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January 16, 2012
Despite lagging in fourth place in some polls, former US House Speaker New Gingrich, says he is more qualified than front-runner Mitt Romney to defeat President Barack Obama in a general election.
On Sunday, an unfazed Gingrich said he was the most qualified to defeat President Barack Obama in a general election in November.
"I think I have the best chance to beat Obama. I think I have the greatest likelihood, given the past, to change Washington.
"I have the boldest and most aggressive pro-jobs plan, as well as a record working with [Ronald] Reagan and working as speaker with Bill Clinton, of actually having created large numbers of jobs," said Mr Gingrich.
"I think nominating somebody who is essentially a Massachusetts moderate [referring to Mitt Romney] makes it much harder to defeat President Obama, and nominating somebody who was a Reagan conservative makes it much easier to defeat President Obama," Gingrich added.
Mr Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, could all but quash his rivals' presidential aspirations with a victory in South Carolina on January 21 after winning the first state-by-state nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Since 1980, every winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the party nomination. The southern state has gone for Republican candidates in 9 out of the last ten presidential elections.