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."

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    There are 4.1 million registered republican voters in Florida. Approximately 1.8 million cast votes in the republican primary. For a year when the republicans are supposed to be fired up, I would say the GOP has a major problem.

    January 31, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  2. tefera

    The game is over!!! GOP, dont spend your money now, save it for 2016 if Hellary not running!! Otherwise for 2024.

    January 31, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. cyberCMDR

    Well you know, by definition Santorum means coming from behind!

    January 31, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. eurobrat

    Santorum doesn't have a snowball's chance in the general election. The GOP will do anything they can to keep him from getting there.

    January 31, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  5. Bozzz

    Santorum is one of the most frightening candidates since Michelle Bachman. Fortunately, the vast majority of American voters recognize that. There will be no theocracy this year Rick....or any year. This is America.

    January 31, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't know if enough people are looking at Santorum. He has to do well in the next few contests or he'll fail to make to Super Tuesday. It should be interesting if he makes it to the convention like Ron Paul.

    January 31, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. Bill in Florida

    You have to admire Santorum's chutzpah: "I can't beat the second-place guy, so that means I can beat the first-place guy." What?

    February 1, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  8. Greg

    S.B.Stein- the problem is he is missing from the ballot or has an incomplete slate of delegates in Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee, he's competing with a handicap, other than his personality. Only Romney and Paul are even eligible to compete for every delegate. Santorum probably won't make super Tuesday. I don't think Gingrich's ego will allow him to quit, but he's definitely losing steam.

    February 1, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  9. Anonymous

    It seems to me he is the most moral man in the race. I dont know much about him. It is sad that in a nation that was founded under God it is a political death sentence to be a man of God. He
    may be a fake like the others but I miss the USA that stood for Morality,Decency,Truth,and that respected the God of Abraham,Isaac amd Jacob. That spoke of Jesus as the Saviour and had His service in mind. I say let this nation hit its knees and then watch things get better. If not things are just going to get worse. Wake up and serve the One True God before ots too late!

    February 1, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  10. Man in the Moon

    Rick S looks past Florida... To the moon? He would make a great VP under Luna(tic)r president Gingrich.

    February 1, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  11. caros

    Santorum can go back to the Republican "think tank" that he retired to after losing PA.

    February 1, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  12. Elgato

    Torch and pitchfork crowd wake up now or forever hold your piece of pizza.

    February 1, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  13. A. Wolf

    "I won't stop until Santorum is on the lips of every man, woman, and child in this great nation," said the Senator. (His handlers were seen cringing in the background...)

    February 1, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  14. donna

    tefera is right. Obama will win against Romney.

    Republicans, just go back to sleep. Near the end of her 2nd term, President Clinton will wake you up when it's time to vote again.

    February 1, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  15. Tim Fotinos

    I'm lost as to how 5% of all delegates constitute a majority. If the race is over should the rest of the US cancel all prinaries and comply with the dictates of a few Cuban party bosses in Miami? Really?

    February 1, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  16. Tylenol666

    Anything to be VP,, thats what hes lookn for

    February 1, 2012 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  17. Marry

    Santorum looks past Florida and hopes for the problems of the country to "find its bottom."
    Yes, right, that is what we are looking for with all of them: the GOP/TP way of bringing us back to 2008!
    May I suggest we LOOK PAST the GOP/TP and provide for a new Congress and some better Senators so the country can continue to move forward – this time without the obstruction of the GOP/TP?

    February 1, 2012 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  18. Mike

    Santorum said last night that Gingrich's result prove the electorate was colaesing (sic) around him as the alternative to Romney–which proves he is insane. Gingrich may have lost–but he still thumped Santorum...which suggests to me he isnt going to be an alternative to the local dog catcher.

    February 1, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  19. JR

    Santorum is a scary candidate. I remember his brand of attacks on his opponent when seeking John Heinz's senate seat after that terrible helicopter accident. Santorum is doing two things by staying in this race: he is pulling votes away from Gingrich to help Romney and he is aligning himself for a VP spot. Santorum is an opportunist in it's purist sense. He will say and do whatever it takes to get a vote. Voters, be careful of such a candidate. In this article he has basically conceded to Romney by his statement. Why else stick it out unless there is a secondary motive. If he drops out and then supports Romney, then we will know his intentions.

    February 1, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  20. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Santorum looks past Florida◄
    Past Florida and straight to the moon with Newt forming a colony of future hopefuls!

    Obama 2012

    February 1, 2012 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  21. TheFatherofLies

    "The best way we could help Nevadans in foreclosure is to get the overall economy healthy," ... I can't believe this man is even running.

    February 1, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  22. Central FL

    Santorum scored very high in my FL county – 17%. We don't like the two main choices: a rich stiff named "Mitt" and a rich womanizer named "Newt".

    February 1, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  23. Piper

    Santorum is the only one that can beat Obama, Romney and Newt can not get the hard core conservative vote and they'd need it. Romney is a Liberal and Newt is a loose cannon at times. Rick has pointed out the problem both these men would have running against Obama and hes' right.

    February 1, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  24. scott

    Sanitarium is Delusional, nothing more than our American Taliban

    February 1, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  25. spudds

    In my opinion santorum is the logical choice . so far he is the only one who is talking about americas problems . Every one else is just trash talking .

    February 1, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
1 2