Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says
February 8th, 2012
01:37 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says

Denver, Colorado (CNN) – As Rick Santorum counted up his victories Tuesday night, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney signaled the campaign would take a tougher approach toward his resurgent rival and portray him as a Washington insider.

Santorum pulled off a stunning trio of victories in the Tuesday night voting contests, injecting his campaign with much-needed momentum as the GOP contenders looked ahead to the delegate-rich group of states that will vote March 6.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

After reminding reporters that Santorum had endorsed Romney in the 2008 race, senior adviser Stuart Stevens suggested the former Massachusetts governor would begin to focus on his newly ascendant opponent on the stump.

“I think we’ll see differences in approach that will be explored. Rick Santorum tonight was fairly aggressive in his contrasts, and I think we’ll see differences,” Stevens said of the two-term senator Tuesday night. “Look, I just don’t think it’s a time when people are looking to Washington to solve problems with Washington.”

Santorum has passionately criticized Romney over his Massachusetts health care plan, which the former senator has said is too similar to President Barack Obama’s health care plan and would cripple Romney in a fight against the president in the fall.

While the Romney campaign has focused many attacks on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in Iowa and New Hampshire they peppered Santorum over his defense of earmarks while in the Senate.

Tuesday was a grim night for Romney – he suffered an embarrassing defeat in Colorado, where he had predicted a win and spent two days campaigning. A modest audience of supporters did not fill the room in Denver where he gave his evening speech.

Stevens downplayed the results, pointing to Romney’s blowout wins in Florida and Nevada and insisted the Romney campaign had carried out the right strategy.

“We’d like to win everywhere, but you can’t,” he said. “And we’ve focused on key states for how we see a path to the nomination.”

Also see:

Gingrich touts nationwide campaign

Paul, on quests for delegates, looks past Tuesday contests

Obama's fashion fundraiser


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Can we call him the Prince of Mittens? He is rather like Prince Charles: socially awkward, with no real job and desperately trying to convince people he has something relevant to say.

    February 8, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Myth Romney is soo Plastic and FAKE he makes Callista Gingrinch looks REAL

    This is a guy who is running away from his records (apparently none) in MA, pay less taxes than the average American, hide his money in Caymen Island and Swiss Bank accounts, recieves welfare TAX CUTs, a "Vulture Capitalist" who ships American jobs overseas, anti-Reagan-Bush, have zero nada zilch foreign policy experience, flip flops on every major social issues and immigration, dont care about "poor people", thinks that corporations are people too, and likes firing people!!!

    Obviously, the American people FIRED Myth Morney and his rich fat cat buddy Donald Trump last night!!!!

    Myth MorNEY is done...Stick a fork in him!!!

    February 8, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. ContrastandCompare

    Mtt

    What part of "we don't want a BHO look alike" do you not understand?

    You need to get the message correct. You will not be the GOP nominee in 2012.

    Thought you undrrstood that in 2008.

    Best you look for another line of work you are qualified to do.

    I hear the Solar Power companies are hiring CEO's. Can you spell Bankrupcy? Sure you can.

    February 8, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Willard, along with his 5 trust fund kids -aka- his living tax havens, are tax evaders and should be audited.

    February 8, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. billy davis

    This campaign season has seen 80 GOP frontrunners. Now the FoxTard are saying President Obama should be afraid of Santorum. They said that about Palin, then Bachmann, then Romney, then Trump, then Christie, then Perry, then Cain, then Gingrich next month it will be Gumby. The GOP " We lack values, we just want to beat the black guy in our White House"

    February 8, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Cindy

    Romney is holding his wet finger to the wind again.. He will change his convections to the direction of the wind. I heard him talk about his father again. The poor plasterer that came from nothing w/o education. He claims his father was an immigrant, forgetting he ran for President, and immigrants cannot run for President.

    February 8, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Cindy

    Mitt Romney would not know the truth, if the truth hit him square in the face.

    February 8, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Tex71

    Santorum screams against Sharia law but he himself wants Mosaic law (the basis for Sharia) to be the law of the USA..?..!?!?!
    Santorum embodies all the reasons why religious extremists should never be allowed within 100 yards of a government building.

    February 8, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Texas Doc

    Just goes to show how much the grassroots GOP loves Mr. 1% Mitt Romney. They will vote for anybody but him...anybody.

    February 8, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. yogi

    So this is the cream of the crop of the GOP? All the candidates, including the ones that went home, are deeply flawed and they truly represent the republican party: No vision, no integrity, hypocritical, problems abroad are solved with military solutions, lack of compassion, greedy, no dignity, extremism, bigotry, intolerance, religious fanatism, the list goes on and on. How very sad.
    Not to worry though: Obama four more years, he represents all the opposites described above.

    February 8, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. curious fan

    How many are unemployed, have a foreclosure, they are dealing with? Why is the WH laughing all the way to the bank that they might have accomplished one part of their agenda–kill Romney so the campaigner- in -chief won't have to debate him? Because he got piled on by Gingrich he had to defend himself and who can take him to task for that?
    Country is on the edge of cliff financially,,,getting defenseless and complete,COMPLETE gov control,,,,,ask your doc why he will not be in his office???

