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Santorum Wrongly Claims to Have Midwest Locked Up Santorum Wrongly Claims to Have Midwest Locked Up

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field

campaign 2012

Santorum Wrongly Claims to Have Midwest Locked Up

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum(AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)

HAZELWOOD, Mo. — Campaigning in the St. Louis area Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told Missourians he’s counting on them to maintain a streak in which he’s “won every state in the Midwest.”

The problem is, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Midwest is a region that includes Ohio and Michigan – two states Santorum lost to front-runner Mitt Romney.

 

Addressing voters at a library in Lewis and Clark Township, Santorum said, “If you look at the Midwest, all of the Midwest is one color. It’s our color. We’ve won every state in the Midwest. Let’s keep that going in the state of Illinois, obviously we need to keep that going here with the delegate selection here in Missouri.”

Responding quickly to the flub, Romney spokesman Andrea Saul issued a statement saying, “As usual, Senator Santorum has no regard for the facts. Mitt Romney beat him in both Michigan and Ohio because of his strong, pro-jobs message – and despite Senator Santorum’s desperate attempt to get Obama supporters to throw the primary his way.”

Earlier in the day, speaking to a crowd in Ballwin, Mo., Santorum said has got some “new delegate math” that shows “this race is a lot different than what the consensus is.”  

 

“We’re looking at the rules, we’re looking at how things are stacking up, and we’re in much better shape in these caucuses and some of these apportioned states or winner-take-all states, which in fact are not winner-take-all states,” Santorum said. “We’re in this fight. We’re going to be in it till the end. We’re going to win.”

Missouri Republicans on Saturday began selecting delegates to the national convention, a process that won’t become final, with its 52 delegates assigned to certain candidates, until early June.

Later in the day, Santorum campaigned in Southern Illinois, where he sharpened his message against Romney ahead of the state's primary on Tuesday. He argued that Romney can't talk about the positions that are important to Republicans because he's too much like President Obama.
  
“I feel like in many respects I am running against Barack Obama here in this primary because Mitt Romney has the same positions,” he said.

“Why, with skyrocketing gas prices, would we nominate someone who had the same position as President Obama with respect to fossil fuels? Why would we give that issue away in this election,” Santorum said.

He also accused Romney of paying lip service to the idea of repealing the Obama health care law. “How long does he talk about Obamacare and the fact that he’ll repeal it? Oh, he puts out that one-liner. But does he really get into the core issues? No. Because he can’t,” Santorum said.

 

 

Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this story. contributed to this article.

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