- Associated Press - Friday, March 9, 2012

ELLISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Newt Gingrich says he’ll stay in the race for the Republican presidential nomination even if he loses key primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday.

Gingrich commented in an interview Friday with The Associated Press, reversing a top aide’s earlier assertion that the former House speaker needs to win both states to justify staying in the race.

Gingrich told the AP: “We’ll clearly do well enough to move on and I think there’s a fair chance we’ll win. But I just want to set this to rest once and for all, we’re going to Tampa.”

He was referring to the Republican National Convention in August in Florida.

Gingrich has only won two contests — in South Carolina and Georgia, his home state.