Elections 2012: Rick Santorum Guarantees Victory In GOP Primary If He Wins Illinois

Rick Santorum on Saturday guaranteed that a win in the Illinois primary will will lead to his nomination as the Republican presidential nominee.

Campaigning in Illinois on Saturday, Rick Santorum declared that if he wins the state's primary on Tuesday, he will capture the GOP nomination. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was spending the first of two days campaigning in President Barack Obama’s home state, reports Fox News. Santorum also has local ties – he graduated from a suburban Catholic high school not far from the site of his Friday night rally.

“This is a primary, and turnout is everything. You do your job, you do your job, then this is the pledge,” he said. “If we’re able to come out of Illinois with a huge or surprise win, I guarantee you, I guarantee you that we will win this nomination.”

It seems like a groundless statement, considering that Santorum is currently trailing Mitt Romney by 243 delegates and Illinois only awards 69, tells The Huff Post.

Santorum declared that he feels like he’s already running in the general election.

“People ask me why I’m the best candidate to run against Barack Obama,” said Santorum. “It’s because I feel like, in many respects, I am running against Barack Obama here in this primary because Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama in this primary.”

Santorum has been Frequently hammering Mitt Romney on the health care bill that Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts, According to MSN BC.

Santorum questioned how his chief rival could take on the Democratic president in the fall, noting that Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan carried a mandate that individuals obtain health insurance, as does Obama’s federal program.

Santorum also claims that energy is another issue his Republican rival shares with president Obama.

“Why, with sky rocketing gas prices, would we nominate someone who had the same position as President Obama with respect to fossil fuels?” he asked.

Romney campaign spokesperson Ryan Williams responded to Santorum’s comments:

“Senator Santorum is an economic lightweight who has precisely zero job creating experience. He ought to scare every conservative when it comes to his economic record. We won’t get the economy going again by replacing one senator with no job creating experience with another with no job creating experience,” he said.

Chicago Tribune reports that Mitt Romney has said he backed the individual mandate at a state level as a measure of “personal responsibility” but opposes it at the federal level.

“By the way, I just saw a testimonial as to my conservatism on our website. It was an ad and it was very powerful. It was Sen. Rick Santorum,” Romney said. “He says, look, I’m Rick Santorum, no one puts words in my mouth, and I want you to know if you want to nominate a conservative, a real conservative, why you have to nominate Mitt Romney.

“Now, that was four years ago. I hope it still applies.”

Anticipating a loss in Illinois, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has moved on to Louisiana, which holds its primary Saturday.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas made a lone Illinois visit last week and left.

Romney has long been in favor in Illinois, where he is expected to benefit from a high number of affluent Republican voters in the Chicago area.

But the southern, more conservative part of the state favors Santorum, and recent polls have shown a reasonably close race.

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