Nightly News   |  January 28, 2012

Gingrich fires back at GOP establishment

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fires back hard at the GOP establishment he says is threatened by his campaign to shake up Washington. NBC's Ron Mott reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: about fighting the republican machine in addition to the other candidates in this field. this as one of the most powerful names in the party rushes to his defense.

>> newt gingrich in the house!

>> reporter: newt gingrich hit the links today in a good mood.

>> what are callista and i doing up here when we could be on the golf course ?

>> reporter: but wasted little time teeing off on those who are conspiring to take his campaign down.

>> the people who oppose me, some in the democratic party and some in the republican party , under the elites we have become the america who couldn't.

>> reporter: a potential blow as he seeks to regain the firmer footing he brought here after last week's surprising victory in the south carolina primary . ever the lightning rod for controversy, gingrich has attracted high voltage opposition. millions in attack ads. public mocking from insiders and establishment icons like john mccain . a mitt romney support.

>> i think we ought to send newt gingrich to the moon and mitt romney to the white house . what do you think?

>> reporter: friday, the former speaker got a shot in the arm from sarah palin . what we have seen in florida this week is beyond the pale she wrote on her facebook page. i have great concern about the gop establishment trying to anoint a candidate without the blessing of the grass roots . those grass roots gingrich says will keep him in the fight long beyond florida even if he loses tuesday. counting on people power as he calls it to prevail over big money .

>> i will go all the way to the convention. i expect to win the nomination. you just had two national polls that show me ahead. why don't you ask governor romney what he's going to do if he loses since he's behind in both national polls?

>> reporter: newt gingrich says a conservative has the best shoot to beat president obama in the fall, calling mitt romney a massachusetts moderate and pointing out the last two conservatives -- last two moderates i should say in the republican party to win the nomination, bob dole and then john mccain four years ago. both lost the general election .