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Santorum: Romney ‘Doesn’t Have a Core’ Santorum: Romney ‘Doesn’t Have a Core’

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field

CAMPAIGN 2012

Santorum: Romney ‘Doesn’t Have a Core’

Rick Santorum took to the airwaves on Monday to launch a full-scale attack on Mitt Romney, accusing the former Masaschusetts’ governor of flip-flopping on issues and saying that even after spending “tens of millions of dollars running negative ads” Romney has failed to energize the Republican base.

On the eve of Illinois’ GOP primary on Tuesday, Santorum accused Romney of heavy spending “to tear down every single opponent that’s in his path” and said Romney has no “positive vision” of his own for the country.

 

“This is someone who doesn't have a core,” Santorum said on CBS's This Morning. “He’s been on both sides of almost every single issue in the past 10 years.”

Santorum also shot back at Romney's comment that he was an “economic lightweight” because of his lack of experience in the private sector. “If I’m a lightweight, I agree, he is a heavyweight—he is a big government heavyweight,” Santorum said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “If that's the kind of heavyweight that Mitt Romney thinks that we need, you know, then we should probably just stick with Barack Obama because he's done just about as good a job as Mitt Romney does in job creation.”

Ahead of a crucial vote in Illinois Tuesday, Santorum said on This Morning that he feels confident he will be competitive, but he acknowledged that it is “a tough state” because “we’re being outspent 10 to one” by the Romney campaign.

 

Even if Santorum wins the popular vote in Illinois, he will likely lose the delegate count because of organizational issues in the state. The very fact that he’s on many of these states’ ballots, he said, is impressive because of the state of his campaign back in December when the filing deadlines occurred. “It’s amazing we’re on the ballots that we are, given how difficult these rules are from state to state and how different they are,” he said on MSNBC.

Santorum looked ahead to a potential win in Louisiana when that state votes on Saturday, and pointed to the possibility of a brokered GOP convention in Tampa this summer. He said on CBS that if all of his rivals remain in the race it will be difficult “for anyone to get to the magic number” of 1,144 delegates needed to lock down the nomination before the convention, and that he is confident that the convention will nominate a conservative candidate.

“What I’m going to do is continue to work hard to make sure there’s a conservative who’s the nominee of this party,” he said on This Morning. “We win elections when there are bold contrasts, and that’s what we’ll do in this election. That’s why we believe ultimately we will be the nominee.”

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded to the assault Monday in an e-mail to National Journal.

 

“Rick Santorum is a Washington insider who is lashing out at Mitt Romney because he was embarrassed in Puerto Rico yesterday," Saul wrote. "In 2008, when Sen. Santorum was speaking candidly, he said, ‘if you want a conservative as the nominee of this party, you must vote for Mitt Romney.’ Now, Rick’s changed his tune. This sounds like another case of Rick Santorum abandoning his principles for his own political advantage.”

Matt Vasilogambros contributed contributed to this article.

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