Romney Flying High, Gingrich Says 'Never Say Die'

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Mitt Romney is back on top after winning Tuesday's Florida's Republican primary.

He now leads in delegates and momentum after snagging the biggest prize so far in the GOP race for president.

Despite a vicious war of words between Romney and Newt Gingrich, the former Massachusetts governor's victory speech hinted at reconciliation.

"A competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us, and we will win," Romney said. "And when we gather back here in Tampa for our convention, ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America.

Will Romney's victory in Florida put him on the path to the GOP nomination? Click play to watch David Brody's report followed by analysis from Charles Dunn, distinguished professor of government at Regent University.

But apparently Gingrich didn't get the memo.

"We are going to contest every place and we are going to win and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August," the former House speaker declared.

"It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader Newt Gingrich and the Massachusetts moderate," Gingrich said.

Some Romney supporters are tired of the name calling on both sides.

"None of this name calling -- that's got to stop," one Romney support said.

"It has to stop," another supporter said. "But you know what? It's hard to play the game when somebody's so negative on the other side."

Dr. Paul Bonicelli, vice president of Regent University and a professor of government, shared his thoughts on Romney's Florida victory, on CBN News Channel Morning News, Feb. 1.

 

While the rhetoric has been sharp between the two GOP rivals, Romney ignored Gingrich and used his speech to aim at the main target: President Barack Obama.

"Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses," Romney said. "Well Mr. President, you were elected to lead. You chose to follow. Now it's time for you to get out of the way."

The Romney victory was deep and wide, propelled by seniors, Hispanics, and women. As for the evangelicals, their vote was split equally between Romney and Gingrich.

"The evangelical voter is a little bit of a mystery too from state to state," Romney adviser Mark DeMoss observed.

"That voting block is less monolithic than people think it is," he added. "I think it's a lot more diverse."

The race now moves to Nevada where Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are expected to do well.

As for Gingrich, he's likely set his sights on Super Tuesday, which is still a month away. That's when 10 states go to the polls, including many in the South, where the former House speaker is expected to fare much better.

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David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at Facebook.com/TheBrodyFile.