Santorum: Romney’s inability to close out GOP race shows ‘real weakness’



Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum blasted GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney on Sunday morning, saying his inability to close out the nomination despite fundraising and organizational advantages showed “real weakness.”

When asked by CNN host Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” if Santorum's inability to secure enough signatures in some states to get on the ballot was a sign of poor management skills, the former Pennsylvania senator dismissed the question, calling it "pretty funny," and questioned Romney's strength with the base.

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Santorum said his campaign has won 10 states even though he has been outspent 10 to 1, and said it's "amazing we're on as many states as we are."

"No one gave us a chance, we didn't have any of the resources that any of these other candidates had," he said. "And yet because of our organizational ability, our ability to take limited resources and turn them into votes and winning 10 states, that's amazing.

"Why with tens and hundreds of millions of dollars hasn't he [Romney] been able to do anything to get this nomination even close to cemented away?" he asked. "When you have this amount of resources, this amount of advantage, and you can't manage and deliver the mail and win this nomination, that shows a real weakness in his ability to be able to govern."


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Santorum scored big on Tuesday, winning GOP primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, denying Romney the chance to level a knock-out blow to his rivals.

Santorum brushed aside questions about whether he would seek a brokered GOP convention, and indicated that this outcome depends on whether Romney can get enough delegates. "If he can't get there with the huge advantages he has, I think it tells you something about his support within the Republican base," he said.



Santorum also downplayed Romney’s business experience by saying conservatives are not looking to elect a "CEO of America," and instead want the next president to help reduce management of the economy from Washington.


"If Gov. Romney thinks that he is the CEO of America, and can run and manage the economy, he doesn't understand what conservatives believe in," Santorum said.


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"We don't want someone in Washington D.C. to manage the economy," he said. "We want someone to get Washington out of our lives, to reduce these mandates, get rid of things like ‘RomneyCare’ at the federal level, which we call ‘ObamaCare,’ and do some things to get this economy going by believing in the private sector, something that Gov. Romney has shown no indication he's in favor of."

Santorum was asked to reply to new Romney ads that are pointing out that Santorum has never run a business or a state. Santorum said these ads are "not completely accurate," as he was the number two executive at a small technology company, and practiced law for many years.

But he said the larger issue is what Romney did in his time as Massachusetts governor.

"Look at what Gov. Romney did when he was governor of Massachusetts," he said. "Forty-seventh out of 50 states in job creation. Raising taxes by $750 million, imposing a huge government-run healthcare system on the people of Massachusetts with taxes and fines and fees and mandates."

In a later interview with ABC's "This Week," Santorum similarly brushed aside Romney's argument that Republicans should not replace one "economic lightweight," Obama, with another economic lightweight, Santorum.

"If Mitt Romney is an economic heavyweight, we're in trouble," Santorum said.


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Santorum was also asked about recent comments in which he accused Obama administration officials of caring more about child pornographers than families. Santorum said those remarks were justified because the administration has been slower to prosecute pornographers than the Bush administration.

"My conclusion is they have not put a priority on prosecuting these cases, and in doing so they are exposing children to a tremendous amount of harm," he said.

He was also asked to explain his remarks that President Obama has been the "appeaser in chief" around the world. Santorum said Iran has been Obama's principle failure, since Obama failed to align himself with pro-democracy forces in the country after protests in 2009, and has since negotiated with Iran directly without first requiring Tehran to end its nuclear development program.

"He should have been aligning himself with the Persian people, the pro-democracy movement in Iran, to topple this regime, this radical theocracy that's developing a nuclear weapon and spreading terror around the world," Santorum said. "And he did not do that."

Romney currently leads Santorum 498-239 in the delegate race, according to a tally by CNN, and Santorum is hoping to reduce that lead in today's Puerto Rico primary, where 20 delegates are at stake.


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