Rocky Mountain High expectations
February 6th, 2012
06:14 PM ET
2 years ago

Rocky Mountain High expectations

Golden, Colorado (CNN) - Could Rick Santorum pull off a surprise victory in this week's caucuses? Newt Gingrich thinks so.

"I think that Santorum's going to have a pretty good day tomorrow and he will have earned it. He targeted differently than I did," Gingrich told reporters gathered outside an energy forum in Golden, Colorado.

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Gingrich credited Santorum's strategy of mostly skipping last Saturday's Nevada caucuses in favor of competing in Colorado and Minnesota. Both states hold caucuses on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after the same forum, Santorum opted against setting any expectations for the caucuses. But he questioned Mitt Romney's ability to close the deal with Republican voters, noting the former Massachusetts governor has failed to attract as many voters as he did in 2008 in some previous contests.

"He's underperformed from four years ago. And I suspect he will again," Santorum said about Tuesday's caucuses.

"The challenge for Romney is he's not expanding his world," Gingrich added at his separate media availability.

During a face-to-face meeting back stage at the energy forum, Gingrich and Santorum said they agreed Romney is not conservative enough to carry the Republican banner in the upcoming general election.

In a sign of Santorum's perceived strength in this week's caucus states, the Romney campaign spent much of Monday questioning the former Pennsylvania senator's spending record in Washington.

Santorum responded with a day-long barrage on the health care plan Romney signed into law in Massachusetts. Many Republicans see the program as the prototype for the president's health care law.

"Mitt Romney is uniquely positioned to give that position away," Santorum said to reporters.

Gingrich is looking beyond Minnesota and Colorado. He plans to spend Tuesday night in Ohio, a state that does not hold its primary until March. The former speaker noted early voting has already begun in Ohio.

Gingrich said he learned a major lesson in Florida: don't discount early voters.

"Forty percent of the vote was cast before the primary," Gingrich said.

The former speaker not only defended his plans on earth, but in space as well. He laughed off a skit on last weekend's Saturday Night Live that portrayed Gingrich as president of the moon, a dig at his proposal for a lunar colony.

"This is an American institution, they used to make fun of me all the time when I was speaker, and I took great pride in the fact that they made fun of me," Gingrich said of the SNL skit.

Gingrich told reporters he did ask Santorum to pull a radio ad that also pokes fun at the moon colony proposal, saying the spot falsely states the plan would cost a half-trillion dollars. The former speaker said he would first look for the money in the current NASA budget to pay for the proposal.

The former Pennsylvania senator said he is considering Gingrich's request to pull the ad.

Also see:

Nevada runners up, Paul and Santorum vow to continue campaigns

Obama: Israel undecided on attack against Iran

Gingrich outlines a Southern revival strategy

Ohio newspaper endorses Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. CoJo

    Santorum STILL has not responed about how he would handle people who cannot afford health insurance. He continues to side step this issue. As for the Health savings plan. People don't earn enough to have a savings account and he wants to suggest another type? People are trying to put food on the table or keep homes heated. Oh I forgot only people as rich as he is can afford it. And he has not helped people (in ANYWAY) to deal with pre-existing conditions. He is on the side of health care.... if you have a pre-existing condition, too bad, you are not covered (unless you have a health insurance like congress has). I'm sure his entire family is covered for life regardless what comes up.

    February 6, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Kris Craig

    Newt and Santorum seem to be getting rather cozy this week. Looks like they're starting to realize that Romney's the guy to beat now.

    February 6, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. CKWANG

    rick is a looter from his charity fund to benefit himself and his freinds... what a heartless soul to use money donated to
    a cause to helo poor but instead in diverted to help rick and his bunch of rich friends... also he is not the cooserbvarti that he wants people to think... nwety is also a heartless soul...

    February 6, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Daniel

    Gingrich is clueless there is no way we could possibly fund a colony on the moon with NASA's current budget. He would have to increase funding to a level that exceeds the percentage of GDP we funded NASA at during the space race which is orders of magnitude higher than it is right now.

