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Energized Santorum Unloads on Romney's 'Gotcha Politics' Energized Santorum Unloads on Romney's 'Gotcha Politics' Energized Santorum Unloads on Romney's 'Gotcha Politics' Energized Santorum Unload...

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / campaign 2012

Energized Santorum Unloads on Romney's 'Gotcha Politics'

Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum(Liz Lynch)

February 9, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – No more Mr. Nice Guy for Rick Santorum.

The newly-energized presidential candidate on Thursday launched a full-throated attack on front-runner Mitt Romney, saying the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign “has been about serially tearing down opponents without offering any kind of vision for what he wants to do for this country.

 

“This is the gotcha politics of Mitt Romney,” Santorum said, sounding complaints almost identical to those lodged by rival conservative Newt Gingrich against Romney after Gingrich won the South Carolina primary last month.

“He’s not interested in talking about the issues,” Santorum said of Romney. “He’s interested in trying to pander and make political sauce when there’s real substantive issues about how we’re gonna try to change this government. And he’s on the wrong side of it.”

Tailoring his message to his audience in a major energy-producing state, Santorum said he favors hydrofracking, a relatively new process of extracting natural gas by breaking up rock with pressurized water. Environmentalists say hydrofracking causes groundwater pollution.

“It’s the new boogey man,” Santorum told a crowd of over 850 people, perhaps the largest since he launched his campaign for the GOP nomination last year. “It’s the new way to try to scare you and those folks particularly not from Oklahoma and Texas.

“We’re sort of new to this stuff, hydrofracking, in Pennsylvania. And they’re preying on the Northeast, saying, ‘Look what’s going to happen. Ooh, all this bad stuff’s going to happen. We don’t know all these chemicals and all this stuff.’ … Let me tell you what’s going to happen. Nothing’s going to happen, except they will use this to raise money for the radical environmental groups so they can go out and continue to try to purvey their reign of environmental terror on the United States of America.”

At a media availability at the event, Santorum was questioned about a super PAC supporting his candidacy and funded by Foster Friess, a wealthy investor and backer of conservative causes and candidates. Santorum said he knew nothing about the super PAC’s activities and called Friess “a friend of mine for 20 years.”

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