February 8th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
2 years ago

Kingston: Santorum no longer a third wheel

(CNN) - Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, a strong Newt Gingrich backer, said Wednesday Rick Santorum made big gains the previous night as a result of the ongoing battle between Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

"Santorum has benefited from the fact that it has been perceived as a two-man race. All the attacks have been on Newt. Now if Rick is going to be rising in the polls, I think he's going to start getting negative ads too," Kingston said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The former Pennsylvania senator pulled a surprising three-state victory in Tuesday's nominating contests, winning Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Santorum had been aggressively focusing on the states since Florida's primary on Jan. 31.

While Romney's team signaled it would begin training its fire on Santorum, the frontrunner's first big email Wednesday morning focused on attacking Gingrich, instead, perhaps signaling the campaign sees the former House speaker as a more likely competitor for upcoming races in the South.

And Kingston said that's exactly where Gingrich plans to invest his resources in the coming weeks, especially in the candidate's home state of Georgia, which has a whopping 76 delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday, March 6.

"We're going back into debate season. We have four debates between now and Super Tuesday, which is Newt's home court advantage," Kingston said. "We're feeling good about things."

The Georgia congressman, however, predicted Santorum would get the bulk of negative ads from both the Gingrich and Romney campaigns as the race moves forward.

"Mostly from the Romney folks," he added. "I think the super PACs will come in there as well."

Also see:

Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says

Gingrich touts nationwide campaign

Paul, on quests for delegates, looks past Tuesday contests

Obama's fashion fundraiser


Filed under: 2012 • Georgia • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. awestruck

    and he "cares" about ALL the people, rich and poor, etc. Really? Bet there are bunches and bunches of Americans who don't fit his "Christian" ideal of what deserves "his" care. Christianity in this country (and everywhere) is sadly too often used to control, force, discount and deny those who have not been "saved." And the self-righteous continue to sing themselves to sleep, gratified they'll happily skip through heaven with Jesus, away from the mass of humanity. I believe Santorum and his evangelical backers really DO care about THOSE people. The rest, who won't go to heaven anyhow, don't matter.

    February 8, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This guy Santorum won't last one minute in the "lions den". LOL

    February 8, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Remains to be seen.

    February 8, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This is what happens when the government starts taking over healthcare and dictating what is required. Clueless leftists, that hate religion, completely disregard the fact that they are a very small minority compared the the vast majority of religious people in this country."

    Very few on the left "hate" religion. What is hateful is using religion for political gain. Which is exactly what the Catholic Church is attempting and has always attempted to do in America. A great majority of its female congregation use birth control. No doubt many thousands have had abortions. This is between them and God - and only for God to judge. I respect those who are against abortion or birth control based on their personal faith. I do not respect that they feel they have a religious right to inflict their hypocrisy into the lives of others.

    February 8, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
1 2