idaho and Alaska.

In Ohio, The Associated Press named Romney the winner early this morning, though some news outlets have not called it yet, and Santorum has not conceded.

Regardless of that outcome, Ohio's tight race and his defeats elsewhere show continuing vulnerabilities for Romney on both geographic and ideological grounds.

Even with most people operating under the assumption that he remains the most likely GOP nominee, he has nonetheless lost states across several regions.

Just the same, he's winning. With 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, Romney has 332 delegates to Santorum’s 139, Gingrich's 73 and Paul's 35.

Super Tuesday results by state after the jump ...

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Mitt Romney won Washington state's Republican caucuses this weekend, gaining a boost heading into Super Tuesday tomorrow, March 6, when 11 states hold contests.

The choice isn't binding. Romney won 37.6 percent of vote. He's put together a bit of a win streak, also carrying Wyoming, Arizona and Michigan within the last week.

Ron Paul edged Rick Santorum for second place with both receiving about 25 percent of the vote, with Newt Gingrich coming in fourth with 11 percent of the vote.

Mitt Romney Picture

Republican contests on March 6 include Ohio, a swing state that President Obama, a Democrat, won in 2008 and Republican President George W. Bush won in 2004.

Polls there are very close, while Santorum has the edge in Oklahoma and Tennessee, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads surveys in Georgia.

Romney is expected to win Massachusetts, Vermont and likely Virginia. Paul will continue to be a factor everywhere, particularly in states with caucus formats.

The 2012 Washington Republican Caucus results:

  1. Mitt Romney 19,111 (37.6%)
  2. Ron Paul 12,594 (24.8%)
  3. Rick Santorum 12,089 (23.8%)
  4. Newt Gingrich 5,221 (10.3%)
  5. Other 1,749 (3.4%)

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has won Wyoming's presidential caucus vote, a series of county straw polls that took place over the last three weeks.

At 39 percent, Romney bested Rick Santorum (32 percent), Ron Paul (21 percent) and Newt Gingrich (8 percent). The Wyoming GOP released the results Wednesday.

Like Iowa's caucus, Wyoming's is not binding and will in no way affect the state's 29 delegates to the national convention, where the nominee will be formally chosen.

GOP Contenders

More attention will likely be paid to Wyoming's county conventions, held March 6-10, which will directly elect 12 delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Its April state convention, which will elect another 14 delegates ... none of which will be allocated (or "bound") to any of the four remaining presidential candidate.

Each will have to announce support for a candidate or "undecided." Confused yet?

Only 2,108 total votes were cast in Wyoming, the least populous U.S. state (fun fact). Nevada, the next smallest caucus to date, saw more than 30,000 GOP votes.

Also like in Iowa, the precinct caucuses served another function, besides recording a presidential-preference vote: electing delegates to Wyoming's later conventions.

If Romney's win in Wyoming is any indication, he'll receive more backing than his rivals from Wyoming's unbound national delegates at the GOP convention.

Romney won Michigan and Arizona Tuesday. Ten states cast ballots next week, on Super Tuesday, in an increasingly important date for his three competitors.

Mitt Romney Biography

Mitt Romney Picture Mitt Romney wants to be elected President in 2012. The former Governor of Massachuetts is challenging Barack Obama for that lofty... More »
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Willard Mitt Romney
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