Romney unconcerned with Gingrich's Florida delegate challenge

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Brady Industries Feb.1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Mitt Romney
Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was "not concerned" with his opponent's intent to challenge Florida's delegate allocation.

About the former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Romney told Fox host Sean Hannity on his program that "it would be nice if Gingrich would challenge the rules before he lost."

The former governor won the Florida primary with 46 percent of the vote, and his win gives him all 50 of Florida's delegates.

Gingrich's campaign said it is sending a letter to the Florida Republican party challenging their winner-gets-all policy. Florida is the first state to in the Republican primary not to award its delegates proportionally, which means second and third place could receive no delegates.

The winner of the GOP nomination must obtain 1,144 delegates, and a confident Romney predicted that the delegate race is not going to go down to the wire.

"I think one or the other will end up with the lion share of the delegates and go on to the convention" with out having to fight over delegates, Romney said.

Gingrich also appeared on Hannity -- who is broadcasting from the Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas ahead of Nevada's Saturday caucuses -- and said his lawyer told him that Florida's votes are supposed to be proportional, which he said would give Romney a net of ten more delegates, instead of winning all 50.

"I suspect it will be a fight," Gingrich told Hannity.

Republican Party of Florida head Lenny Curry batted down Gingrich's challenge. He said in a statement that Republican party officials "determined Florida would be winner take all if the primary date was moved by statute and Florida was penalized by RNC" for moving its primary date earlier, which the Sunshine state did.

This is not the first time Gingrich has challenged Republican party primary rules. He sued the state of Virginia for excluding him from the primary ballot, but the court ruled that Gingrich failed to meet requirements of obtaining 10,000 signatures. The Virginia legislature is currently considering a measure to allow voters to write in a candidate when that state's voters head to the polls on Tuesday, March 6, the same day voters and caucus-goers in 9 other primary states choose their preferred Republican candidate.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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