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Romney on Santorum Robocalls: 'Outrageous and Disgusting' Romney on Santorum Robocalls: 'Outrageous and Disgusting'

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field

Campaign 2012

Romney on Santorum Robocalls: 'Outrageous and Disgusting'

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Mitt Romney, battling for his home state of Michigan, attacked Rick Santorum for robocalls that Santorum's campaign put out this week asking Democrats to vote for him in Tuesday's primary.

 

"It’s a dirty trick," he said on Fox News' Fox & Friends. "It’s outrageous to see Rick Santorum team up with the Obama people and go out after union labor in Detroit and try and get them to vote against me. Look, we don’t want Democrats deciding who our nominee is going to be, we want Republicans to decide who our nominee is going to be."

"I just think it’s outrageous and disgusting," he said of Santorum's attempt to take advantage of the state's open primary.

"I think Rick Santorum has a lot of explaining to do," he added, calling the robocall "a new low for his campaign—and that's saying something."

 

Santorum, campaigning in Grandville, Mich., denied the effort was a dirty trick and accused Romney of using his own questionable practices. "We're proving a point that we can attract the voters that we need to win states like Michigan," he said.

"Oh I see, so when he goes out and recruits 53 percent of the voters in New Hampshire who are not Republicans, that's ok. ... but when I go out and have a message of growth and opportunity instead of running negative ads or running robocalls with my voice from four years ago, that's not a dirty trick?" Santorum said.

Romney later visited his campaign headquarters in Livonia, Mich., where volunteers were making get-out-the-vote calls as voters were heading to the polls. "So we want to make sure to get Republicans out to vote," he told a news conference. "We want this to be a process where Republicans choose our Republican nominee."

Asked about how close the primary in Michigan has shaped up to be, and how he does not excite the Republican base, Romney said "incendiary comments" are easy to make. 

"You know I'm not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support, I am who I am," he said.

 

In both instances, the former head of Bain Capital steered the conversation to his comfort zone: the economy. "I think in some cases, Senator Santorum has shown himself to be an economic lightweight,” he told the Fox program, a criticism he repeated in reference to President Obama.

Romney also said he was confident that he would win the most delegates in Michigan and Arizona. “I’m hoping tonight that I end up with more delegates than anybody else,” he said. “At this stage, that looks like it’s going to be the case.”

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