Santorum invokes Katrina in questioning whether Romney would 'blow in the wind'

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“You need someone who will weather the storm with you and not blow in the wind depending on which way the wind is blowing," Santorum said.

Santorum then referenced Fehrnstrom's comments on CNN, in which, after being asked if Romney had tracked too far to the right during the bruising GOP primary, the senior Romney aide said the general election would provide a chance for a reset.

“It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch — you shake it all up and start over again,” Fehrnstrom said.

The Romney campaign later said the comments simply referred to a change in focus rather than a retreat from Romney's conservative positions.

"As we move from the primary to the general election, the campaign changes. It's a different race, with different candidates, and the main issue now becomes President Obama’s failure to create jobs and get this economy moving," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

But Santorum seized on the comment to paint contrast with Romney.

“One thing you can say about me — even my staunchest critics say — what you see is what you get,” Santorum said.

The former Pennsylvania senator did not directly address his second-place finish in Tuesday night's Illinois primary, nor did he mention Romney earning the endorsement of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. But he did try to draw a contrast between his campaign and the Republican establishment.

“The establishment has made its choice,” he said. “I think the people of Louisiana will make a different choice," Santorum said.

The Louisiana primary will be held Saturday.