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QUICK TAKE: Santorum Says He'll Fight On QUICK TAKE: Santorum Says He'll Fight On

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CAMPAIGN2012

QUICK TAKE: Santorum Says He'll Fight On

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pledged to stay in the Republican presidential race as he took third place ahead of Ron Paul, R-Tex. in the South Carolina primary. He criticized frontrunner Newt Gingrich—saying the Republican party needs a candidate who can keep the focus on President Obama, not someone who keeps the focus on himself.

Santorum said that he, not Gingrich, is the more reliable candidate and debater. “Solid speeches, no drama, no surprises, no what’s around the corner,” Santorum told CNN. “That’s what the conservative movement needs right now -- someone who can make Barack Obama the issue in this race, instead of being the issue themselves.”

 

Santorum said the three early primaries— each with a different winner-- have broken former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s narrative of inevitability.

“I took Iowa, Newt took South Carolina, and it’s game on again. And I couldn’t be more excited to see this campaign go on,” Santorum said. “As a result of what happened here tonight, this race isn’t going to be over this week, or the week after.”

Santorum argued that he was the candidate to “expand our base,” and said he was able to appeal to “blue-collar Reagan Democrats.”

 

“It’s no longer the Mitt or the anti-Mitt. You’ve got three fundamentally different choices,” Santorum said. 

Santorum said a drawn-out Republican primary season would benefit both the country and the nominee, calling it an intraparty “steel sharpening steel” exercise.

“Each person has won one,” Santorum said during an appearance on Fox News following his concession speech in South Carolina. “There’s a lot more primaries to go. This is a good thing. This is a good thing for the party … This is going to be a good process for our country.”

 

 

 

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