Santorum predicts one on one primary battle
January 9th, 2012
03:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum predicts one on one primary battle

Derry, New Hampshire (CNN) – Rick Santorum said Monday that the battle for the Republican nomination may not have an end in the immediate future, but he said it will come down to two people: him and former Gov. Mitt Romney.

"It'll be Mitt Romney against Rick Santorum, and we'll win this race," Santorum said with confidence.

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"It's not going to be [secured during] this primary or the next," Santorum added. "We'll have several races down the road. This field will narrow. It'll be a one on one race."

Santorum was responding to a reporter asking about his electability versus Romney's. The former Pennsylvania senator said ultimately the country is more likely to elect a "strong conservative" than a man who has "run [previous elections] as a liberal, a moderate, and a conservative." He also cautioned voters to avoid the "establishment candidate."

"When we've run establishment candidates, we've lost. We lost with John McCain, we lost with Bob Dole. We lost with Gerry Ford."

He went on to say that when the country "runs conservatives like Ronald Reagan...we've been able to win."

Santorum touted his conservative message with voters in both New Hampshire and the next primary state of South Carolina over the weekend. Social issues –a big deal for Santorum– are expected to play a bigger roll in South Carolina, a state with a significant evangelical population.

Also see:

Santorum to South Carolina: 'Step up'

Romney feared being fired

Paul looking forward to South Carolina, caucus states

Perry makes play for Christian voters in South Carolina

Democrats maintain focus on Romney


Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Santorum
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Well, you might want to get on all the ballots and develop a national campaign staff before making a bold prediction like this. Romney has his act together. You are trying desperately to ride a wave. Now you might just be the little engine that could, but you're going to need to start winning in real elections in states in which you have not lived for a year.

    January 9, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The issue was that Reagan was an excellent communicator and could convince people of just about anything. No one running now is that good.

    January 9, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. King

    Santorum is unelectable due to his extreme social views and his shady record. Romney has the most electability of the Republican candidates, as he is the "safe" pick-he doesn't take extreme views on any issues. This blandness actually stands out in the mess that the Republican party has offered to voters. If it comes down to Romney and Obama, it doesn't really matter who wins-the country will be headed in the same direction. It is unfortunate that Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman don't get as much attention as they should. Huntsman does not have the baggage that the other candidates have and Ron Paul offers the most sane foreign policy. The whole deal with Iran is eerily similar to Iraq's supposed WMDs and Paul is rightfully cautious in not heeding the media's biased portrayal of Iran.

    January 9, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Tony

    Santorum said that it is a sign of "hubris" on the part of the president when he said: "Every child in America should go to college."

    Romney said that he likes being able to fire people who provide services.

    With opponents like these, Democrats need to guard against overconfidence.

    January 9, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Fabes

    as soon as some people get over their high horse with foreign policy and see that Paul understands foreign policy. Endorsed by former chief of CIA Bin Laden Unit with 22 yr experience. That says something and don't forget Bush in 2000 run on non-interventionism, not policing the world, a humble foreign policy, no nation building. So Republicans can vote for non-interventonist candidates and win. As soon as they realise this, they will realise Paul has the credibility to hit Obama on the issues that are important with independents and democrats, eg war, civil liberties, crony capitalism. NDAA, SOPA, Patriot Act, Libya. It'll be hard for Obama to make out Paul is some rich Republican when Paul campaign can just reming people of Obama's top donors in 2008 + 2012. Paul campaign with RNC can just show the type of people he put into positions and supported. But don't forget Paul does well with independents, liberals, people looking for the most conservative, the lower income folk, young vote of 17-29 (CNN entrance/exit vote shows Paul smashing his rivals there amongst other things),

    January 9, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    So the head of the American Talibon thinks he's the best choice?!? Oh please! Thsi guy is about as far right as a person can get, and that's not a good thing.

    January 9, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. DENNA

    I hope Romney wins. I don't care for him, but I prefer hiim to your snotting looking, self-satisfied face. It doesn't matter anyway. President Obama will win. To anyone who does not listen to Fox and Rush, Obama is the sensible choice

    January 9, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Dream on weirdo – even the republicans don't want YOU.

