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San Antonio, TX - Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney

Published on: March 23, 2012 10:27 AM
By: AP
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Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands after speaking to USAA employees during a campaign stop at USAA, Thursday, March 22, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands after speaking to USAA employees during a campaign stop at USAA, Thursday, March 22, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

San Antonio, TX - Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee and for a second day compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy.

Santorum reiterated an argument he has made before: The former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough to offer voters a clear choice in the fall election and that only he can provide that contrast.

“You win by giving people a choice,” Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there.”

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Santorum added: “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

Santorum was referencing Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment Wednesday that “everything changes” for the fall campaign. “It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” he said on CNN. “You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”

The remark reignited criticism of Romney as the type of politician who will say or do anything to win.

Romney, who made no public appearances Thursday, issued a statement expressing disappointment “that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican.”

“This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America,” he said. “Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”

Rival Newt Gingrich tweeted: “Rick Santorum is dead wrong. Any GOP nominee will be better than Obama.”

During his speech to employees of USAA, a San Antonio-based insurance and financial services firm, Santorum briefly held up an Etch A Sketch and said his positions don’t change like etchings on the toy, which are erased with a shake. He could be seen fiddling with the toy’s knobs in the intervals between questions from audience members.

Addressing reporters afterward, Santorum lit into Romney for saying “I’m going to run as a conservative.”

“He didn’t say ‘I am a conservative.’ He said ‘I’m going to run as a conservative.’ So what do you do, you just sort of decide what you’re going to be for the elections?” Santorum asked. “No one can accuse me of that. People say, ‘Well, you can’t win because of that.’ No, I will win because of it.”

Santorum said his brand of political authenticity will play well in Texas because “people are looking for someone who is real, someone they can relate to, not someone who can get in front of an audience and say whatever they want.”

The Texas primary has been pushed to May 29 because of litigation over redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-dominated state Legislature. Santorum said he expects to win Saturday’s primary in Louisiana and added, “The race will not be over when Texas comes around.”

“You’ll have the opportunity here, in the state of Texas, to speak very loudly about what kind of leader you want in this country,” he said.

Santorum said he speaks with Texas Gov. Rick Perry before scheduled campaign stops in the state. Perry sought the GOP nomination but left the race in January and endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“This is an important state for us,” Santorum said. “I’ve already spent a lot of time, I’ve already done a lot of campaign events in Texas. More than anybody else, I suspect.”


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM Romney2012 Says:

I do like pretty much Santorum,But I am deeply disappointed at him how he behaves now as a desperate man to be the GOP nominee,Santorum! Its time for you to step aside,get out of the way(BTW as you urged others to do) and stop with these stupid statements,and showing kids toys.I hope you'll see my advice here. lol

2

 Mar 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM JOTHEPROFESSOR Says:

First sign of intelligence in santorum?

3

 Mar 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM MordyS Says:

Does this mean, once Santorum loses the nomination, he won't support and endorse Mitt Romney???? (chutzpah if he doesn't)

4

 Mar 23, 2012 at 01:29 PM Facts1 Says:

True!

I said the same even before the election season started. Better a clear cut liberal, then a infiltrator who will move the conservative movement to the left.

Romney is as liberal as Obama, he really is. He supported "everything" Obama supports regardless of what he currently says so he can be elected.

5

 Mar 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM A Says:

Reply to #3  
MordyS Says:

Does this mean, once Santorum loses the nomination, he won't support and endorse Mitt Romney???? (chutzpah if he doesn't)

His statement proves that THE most important issue for Santorum is for him to win the election. Not the economy, not foreign affairs, not social issues, just that he gets to claim the top prize. He didn't have much chance getting my vote before now it's a zero percent chance.

6

 Mar 23, 2012 at 01:18 PM Obama Says:

President Obama: Thanks Rick Santorum for Endorsing Obama 2012!

if Obama is smart, he uses this video clip over again before the elections showing even the GOP (Santorum) endorsed him...

7

 Mar 23, 2012 at 02:03 PM yaakov321 Says:

I wonder if santorum thinks he can get the GOP to 'barf' that the barf wont get on his own shoes. Amazing this santorum guy. But of course, I do think that Obama will be better than either of them.

8

 Mar 23, 2012 at 06:33 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Well gee Mr Santorum! I too agree that keeping Barack Obama in office would be better than electing Mitt Romney as President! LOL!!! (:-D

You read my mind!

9

 Mar 25, 2012 at 01:26 PM ShalomCon Says:

Reply to #8  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

Well gee Mr Santorum! I too agree that keeping Barack Obama in office would be better than electing Mitt Romney as President! LOL!!! (:-D

You read my mind!

Once again, I agree 100%.

Mr. Santorum talks a blue streak and does rally the vote, but only when he's preaching to the choir. In every other race, he's failed to turn any votes away from Romney. His rhetoric is scary and that's why so many Obama-bashers are holding their noses and voting for Romney even though he's not the conservative they'd like.

“You win by giving people a choice,” You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there.”

Right, Mr. Santorum! That's why I want to keep Obama and his Supreme Court picks in office. My choice is not eliminating the separation of church and state - which you said should "not be absolute." My choice is for equal rights and social justice, not for limiting women's health care; or discrimination based gender identification or preference. Your vision for our country may be noble, but it doesn't seem to include everybody.

Romney may be a friend to Jews & Israel, but his 2008 announcement ceremony at the Henry Ford museum (dedicated to H.F., the patron saint of US anti-Semites) still resonates as a cautionary omen to me.

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