Updated:ROME, Ga.,None —
Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich launched a three-day bus tour of Georgia Tuesday, plotting a comeback just days before critical Super Tuesday primaries.
The former House speaker traveled from Dalton, Rome and Carrollton with plans to tour metro Atlanta on Wednesday. Channel 2’s Lori Geary was the only reporter allowed on the Republican candidate’s bus.
Gingrich decided to tour his former state despite primaries in Michigan and Arizona.
He’s hoping that one of his rivals will emerge as a weaker candidate and he’ll be able to capitalize, especially if Mitt Romney can beat Rick Santorum in both states.
"It begins to undermine the Santorum story if that's what happens.Each of them has a lot at stake in different ways.If Romney were to lose Michigan, I think it would be catastrophic to his campaign," Gingrich told Geary.
A recent Landmark/Rosetta Stone poll conducted for Channel 2 Action News showed Gingrich with a double-digit lead in Georgia. Gingrich said he’s relying on a strong showing in the south on Super Tuesday.
"The latest poll shows you slipping in Tennessee. Can you recapture the momentum?" Geary asked.
“Fred Thompson and I were there Monday. I think after tonight, we'll be in a somewhat different environment. I think you'll see us come back in Tennessee very rapidly,” Gingrich said.
The former House speaker spent Tuesday taking jabs at President Barack Obama and focusing on increasing gas prices.
"Realistically as president, can you control the price of oil in a world market?" Geary asked
“No, you don't control it, you influence it," Gingrich said.
Gingrich asked supporters in Dalton to pass out leaflets at gas stations and asked people to put “Newt=$2.50 a gallon” on their Facebook pages.
Gingrich told Geary his solutions include drilling and less government regulations.
“We haven't built a single new refinery in over 30 years," Gingrich said.
"Doesn't it take time to get it out of ground, get those refineries going?" Geary asked.
"Sure, but the futures market immediately starts responding, literally within hours," Gingrich answered. "I don't know of any theory that suggests if you dramatically increase the supply, you don't lower the price."
Gov. Nathan Deal plans to join Gingrich on the campaign trail Wednesday.