The house speaker talked for about an hour, focusing on his energy policy. He promised to keep gas prices low if elected.
"If you would like to have national energy- an American energy policy- never again bow to a Saudi king, and pay $2.50 a gallon, Newt Gingrich will be your candidate," said Gingrich.
Gingrich, who gave the luncheon address, has vowed to stay in the race and said he expects California will be in play this year.
"There will not be any lockdown before we get to California," he told hundreds of convention attendees.
Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are moving into a crucial stretch of state primaries and caucuses. If no definitive front-runner emerges after Super Tuesday in March, California's 172 delegates will begin to loom larger on the national stage.
"You cannot follow the recent Republican practice of writing off our largest state," Gingrich said. "It is impossible for the Republican Party to be the governing party without having a very, very strong role in California."
A Field Poll last week showed Romney with the greatest support among Republican voters in California, but a change this year in how the state's delegates are awarded will allow other candidates to add to their national total even if they don't win the overall vote. This year's system in the state is winner-take-all based on congressional district.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.