Romney: Expectation Santorum will win Pa., despite absence from trail

ADVERTISEMENT
But the former Massachusetts governor suggested that Santorum could only afford to do so because the most competitive race in the next slate of primaries was his home state — in which Romney was only too happy to drive up expectations.

"You know he's obviously going to do well in Pennsylvania, it's his home state, we're all going to win our home states — Newt Gingrich did, I did, that's the expectation — but there's a lot of other states going on in the same day, I'm planning on winning all of those, and of course I want to get a lot of delegates out of Pennsylvania even if he wins the plurality," Romney said.

A Public Policy Polling survey released Thursday morning showed Romney having actually overtaken Santorum in his home state, leading 42 percent to 37 percent. Santorum conceded Wednesday that Pennsylvania was a must-win for his campaign, struggling to remain relevant as Romney has strengthened his grip on the nomination.

Romney also pushed back on Obama's mocking of his declaration that the budget from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was "marvelous." The comments from the president Tuesday were the first direct attacks at Romney in the campaign.

"He said that he's 'very supportive' of this new budget, and he even called it 'marvelous,' " Obama said while giving a speech on the budget Tuesday. "Which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget — it's a word you don't often hear generally."

Romney responded that there were "plenty of adjectives" he'd use to celebrate Republicans winning the White House in the fall.

"This has not been a good presidency and I think that's one of the reasons people want a change. And frankly, I can think of a lot of wonderful adjectives to describe how happy we will all be when we send Barack Obama home," Romney said.