Elections 2012: Santorum Calls Romney ‘Worst Republican’ To Face Obama

NEW YORK | Sunday, March 25th, 2012 10:26pm EDT

Rick Santorum declared on Sunday that Mitt Romney “is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

Elections 2012 Santorum Calls Romney Worst Republican To Face Obama 01

Rick Santorum urged Republicans here Sunday evening to carefully study the record of Mitt Romney, declaring: “He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.” Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Rick Santorum sharpened the tenor of his argument against Mitt Romney during an appearance at the South Hills Country Club at the final campaign rally of a weekend trip to Wisconsin, reports The New York Times.

Santorum asked Republicans to “pick any other Republican in the country” than GOP presidential front-runner Romney, based on issues that make the former Massachusetts governor “uniquely disqualified” to run against Obama, according to CBS News.

“Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama,” said Santorum.

Accordng to The Huff Post, Santorum later tried to clarify that he was talking only about Romney’s ability to campaign against the national health care law championed by Obama and the Democrats.

“What speech did you listen to?” Mr. Santorum told The New York Times, speaking in a terse and agitated tone. “I said he was the worst Republican to run on the issue of Obamacare. That’s what I was talking about.”

“And I was very clear about talking about that. OK?” Santorum told reporters. “Come on, guys, don’t do this. I mean, you guys are incredible. I was talking about Obamacare, and he is the worst because he was the author of Romneycare.”

Pressed further, Santorum explained that he meant Romney was the worst candidate “to run against Barack Obama on the issue of health care, because he fashioned the blueprint. I’ve been saying it in every speech. Quit distorting our words. If I see it [in print], it’s bull(expletive). C’mon man, what are you doing?”

Ryan Williams, Romney’s spokesman, who also attended the event, said Santorum was “panicking in the final stages of his campaign.”

Rick Santorum is becoming more desperate and angry and unhinged every day,” Williams said. “He sees conservatives coalescing around Mitt Romney and he’s rattled by the backlash caused by his suggestion that keeping Barack Obama would be better than electing a Republican.”

Earlier campaigning in Wisconsin, which holds its primary on April 3, Santorum hammered Romney as a candidate conservatives should not trust.

He again mentioned Romney adviser’s comment last week that the race’s dynamic will change when the GOP settles on a nominee, likening it to an Etch A Sketch toy.

“I have not written my public policy pronouncements on an Etch A Sketch. They are written on my heart,” Santorum said in a Fond du Lac bowling alley.

“Gov. Romney has said in response to the Etch A Sketch comment that he wants to assure all of you – he wants to assure that he will run as a conservative in the fall. Let me assure you, that I’m not going to run as a conservative. I am a conservative.”

“I can’t outspend him in Wisconsin. No way,” Santorum said about Romney. “But you can outwork him. We can do this.”

Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail says that Santorum has taken back his comment that the country might as well re-elect President Barack Obama if Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination.

Mr. Santorum said on Friday that he would support whoever wins the Republican primary.

On Thursday, Mr. Santorum argued that Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama are so similar on the issues that Republicans might just as well vote to give the president a second term instead of casting their ballots for Mr. Romney.

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