    It is also funny how they keep pointing Romney not increasing votes, and neglect to point out in the last 2 contests that Romney beet both Gingrich and Santorum combined. They've hung on to hope that if one of the two dropped out the remaining candidate could beat Romney. The numbers in the last two states show that even if Santorum gave all of his votes to Gingrich he would still loose in the most critical battleground states.

    Minnesotta will look very similar to Iowa, Romney and Santorum are going to be close. Romney will take Michigan and Colorado by 15%+, and Missouri (which doesn't matter) will be close between Gingrich and Romney. Gingrich has zero appeal outside of the South, he is a regional candidate at best, Paul will always have his dedicated 15% no more no less. Santorum was the only candidate that had a chance of competing against Romney but he has gotten nowhere in the South because of Gingrich's presence.

    February 6, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. Mikey

    Really, he is going to start a program to set up a colony on the moon within 8 years and do it from the existing NASA budget. Don't buy the snake oil he is selling.

    And speaking of snake oil – Romney, who has already endorsed massive tax reductions, said on Saturday that he is not going to gut our military (like he fantisizes President Obama is doing), but instead make it much bigger and stronger. Oh, he also said he would balance the budget in a couple of years. Let's see, big tax cuts, increase military spending, and a balanced budget. Anyone got their BS meter out? The only way he can do this is to:

    1. Completely gut social security and medicare.
    2. Release unicorns that will alter the laws of mathematics.

    If those promises (along with pledges to make us all proud to be Americans again) sound familiar, it is because that's the platform Ronald Reagan ran on in 1980. He did cut taxes and he did make massive increases in our military and.... HE TRIPLED the NATIONAL DEBT in EIGHT YEARS.

    Three things: 1. President Obama is not Jimmy Carter. 2. Obama supports are not going to sit around passively while Mitt Romney attempts to lie his way into the White House. 3. Romney is no Ronald Reagan.

    February 6, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. Belinda

    Santorum is a thoughtless , hateful man . I couldn't believe his heartless response to the woman who stated that, tho she could afford healthcare for her cancer stricken son , she complained , other children in the hospital, were suffering and dying because they couldn't afford the medication . His shocking reply? Parents spend 900 on an ipod, but they don't want to spend it on medicine ? The only reason your daughter is alive , you clown , is because your rich, because God would surely not support a creep like you.

    February 6, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Willie Floyd

    He will never have enough "good days" to get him in the White House.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 6, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. w l jones

    I recommend read UFO over Florida Especially over Jacksonville, fla on june 1971 or 1972 . on the i.net

    February 6, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. CoJo

    If I recall correctly, only John McCain denounced earmark spending during the last presidential election. Where was Santorum?????

    February 6, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. ngc1300

    One of these days, Newt. To the moon!

    February 6, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That would really help Santorum to win something. It would help his fund raising.

    February 6, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    Sung to whatever tune you like...

    ♫ Rocky Mountain High – expectations ♫
    No shame in how you fly – humiliation
    Don’t state what you believe – deviation
    But if caught pull out of your sleeve – fabrication

    ♫ Take comments from the Grinch – with hesitation ♫
    Keep in mind he’s full of tricks – & calculations
    Before you know it you be sucked in – misrepresentation
    But who cares because NO candidate on the Right will beat President Obama – Realizations!!!!! :-)

    Obama 2012

    February 6, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Looks like it will be a Catholic vs Mormon play off game for the GOP championship.

    February 7, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. Bill in Florida

    One thing is for certain: if a moon colony is projected to cost half a TRILLION dollars, then it will be 20 years and 2 trillion dollars overboard by the time it's completed.

    February 7, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  15. Shelby

    ABG = Anybody but gingrich.

    February 7, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  16. J.V.Hodgson

    One of these guys thinks a colony on the moon is important, the other is a religious extremist believing that only his version of family values, religion and morality can fix all our domestic economic and Job woes and still leave America to dictate foreign policy to 1.7 bn global muslims who think he is an infidel or non believer.!! And wants to convert him.Insha Allah, god willing!! Does he ( Santorum) know they are both talking about the same GOD!?!?
    Both are unelectable for the above reasons and more.
    The voter turnout stats simply say Republicans wish they had a better choice.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 7, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |