Tales from the Trail

Santorum seeks “strong showing” in two caucuses and a primary

February 7, 2012

Mitt Romney may have secured frontrunner status in the race for the Republican presidential nominee to take on Democrat Barack Obama in the general election –  but don’t count Rick Santorum out.

The former Pennsylavania senator has not won a Republican  nominating contest since he edged Romney in the Iowa caucuses. And the  “frontrunner” title briefly held by other  Romney rivals  has eluded Santorum.

But he’s still  standing and apparently planning on  sticking around for a bit longer –  even if he doesn’t pick up a triple win in two  caucuses (Colorado,  Minnesota)  and a primary (Missouri) on Tuesday.

“Winning would be great but doing well and showing that we’re a strong — we still have a strong base of support out there is — is going to be good enough for us,” Santorum said on CNN Monday evening.

” I think we certainly have a chance of winning one … or more of those states tomorrow.  But, you know, a strong showing is a strong showing. And, you know, we’re — we’re very encouraged that we’re going to have a strong showing in all three states.  And … we’ll go from there.”

It was no coincidence that the Romney campaign took aim at Santorum on the eve of the tri-state contests, as Reuters’ Steve Holland reported.

Santorum, who’s cast himself as the true conservative alternative to Romney, was leading the former Massachusetts governor in Minnesota, according to polls. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who also claims the true conservative mantle, is not on the ballot in Missouri.

“I think people are beginning to realize that the … contrast between Obama and Romney is just not going to work for us (Republicans) and that we need somebody who can make Barack Obama the issue in the campaign, not the — the irresponsible policies of our nominee,” Santorum told CNN’s John King.

Photo Credit:  REUTERS/Rick Wilking (Santorum at energy summit  in Golden, Colo.)

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