January 31st, 2012
09:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum looks past Florida

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – Before a rally at his Nevada headquarters Tuesday night, Rick Santorum reacted to the news that Mitt Romney had cruised to victory in the Florida primary just wrapping up across the country.

"I'm not surprised," he said. "We decided obviously that that was a – that's a death match that I didn't want to get involved in, the resources you had to spend to compete there. We decided that this was going to be a long campaign and we were going to get out and run a campaign across this country."

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With early returns showing Gingrich likely to finish a distant second, Santorum said that results in the Sunshine State prove that Gingrich is not a viable conservative alternative to Romney.

"With a big win [in South Carolina], ahead in the polls, money to spend, and he didn't hold," Santorum said of Gingrich. "Not only didn't he hold the lead, at least some of the results I've seen he didn't do very well at all. And I think that shows you that that alternative to Mitt Romney is not one that's going to hunt."

Pointing to Gingrich's "personal issues" and inconsistent policy positions, Santorum said he had come to Nevada to prove he's the only true conservative remaining in the race.

"I understand it's a tough place to go when you've got four days and it's hard given Governor Romney's roots here and the amount of money he's spent and time he's spent here in the past, but I suspect if it's like most other states there's a lot of undecided voters here and they're going to look at this race now and say if you don't want Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich doesn't have what it takes to win this, let's give someone else a shot," he said.

"I understand we're not coming off a strong showing in Florida, but maybe we can start to get some traction back with a stronger showing here in Nevada," he said.

But Nevada voters looking to the GOP presidential candidates for an answer to the housing crisis in their state heard few comforting words from Santorum on Tuesday. Addressing a crowd of just 60 or so outside the offices of a conservative tea party group just a few miles from his campaign headquarters, Santorum said that Nevadans who are looking to the government for help should "be careful what you wish for."

Comparing those who look to government for help solving the housing crisis to those who looked to government for help solving the health care crisis, Santorum said that given the chance, liberals in government might implement a housing solution similar to "Obamacare."

"The best way we could help Nevadans in foreclosure is to get the overall economy healthy," Santorum said, emphasizing the need for "free market solutions" to the housing crisis. He also laid out a plan to allow homeowners who find themselves under water to subtract any losses incurred in selling their home from their annual tax burden. This, he said, might help the market "find its bottom."

Also see:

Gingrich camp pulled in $5 million in January

Video: Mitt Romney sings

Gingrich sued for using 'Eye of the Tiger' in campaign

Florida primary 'the most negative campaign ever,' says media group


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Nevada • Rick Santorum
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. gimmesometruth

    Santorum is very conservative except when it is against his selfish interests. He is betraying Newt and the conservative cause. That is clear. Does he think Romney will pick him as VP. What a fool? I can't beleive that there is anyone who would vote for this traitor.

    February 1, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
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