Gingrich: Israel shouldn't warn U.S. on Iran attack

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks in Brunswick, Ga., Friday, March 2, 2012. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Newt Gingrich
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks in Brunswick, Ga., Friday, March 2, 2012.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

(CBS News) KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Newt Gingrich said on Monday he believes Israel shouldn't give the Obama administration any advance warning if it decides to attack Iran over its nuclear weapons program, saying the administration can't be trusted to keep the information secret.

"If I were the Israelis, I wouldn't give this administration one minute's notice, because someone will leak it," he said on Fox News' Hannity. "When you have an operational secret, you want to keep it as close hold as possible."

Gingrich is scheduled to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday along with fellow candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

Special Section: Campaign 2012

Assessing his Super Tuesday chances, he told host Sean Hannity that he would comfortably carry his home state of Georgia and do well elsewhere. He flew across Tennessee in a last- minute attempt to persuade undecided voters on the day before they go to the polls. He has sought to boost his appeal in other Southern states by challenging other candidates to debate him in either Mississippi or Alabama next week.

"I think we're going to carry Georgia four or five times by Romney's size [of victory] in Michigan," he said. "We're surging in Tennessee and Oklahoma, we have a good chance to pick up delegates in Ohio. We see opportunities in North Dakota, and even Massachusetts where conservative republicans regard Romney as a liberal governor and there is a faction that would like to split. "

One day after Romney said Gingrich was pandering to voters by promising $2.50-a-gallon gasoline, the former House speaker struck back by saying Romney might be too wealthy to understand how big of a problem rising energy prices are.

Speaking to radio host Scott Hennen, Gingrich said: "Romney may be rich enough that he hasn't noticed how big a problem this is. But the fact is for working Americans, for retired Americans, for independent truckers, for people who are in manufacturing, this is a real problem and it's going to crush the economy."

Gingrich has been focusing on rising energy prices on the stump for the past two weeks, promising that his energy plan, which will include more drilling on federal lands and off-shore reserves, will bring the price of gas down to below $2.50. Speaking before a crowd in Kingsport, he said that Romney's "pandering" comment on the topic showed a lack of leadership.

"There's this thing called setting goals," Gingrich told a large crowd that gathered to see him at a Republican Women's Luncheon. "It's not called pandering, it's called leadership."

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    Sarah Huisenga is covering the Mitt Romney campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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