Pro-Romney super-PAC hits Santorum's 'unemployment' remarks

The 30-second spot, titled "Care," slams the former Pennsylvania senator's record on the economy and features a clip of him saying, "I don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be. It doesn't matter to me" at a campaign rally in Illinois last week.

Not shown in the ad is the second part of Santorum's remarks, where he added, "My campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. There's something more foundational that's going on here."

Santorum defended his remarks in an interview with Fox News after Romney himself pounced on the comments last week.

"What I said was that the unemployment rate — it didn't matter what it was between now and election time, because the fundamental issue that's causing the unemployment, that's causing the economic distress in our country, is the fact that the government is imposing its will and mandating things on people and creating a yoke on top of businesses that makes it hard to employ," Santorum said.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus also defended Santorum's take on what was important, telling CNN last week that the presidential contender was "right."

"I think that Rick Santorum's right. I mean, this election is about big things. It's about liberty and freedom," said Priebus on CNN's "Starting Point."

The new Wisconsin ad also hits Santorum on his congressional voting record, painting him as a Washington insider and irresponsible on the economy.

"In 20 years in Washington, Santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times and for billions in wasteful spending, including the 'Bridge to Nowhere,' " says the narrator in the video.

"Santorum even voted against national right-to-work legislation," continues the ad.

So-called "right-to-work" laws are a major issue in Wisconsin, where union protests gained national attention and led to recall efforts against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The pro-Romney super-PAC has greatly outspent its rivals ahead of the state's April 3 primary, a week from Tuesday.

Restore Our Future has spent more than $2 million on television advertising in Wisconsin in the last two weeks, while the Red, White and Blue Fund super-PAC, which is backing Santorum, has bought about $300,000 worth of airtime in the state, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

—This story was updated at 2:08 p.m.