The HillTube

Santorum says he has done ‘amazingly well’ with limited resources

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum rebuffed comments from a Romney adviser that his failure to get on the Virginia ballot or to qualify for some of the delegates up for grabs in Ohio raised questions about his campaign’s competence.

“Those delegates had to be filed in Virginia, all the way back in the early part of December, and look I'll be honest, I mean, I was out running across the state of Iowa and sitting at 2 percent in the national polls with very limited resources,” said the former Pennsylvania senator on Fox News Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT
“We didn’t have the ability to go out. I think its remarkable, candidly that if you look at all of the states other than a handful of… in Ohio and Virginia we weren't the only ones who didn't get on the ballot. Rick Perry didn't get on, who had a lot of resources, and Newt Gingrich who had a lot of resources didn't get on,” he added.

“We've done amazingly well for a campaign early on that didn't have a lot of resources to go out and do things and we got on a lot of ballots that people thought we wouldn’t,” said Santorum.

In a conference call with reporters, Romney adviser Ben Ginsberg said the Santorum team had “flunked” basic tests of campaign competence, which raised questions about their ability to contest President Obama in a general election matchup. 

Ohio election officials said last week that Santorum would be unable to qualify to win 18 of the state’s 66 delegates because he failed to file full slates of delegates in some districts. Santorum also failed to secure his name on the Virginia GOP ballot in December.

Romney aide Ginsberg said the moves showed “a failure that goes not only to delegates he won’t win, but to organizational deficiencies that should give Republican voters great pause as we get ready to face President Obama.”

“What that means is that that basic organizational test that you’re going to have to have to battle President Obama is a test that Rick Santorum and his campaign have flunked,” he added.

But on Sunday, Santorum dismissed those criticisms. “We're on enough, clearly enough, to be able to win this nomination," he said.

Santorum also conceded that the upcoming Ohio primary was a "tough state" for his campaign but that he expected to perform well in all ten Super Tuesday contests.

"It's a tough state for us only because of the fact that we're at a money disadvantage. But we're got a great grass roots campaign. We're hanging in there and we feel very confident that we're going to do well,” he said.

Polls show Romney surging to a tie in Ohio. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday shows Santorum and Romney tied with 32 percent support in the state. 

Polls last week had shown Santorum ahead, but Romney has bounced back after wins in Michigan and Arizona last week. On Saturday night, he added to his victories by capturing the Washington states caucuses. 

Ohio's vote will be crucial as Santorum looks to prove he can connect with blue-collar, swing-state voters.

“It's always harder when you’ve got two conservative candidates running in the race, as we've seen in Washington and some of the other states,” he added in reference to Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, both of whom are battling with Santorum for the mantle of the conservative alternative to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.

“We have the anti-Romney vote if you will and both Newt Gingrich and I are out there slugging away. We just need to show that we are the best candidate to go head to head.”

Santorum though sidestepped questions about whether Gingrich should drop out of the race to allow conservative voters to coalesce behind him.

“That's up to him to decide, but clearly if you continue to combine the votes that Congressman Gingrich and I get you know we're doing pretty well. In Michigan we would have won easily, had those two votes been combined.  That's a process, Newt's got to figure out where he goes after Georgia.”

Ohio, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia will vote on Super Tuesday.