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Gingrich and Santorum: If Kansas Can Come Back in Final Four, So Can We

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- At halftime in the Kansas-Ohio State NCAA Final Four game Saturday night, things were not looking good for the Kansas Jayhawks. The team trailed by 9 points heading into the second half, but after tension-filled fight, squeaked by with a 2-point victory to snag a spot at in the championship game Monday night.

It is that kind of come-from-behind victory that Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are looking for.

“I’m going to take Kansas as a model,” Gingrich said today after CBS’ Bob Schieffer asked the trailing candidate if he was going to drop out of the race. “Kansas last night set the second record for coming from behind.”

Santorum was equally dismissive of talk of him dropping out, when Fox’s Chris Wallace asked him if it was time for the GOP to coalesce around frontrunner Mitt Romney.

“You should’ve told Kansas that last night when they were down almost 20 points in the first half,” Santorum said. “This race isn’t even at halftime yet. We haven’t even selected half the delegates yet. Governor Romney is not halfway to the magic number and, you know, we look at the calendar ahead, and we feel very, very good about where we are going.”

Neither Santorum nor Gingrich can mathematically reach the number of delegates necessary to cinch the GOP nomination before the party’s convention in August. But both candidates have vowed to stay in the race until the Republican nominee is officially decided at the Tampa convention.

“The whole narrative has been in Romney’s favor from the beginning of this race,” Santorum said. “And he still isn’t even close to closing the deal.”

The former Pennsylvania senator said Romney’s inability to lock up the nomination “should send the signal” to the party establishment that “maybe something’s going on here.”

“We need someone who can beat Barack Obama, not the same old tired establishment person that’s going to be shoved down our throat,” Santorum said.

Romney has 568 delegates, by ABC News’ calculations. That’s less than half of the 1,144 he needs to secure the nomination, but more than twice as many as Santorum has and four times as many delegates as Gingrich.

But if Romney is able to secure enough delegates to capture the nomination, Gingrich said he will “do everything I can to help elect him.”

“We are all committed to defeating Barack Obama,” Gingrich said. “We think his reelection will be a disaster for the country.”

But Ron Paul does not seem to hold the same opinion. The Texas congressmen told Schieffer that he has not decided if he would support Romney, were Romney to become the GOP nominee.

“I haven’t made that decision yet,” Paul said on “Face the Nation.” “I’m still campaigning.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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