By Daniel Strauss - 02/15/12 12:41 PM EST
Top Obama political strategist David Axelrod took aim at surging GOP hopeful Rick Santorum on Wednesday, painting him as a fringe candidate unlikely to appeal to voters after closer inspection.
Speaking Wednesday on “CBS This Morning,” Axelrod said the former Pennsylvania senator’s economic policies are unlikely to win over voters.
Axelrod said that Santorum is still an unknown to most voters, and suggested his support will wane after closer scrutiny.
“People don’t really know Sen. Santorum particularly well, and when they do we’ll get a better sense of where he stands,” he said.
After a trio of victories in Republican nominating contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri last week, Santorum has skyrocketed to the front of the Republican presidential field, polling close to or ahead of Mitt Romney nationally and in a number of key states, including Michigan, where Romney was expected to win easily.
Santorum plans on focusing much of his campaign efforts in the Wolverine State. This week he launched ads stressing his blue-collar ties to appeal to the state’s voters.
Elsewhere, a new Quinnipiac poll found Santorum leading Romney by 7 points in Ohio’s GOP primary, about two weeks before that contest.