Gingrich: GOP nominee only needs 60 days to defeat Obama

Painting an optimistic scenario for his presidential bid Monday evening, Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity that on the “very real chance” Mitt Romney falls “over a hundred votes short” of 1,144 delegates, it would be “almost impossible for him to close the gap” in a brokered convention.

“We’ll basically have a national electronic convention,” Gingrich envisioned of the days leading up to the Tampa convention where candidates would need to slug it out for the nomination.

“I can imagine a circumstance for example where they suspended the keynote address on the first night and actually had a presidential debate in front of the delegates of the candidates. You can imagine a whole process that’s totally different from what we’ve ever seen.”

Dismissing the idea that a prolonged nominating process would undermine Republican chances in the general election, Gingrich said keeping up the contest would keep President Obama "on defense."

“The later we get a nominee, the less time Obama has to smear the nominee,” Gingrich said. "They’re going to raise the billion dollars but what if they don’t know who to attack? What if they don’t know exactly what they’re doing?”

Gingrich predicted a historically unprecedented convention would give the party nominee "the largest audience in American history" and enough momentum so that only 60 days would be needed to lay out a “pretty simple case” as to why President Obama shouldn’t be re-elected.

“I’ve always said I want to debate him because I think it’s a very clear picture what's at stake here” he said.