    February 8, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    No doubt Obama's attack on religious freedoms got the evangelicals all fired up and out to vote for Santorum. It played right up his alley. Obama has really messed up and ticked off a LOT of people and reminded them why they hated Obamacare.

    February 8, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    If there was a point, curious fan, that you were hoping to make, it got lost in the inarticulate ramblings you left us with. Of course Obama is enjoying watching this empty suit getting his just desserts at the ahnds of the people he's courted for 6 years. By the way, ask Osama Bin Laden is he rgards the US as defenseless, or the pepole who have watched theor 401Ks come roaring abck even with the uncertainty the House GOP has injected into the economy. As far as complete government control is concerned, how do you feel about the Patriot Act?

    February 8, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Bill

    Keep spewing your negative ads, Mittrens. It will only continue to lower the opinion most American have of you now and make you look angry and foolish. Frontrunner? I do not think so.

    February 8, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    If there was a point, curious fan, that you were hoping to make, it got lost in the inarticulate ramblings you left us with. Of course Obama is enjoying watching this empty suit getting his just desserts at the hands of the people he's courted for 6 years. By the way, ask Osama Bin Laden is he regards the US as defenseless, or the people who have watched their 401Ks come roaring back even with the uncertainty the House GOP has injected into the economy. As far as complete government control is concerned, how do you feel about the Patriot Act?

    February 8, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. curious fan

    Are you unemployed? a foreclosure on hand? The Wh is delighted they accomplished their agenda to knock Romney out but they won't succeed. Our country is almost over the cliff financially, defenseless more each day and wants to have complete, COMPLETE control of every facet in our lives......Will your doc or docs be in their offices, hospitals closed, gas and food prices out of sight and more people dependant on gov than ever? If you don't wake up–it WILL happen.

    February 8, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Anonymous

    No doubt Obama's attack on religious freedoms got the evangelicals all fired up and out to vote for Santorum. It played right up his alley. Obama has really messed up and ticked off a LOT of people and reminded them why they hated Obamacare.
    ===================================

    All .005 % of them? You can erase that talking point right off your blather blotter. It's as useless as the rest of the garbage you post.

    February 8, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. McShannon

    Much ado about contraception but when push comes to shove most Americans will see that family planning with less abortions and unwanted pregnancy is a step in the right direction. Catholics need not participate in contraception practice if they truly believe abstinence is effective

    February 8, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Feisty Contender

    Romney's feisty attitude towards his fellow GOP contenders when he's down in the polls might be part of his half-Mexican heritage. It comes with the territory!

    February 8, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    I love this. Now it's Ricky-boy in Mittens' crosshairs.

    February 8, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Woman In California

    Cheap threats and cheap shots are all Willard knows. He's never gotten his hands dirty a day in his miserable, greedy, self-centered life and I am so glad he LOST all three states. Willard doesn't have even half of the intelligence, brains or confidence that our president possesses and more and more people are finding that out. Here's a guy who has used millions of dollars and negative advertising and STILL can't – to this day BUY any love. I would in no way vote for Santorum but at least he WORKED for what he has and can relate to people unlike the plastic mummy who is only in this for the POWER not the LOVE or the PASSION needed to help this country. All he knows is negativity and people are sick of hearing it. They want answers and solutions not programmed slogans. The more Willard pretends to be human the more disliked he is and for that I say THANK YOU NEXT GINGRICH for making this all possible and exposing Willard for the liar and con artist he is.

    Obama 2012

    February 8, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Tom in the Great NW

    ...and in this corner, Mitt's handlers are waving PORTFOLIO and BANK TRUST documents to revive him....
    .
    ...and in Newt's corner, he is being FANNED with FANNIE MAE and consultant contracts...
    ..
    ..and in Ron Paul's corner, HE IS BEING RE-FORTIFIED with PROTEIN MILK and ANTI-OXIDANTS....
    ..
    and SARAH DARLIN' is TWEET, TWEET, TWEETING..........................................

    February 8, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    4 states Rick Santorum won, Money and establishment support couldn’t win 1 state last night third in one

    Republicans need candidate now

    February 8, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Now that you ask, curious fan, I am very much employed, and I'm getting ready to buy a much larger house with the increase in income I've enjoyed since Obama took office. I'm not a union worker, I'm a white,married, college-educated male with 2 kids who also happens to be a Scout leader. If your apocolyptic vision of the future is your idea of a plug for the GOP, you are already convinced they will lose. This country will rebound only if we solve the problems at hand, and that has to be to get people bakc to work. In spite of the best efforts of the GOP, people are going back to work, and things are improving. If you want to live in your dark little bunker of GOP despair, go ahead: real Americans will eventually pull you out of it.

    February 8, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Bill in Florida

    Romney is sounding desperate, calling Santorum - who hasn't been in politics in years - a Washington insider, when in fact Romney has been running for President for the past 5 years straight. If anything, Romney is the career politician and Santorum is the outsider.

    February 8, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6