    January 9, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    CNN entrance/exit vote shows
    -----------

    What? The voting doesn't even start until tomorrow. And it's a republican primary. THINK

    January 9, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Paul1st

    It usually takes about two weeks for a candidate who declares himself or herself and the party nominee to go down in flames. Romney should adopt "Another one bites the dust" as his campaign song.

    January 9, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. alkarrk

    Success in Iowa did the same thing to Mike Huckabee. Remember when he wouldn't drop out of the race–clinging on to the bitter end? Sorry, Santorum–not every state is as Mormonphobic as Evangelical Iowa. Your time in the spotlight is most likely coming to an end.

    January 9, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. indyreader

    To be fair, we already knew Santorum was delusional. Just 'cos he can get himself into such a froth over one statistical tie in a very conservative state (and in Iowa, he had to slime up every single county in the state to even pull that off), doesn't mean that his success will be repeated in any state that has a little more skepticism about fascist Dominionists. Which, one would hope, would include most of the rest of them. Santorum only got his sloppy second-place finish 'cos the everyone before him in the clown-queue had already had their turn riding the top of the polls before falling to the wayside. It was his turn, and by the time New Hampshire is over, his turn will be too.
    Executive summary: Santorum shouldn't be trusted with any more authority than toll-taker on the Jersey Turnpike.

    January 9, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. willie floyd

    Social issues may not be as critical as jobs and the economy, but never the less they play a very important part in our personal lives. All the Reps. are too far right for the general population-and Santorum is the very worst.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 9, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    The Republican race will be between Romney and himself if another candidate doesn't get their act together really soon. The only one besides Romney who has a something resembling an actual national campaign is Paul. The rest of them are either not even aiming to get on the ballot in all 50 states, or missing the mark in embarassing fashion.

    January 9, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Ari159

    This guy wins second place in one state and now he thinks he can be one of the last men standing? :-P

    January 9, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Luke Brown

    Hey Rick, you have no idea what you are talking about regarding Food Stamps (now called TANF).

    Dude, two-thirds of families in the program actually have jobs. Nearly half of the individuals in the program are children.

    So, your thinking that kicking these people off the rolls after two years will be an incentive to find work makes no sense. How do you tell an eight-year-old to get off the government dole and find a job.

    BTW, Rick, tens of thousands of people on the TANF rolls are mentally ill or retarded. Others have physical limitations, but can't get on Social Security disability. Before you go hog-wild and kick these people out, maybe you could provide a listing of the job openings in their area for people with these kinds of disabilities.

    Oh yeah, since many of these people do not own cars or have access to public transit, maybe you could make some suggestions to them on how they can physically get themselves to these imaginary jobs you think they could be hired for.

    January 9, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Natalie

    I agree, this guy is not what we need in the US. Iran can have him. No theocracies here please.

    January 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. shoegazer

    Satan Tweets Santorum.-– The Simpsons episode Sunday,January 8th. Hilarious.

    January 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Rick, what is is about the sin of Hubris that you still don't get? Last time you had this level of unrepentant pride was in 2006 just before you got your pink slip from the people of Pennsylvania. Assuming that it will be YOU against Mittens until the bitter end when you don't have the war chest to make it past Florida is fairly amusing. Do you really think that Newt and Ron Paul will bow out gracefully so you can keep plugging away at your quixotic quest for the Nomination and the Presidency? If so, sir, your fall from grace will only be the greater for it.

    January 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Vin Dicated

    Fear the sweater vest! Its' wearer is a threat to American liberties.

    January 9, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Sorensen

    If people can't communicate, the least they can do is to shut up!
    Sanatorium sounds like a mediocre bureaucrat and nobody understands what he is desparately trying to say.
    He does not have a chance against the smooth talking plastic management consultant.

    January 9, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Killdeer

    Tebowing on bended knee...I hope Ricky wins NH. This would give the Dem's a clear cut victory in the GE.

    January 9, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. steve

    Santorum--nope-you are wrong-–it will NOT be between you & Romney

    January 9, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |