Santorum to Florida after South Carolina
January 19th, 2012
04:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum to Florida after South Carolina

(CNN) – Rick Santorum said Thursday he plans to press on to Florida no matter where he places in South Carolina's primary on Saturday.

"We've now won one of the two primaries. We hope to do well here in South Carolina. We're running, right now, according to the polls, in second in Florida," Santorum said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

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He added that his campaign has already started making ad buys in the Sunshine State, where a super PAC supportive of Santorum also began purchasing airtime last week.

A new CNN/Time/ORC International poll indicated Santorum was in a heated race for second place with rival Newt Gingrich in Florida, with 19% of likely GOP primary voters saying they would support Santorum and 18% backing Gingrich.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, held a strong lead at 43%.

Santorum made headlines Thursday morning when Iowa's Republican Party announced the former Pennsylvania senator finished 34-votes ahead of Romney in the state's caucuses on January 3.

While results from several precincts are missing and the full actual results may never be known, Romney called Santorum Thursday to congratulate him, both campaigns confirmed.

Santorum argued the latest results were one more reason why his campaign would forge on, despite earlier remarks this week by Gingrich, who called on Santorum to drop out of the race.

"That's just pure and simple arrogance. I mean the guy lost two races already. I mean he's - I - I won Iowa. He finished in fourth," Santorum said, adding that he also finished above Gingrich in New Hampshire.

However, the most recent tally from New Hampshire's Secretary of State showed Gingrich placed ahead of Santorum by 16 votes.

"And as a result of that, I should drop out of the race?" Santorum said.

Insisting he's the only real conservative in the race, the former senator said he liked his chances against Romney and Gingrich, claiming both of them would be "bad match-ups" against President Barack Obama in November.

"So I feel pretty good that we'll do better (in South Carolina) than expected. We've always done better than expected," Santorum said. "No one expected us to win Iowa."

Also see:

Perry drops out, endorses Gingrich

Polls: South Carolina primary tightening hours before crucial debate

Gingrich as compares Romney's 'desperate' attacks to 2008 campaign

Romney the establishment, Santorum the 'rebel,' ad says


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Hey, Senator. Show some diversity in your foreign policy knowledge tonight. So far, you have only spoken about Israel, Iran, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and terrorists. I'm not certain but I will give you credit for at least one "China," but you were responding to a specific question so I might still take it back.

    January 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Doesn't Florida have enough problems with the politicans that those idiots down there voted for in 2008 starting with their "governor"?
    I hope they learn a thing or two before November. All those people voting for politicians who don't care about them and want them to lose all their SS money in the stock market and die because it's cheaper than treating them.

    January 19, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Matt Kalamazoo

    if santorum doesn't know what his tax rate is but he is trying to change the tax code either he is trying to hide something or he is a bold face liar.

    January 19, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |