By Alicia M. Cohn - 01/04/12 12:27 PM EST
Mitt Romney used a series of television appearances Wednesday morning to cast himself as the underdog in Iowa.
Romney also hinted at new arguments he may use against Rick Santorum, who finished second to Romney and has become the latest conservative to challenge him in the GOP race.
The line was meant to suggest that Santorum's strength might be limited to Iowa and hint that Romney brought his own handicap into the race and still crossed the finish line in first place.
"Santorum did a heroic job going across the entire state, he devoted his energies to the state of Iowa," Romney said on "Fox and Friends." "During the same time period, I've been building a national campaign team, going to a bunch of states, and of course building a fundraising organization that will help me down the road."
Romney also broke out a line about Santorum that he has used in the past to pull away from Newt Gingrich.
"We have very different backgrounds," Romney said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"I spent my life, the first 20 years, in the private sectors...and I think Rick has spent most of his life in the governmental sector. Nothing wrong with that experience but it's very different, I think, if you want to get the economy going again."
Romney said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that his campaign hadn't had a chance to get to know Santorum on the issues because they had been focused on Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, three other Republicans who had topped polls in Iowa.
"Now that Rick Santorum has gotten a big boost, I'm sure people will look at his positions," he said.
Romney also cast himself as the underdog in Iowa, where he has only been campaigning for a few weeks. His campaign came "from way behind just a few weeks ago to a point where we're in a virtual tie for the finish," Romney noted on ABC.
The candidates next face a primary vote in New Hampshire on Jan. 10, a strong base of support for Romney.