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David Bundy, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

PELL CITY, Ala. — Newt Gingrich says he isn't dropping out of the Republican presidential race.

Gingrich said during an Alabama campaign swing Wednesday that he's staying in because it's impossible for a moderate Republican to be elected president in November. He was referring to front-runner Mitt Romney.

Gingrich also said rival Rick Santorum, whom Gingrich is battling to be the preferred conservative, is a creature of the establishment.

Top allies of Santorum have said Gingrich should drop out. One of them noted that Gingrich won just one of the 10 states that voted Tuesday — his home state of Georgia.

Gingrich is now focused on winning the Alabama and Mississippi primaries next week. He scrapped plans to be in Kansas on Saturday so he could campaign in the two Southern states instead.