Elections 2012: Santorum Suggests Obama Preferable To ‘Etch A Sketch’ Romney

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee and again compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy.

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. Photo: Matt Wansley/Flickr

On Thursday Rick 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, reports The Huff Post.

“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.”

“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,” he added.

Santorum’s remark follows Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment Wednesday that “everything changes” for the fall campaign.

“It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” Fehrnstrom said on CNN. “You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”

The remark draw criticism of Romney as the type of politician who will say or do anything to win, according to Fox News.

Romney, who made no public appearances Thursday, issued a statement expressing disappointment: “I was disappointed to hear 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. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”

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

During his speech to employees of USAA in San Antonio Santorum held up an Etch A Sketch toy and said his positions don’t change like etchings on the toy, which are erased with a shake.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Santorum attacked 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 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 will be hwld on 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.”

CBS News reports that Romney Political Director Rich Beeson wrote in a campaign memo circulated to reporters, that Romney won all but 13 of the delegates at stake in Puerto Rico’s primary on Sunday and in Illinois’ primary on Tuesday.

This win gives him a total of 563 delegates to Santorum’s 263, putting him ahead by 300 delegates, according to the Associated Press delegate count – a lead touted by Beeson in his memo.

“In order for Senator Santorum to secure the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, he must win 70% of all remaining delegates,” Beeson said, noting that Romney is more than half way to the magic number.

“The remaining contests offer no path to 1,144 for Senator Santorum, a fact which even he has acknowledged,” he writes. “Each day Senator Santorum continues to march up this steep hill of improbability is a day we lose to unite in our effort as Republicans to defeat President Obama.”

“So, as Senator Santorum continues to drag out this already expensive, negative campaign it is clear that he is becoming the most valuable player on President Obama’s team,” he added.

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