Gingrich: I could lose Georgia

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich meets with voters during a campaign stop with Asian-American leaders at the Korea Times, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich meets with voters during a campaign stop with Asian-American leaders at the Korea Times, Feb. 16, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Wrapping up a four-day fundraising swing through California, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich shifted his focus to the state he once represented in Congress but said he's unsure he can win the Georgia primary.

"Look, given this kind of a year, who knows?" Gingrich told reporters outside of a Beverly Hills restaurant when asked if he could lose his home state in the "Super Tuesday" sweepstakes on March 6. "Romney could lose Michigan. Santorum could lose Pennsylvania. Who knows what's going to happen?"

The former House speaker and 10-term congressman from Georgia was dealt a setback today when CNN cancelled the one debate scheduled in the state before the primary. The debate was scrapped after the three other presidential candidates - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas - all announced they would not attend. Gingrich, who has benefitted from strong debate performances, took a swipe at two of his rivals for backing out.

"I think what you've got right now is for very different reasons, Romney wants to hide behind negative ads," he said. "And I think that if he doesn't want to (debate), Santorum doesn't want to do it because Santorum thinks he's in the hunt with Romney. And that's fine. There are lots of different ways to communicate to the American people."

Gingrich on Thursday wrapped up a fundraising blitz that included eight fundraisers in the Golden State. Eric Beach, one of the campaign's national finance chairs, said Gingrich was able to raise $2 million in California, though he could not say how much of that was pledged this week. "We've been raising money. We've had a pretty good week so far, "Gingrich told reporters following a forum with Asian-Americans at the Korea Times Thursday morning.

Gingrich is set to return to a schedule heavier on campaign events, with upcoming stops planned in Oklahoma, Arizona and Michigan.

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