By Alicia M. Cohn - 03/09/12 01:03 PM EST
"This is all a game," Gingrich told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren. "For a long stretch I was either in first place or I was clearly in second place. During that entire period, Sen. [Rick] Santorum declined to leave. Now suddenly he's in better shape. He would now like me to leave."
Gingrich made several calls for Santorum to step out of his way when Santorum struggled in the polls before picking up a three-state win on Feb. 8 that launched him back up to top-tier status. The two men have largely campaigned against each other for the position as the "alternative Romney" candidate.
But Gingrich said he plans to stay in the race as long as possible.
"So the fact is, everybody would like candidates on their terms," Gingrich said, noting he and Santorum would "both like Gov. Romney to leave" the race. "I think this is going to go on, certainly until June," Gingrich predicted.