Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Reveal Navigation

Santorum: 'Conservatives are Beginning to Get It' Santorum: 'Conservatives are Beginning to Get It' Santorum: 'Conservatives are Beginning to Get It' Santorum: 'Conservatives ...

share
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field

Santorum: 'Conservatives are Beginning to Get It'

February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum indicated that he is the candidate to beat after sweeping Republican contests Tuesday night in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, a trifecta that delivered an unexpected blow to rival Mitt Romney.

“I believe conservatives are beginning to get it, that we provide the best opportunity to beat President Obama,” Santorum said on CNN’s Starting Point Wednesday morning. “We definitely are the campaign right now with the momentum and enthusiasm on the ground.”

Santorum’s victories Tuesday night sent a clear message that he is still in this race, and that divisions remain within the Republican electorate.

 

Although the Romney team tried to downplay expectations leading up to the two caucuses and Missouri’s non-binding primary, Santorum's sweep still put a dent in Romney’s inevitability factor—especially after the former Massachusetts governor finished second in Colorado and third place in Minnesota, which were two states he won in 2008.

Santorum's success also undermines the recent perception of Gingrich as the conservative, anti-Romney choice. Santorum said the constant bickering between Romney and former Speaker Newt Gingrich has pushed voters away from his rivals and added to his own momentum.

"We felt it coming," Santorum said on Fox & Friends this morning. "We felt that people were understanding that we have the best record and the best vision to go up against President Obama. We will make him the issue in this race instead of what we saw the bickering between two candidates who weren't that different on the issues, unfortunately. They're not that different from President Obama on the issues and people realizing that."

Now Santorum faces a task that he has found insurmountable so far in this race -- capitalizing on that momentum in order to raise money and have a strong showing in contests later this month. Santorum has been outspent the entire election, and currently has far less money and organization than Romney. But Santorum said his fundraising has remained steady and he still remains confident. “If money made the difference we wouldn't have won four primaries so far,” he said.

Santorum took a shot at Romney as “Mr. Big Government” on Starting Point, countering Romney’s attacks on Santorum as a Washington insider, and alluding to Romney’s own attempts at a political career in D.C.

“Well, it's funny because I ran for the United States Senate the same year Mitt Romney ran for the United States Senate,” he said. “We both ran in 1994. I won and he lost. It's not that Governor Romney didn't want to be Senator Romney.”

Santorum also addressed Foster Price, one of Santorum’s major super PAC donors, who was standing behind the presidential candidate during his victory speech last night. Santorum said there was nothing wrong with Price’s presence, and that neither of the men coordinates super PAC operations.

“As far as the conversations we have, Foster has been a close, personal friend for 20 years,” he said. “And we have spent a lot of time together. But we also know what the law is and Foster doesn't run the super PAC, and we don't talk about anything regarding those matters.”

Get us in your feed.
More The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus