A top Obama campaign official sought to cast doubt Sunday on the idea that Romney is the “inevitable” Republican nominee.
Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary, took aim at Romney over his second-place finish in the Kansas caucuses, arguing the results highlighted the former Massachusetts governor’s weaknesses with his party’s base.
Gibbs also said that the heated GOP primary has weakened the candidates going into the general election.
“It is a process that has in many ways torn each of them down,” he said, adding that the race has “become corrosive, it’s become destructive.”
President Obama will not fully engage with the GOP presidential campaign until Republicans choose a nominee, Gibbs said.
“Until we have a Republican nominee, I anticipate that the president will continue to do what he’s been doing since he came into office, which is putting people back to work,” he said.
But presumptive frontrunner Romney’s rivals show no intention of dropping out of the race.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday he plans to stay in the race until the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer.
“I’m committed to go all the way to Tampa,” he said on “Face the Nation.”
Gingrich also insisted that his decision to stay in the GOP presidential race would not hurt Republicans in the general election.
“It didn’t seem to hurt Barack ObamaBarack ObamaMSNBC's Maddow most-watched among younger viewers for 3rd-straight week Overnight Energy: Trump's climate order coming Tuesday Feehery: Freedom Caucus follies MORE to have a vigorous contest. He won the election, remember?” Gingrich said, referring to the heated 2008 primary with Obama and Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSanders to headline progressive 'People's Summit' The Hill's 12:30 Report Schumer confronts wealthy Trump supporter in restaurant: report MORE.
Gingrich was responding to Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGraham: Nunes should reveal surveillance source Intel Dem on Nunes: ‘This is what a cover-up to a crime looks like’ McCain: Nunes has 'a lot of explaining to do' MORE’s comments that Gingrich’s decision to stay in the race would damage Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner.
Gingrich predicted he will do well in this week’s primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, two key tests.
“They’re states I want to win. I think they are states that we’re going to do well in,” he said. “I think the odds are pretty good that we’ll win them.”