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

Santorum: GOP Would Suffer Under Romney

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum holds up a $20 bill during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

photo of Ron Fournier
January 7, 2012

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum warned Saturday that rival Mitt Romney would lead the GOP to defeat in the fall and, even if Romney won, the party would suffer under the former Massachusetts governor’s moderate leadership. “Even if we win,” Santorum said, “we lose.”

Santorum, a conservative former senator trying to slow Romney’s ascent in New Hampshire and South Carolina, declared that he will win the GOP nomination despite the GOP establishment backing Romney.

“I’m running against the establishment,” Santorum told reporters before addressing an Atlantic/National Journal conference on the economy and the electorate. The conference focused on 11 Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor surveys released since 2009.

 

“I’m the underdog,” Santorum said.

Santorum said his party has a habit of nominating moderate candidates who have been laying in wait and paying their dues. He said that’s not a good recipe for victory, pointing to the general election losses of John McCain in 2008 and Bob Dole in 1996.

“Its Mitt’s turn,” Santorum said sarcastically. “Look how well we’ve done with that.”

Romney might be capable of defeating President Obama, Santorum said, but even that would be a hollow victory, Santorum said, adding that Romney wouldn’t represent the party as well as he would.

“Even if we win, we lose,” Santorum said. “We need somebody who’s not just rearranging deck chairs.”

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