Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says
February 8th, 2012
01:37 AM ET
2 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.

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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. TomGI

    Another new plan? Oh boy, I can't wait.

    February 8, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    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.
    =============================================================================================
    Over 60 MILLION Catholics in the USA ... get a clue. And Obama didn't just tick them off, he ticked off any religious person because it is far more than an attack on Catholics but an attack on ANYBODY with deeply held religious beliefs. So the number may be more than double that number.

    And here I thought Obama's goose would be well fried in June with the USSC ruling but the incompetent socialist has delivered the GOP the ultimate gift 5 months early.

    February 8, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. logicnLA

    If you have no message- attack. Politics 101. When that fails-lie. Politics 201. Have they learned nothing from Karl Rove?

    February 8, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Harry Baxter

    He will spend unlimited amounts of money to destroy Santorum, in the same way that he destroyed Gingrich in Florida, and he will get the GOP nomination. The only trouble with this is that when he faces Obama, the President has more money than he and his supporters have, and Mitt has nothing to offer that resembles a plan for our Country.
    Bye Bye, Willard. It wasn't nice knowing you.

    February 8, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    How many of those catholics are observant, Truth? Get a clue. The American catholics dislike being told what to do by Rome as much as they do by DC. Look at the stats on how many catholic women have already used birth control.

    February 8, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. ma_johnson@mm.st

    It was so incredibly unsettling to the guy is he now ordering demolition of a mansion in a further attempt to yet again erect an improved image....

    February 8, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. mark

    Romney would lose to Obama. Santorum would get clobbered.

    February 8, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Harry Baxter - Mitt has nothing to offer that resembles a plan for our Country.
    =======================================================
    He has a plan, you just don't know how to read I guess.

    But we already have seen 4 years of Obama's "plan". European socialism, trillion dollar deficits, forced government mandates on individual's and religious organzations and bankruptcy. The American people have seen and heard enough of Obama's lies and divisive politics. He's heading back to Chicago come Jan. 2013.

    February 8, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. ST

    I do regret to let Romney know that unfortunately he is not going to make it. If he will be lucky, and only if, become a nominee, he can not win the election. What he said: "am not concerned about the poor", was a deal-breaker like "W" with Katrina!

    February 8, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Johnson

    Romney has never been a political winner. We just don't like him.

    February 8, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Riptim

    I would like to see Ron Paul declare as a third party, the clown show would take on a new perspective. Mittens and the boys would really have a mess on there hands. Obama will win this in a landslide, all the polls show him widning the gap. But I still like seeing the clown show in action everyday.

    February 8, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. cali girl

    Hey Truth, you have no clue. You obviously have not been reading the blogs, most of them are Catholics who have no problem with the mandate of services for birth control. Most of them said that if they don't want b/c then don't get it. The real issue is women's rights, which apparently you do not see as all that important. So buzz off, this will be an issue for women to choose in November, and just watch what that will be.
    Thank you to Anonymous, your points are dead on.

    February 8, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. kenny

    While Republicans are trying to fight a campaign against women for male control of the bedroom and control of the Doctors office they fail to realize that guys like Romney, Santorum, Limbaugh DeMint, Sessions and others are all living proof of the dire need of birth control to prevent further screw-ups that ended with their accidental births.

    February 8, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Skylark

    Santorum : Torquemada redux.
    The essence of religious terrorism.

    February 8, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. George B Taylor Sr

    In reading the comments to this article – I see most consist of liberals. Most express glee at the opposition party's efforts to vett and select the best person to run against BHO in the fall. I do not care what political party you belong to or wheather you are a liberal or conservative – unemployment is still 8%; the country is $16 billion in debt; cost of food and gas goes up every week; appointed judges are making law from the bench; we have no real energy policy; the UN is doing all possible to rule the world; our borders are wide open; our government is so politically correct they can not even define those who would do us harm; most citizens have never heard of Agenda 21; most citizens do not know about the renewal of NDAA Act-2012 and what it contains; we are facing the biggest tax increase in history in 2013 – not to mention what the full impact of Obamacare will have on the economy and future job growth; most citizens have no idea how their representatives are voting on political issues and we have the press and TV reporters playing mind games with the public not defining the issues nor exposing political happenings. Now – I know most do not wish to think about these issues – they had rather play games; listen to the TV pundits and critizes those who want to change the direction this administration has imposed on this country – again I do not care if you are liberal or conservative – I suggest you sober up – and try to elect in Nov. 2012 a person who understands where we are headed and someone with the courage to try and turn this mess around.

    February 8, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Days R Numbered

    Romney's Days Are Numbered! It's as simple as 1-2-3. When all he has to say and do is bad-mouth the president's policies as well as his fellow Republicans when the chips are down, just because he's richer than rich and can get air time anytime, and flip-flop on issues most of the other times, Americans aren't seeing a viable candidate for president here! He might as well hang it up and resolve to the fact that his days of being on top of the ticket are now NUMBERED! Good riddance! Those CON-servative views are simply not acceptable to most Middle-Class and Poor Americans whom he has absolutely Nothing In Common With and whom he would not lift a finger to help, if it was a cold day in hell, once in office! With Romney, it's all about continuing to help the richest of the rich once in office! Nothing else! Look at what he recently said about not helping the poor! Folks, Wake Up to see that what he said there should be the benchmark of his candidacy!

    February 8, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    The Real Tom Paine

    How many of those catholics are observant, Truth? Get a clue. The American catholics dislike being told what to do by Rome as much as they do by DC. Look at the stats on how many catholic women have already used birth control.
    ---------–

    both birth control and abortion are favored by a majority of Catholics. Not sure about gay marriage but I would expect it to be very close to 50-50

    February 8, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "Over 60 MILLION Catholics in the USA ... get a clue."

    I must have missed the data where they voted in droves during these past few primary states. My mistake.

    February 8, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Buster Bloodvessel

    "TRENDING: Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says" Use a strong soap and scrub really hard, then repeat. Phew! Better use scented soap, Mitt. That stuff is hard to wash off.

    February 8, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. SAM

    Romney is sounding desperate.HE HAS TO LOOSE MICHGAN.AS HE DOES NOT WANTED TO SAVE AUTO ONDUSTRY ,AND PEOPLE IN MICHGAN BETTER NOT FORGET THAT. MICHIGAN IS DOING FINE DUE TO OBAMA. I THINK MITT IS DONE AND SAVE HIS MONEY TO BUILD HIS NEW HOUSE.AND RETIRED FROM POLITICS.

    February 8, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Right again you are.

    February 8, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Skitownrefugee

    Santorum will get leveled by Romney's super pacs. He needs a lot of money which he doesn't have to be effective against "Mr. White Bread". But the real sad thing about all this is the loss of power of the individual voter in a world where money rules. I look at it this way: Me and Carl Rove should be on equal footing – we both have one vote each. But Carl has raised $50million which at $50 a voter, has the ability to buy a million votes. We are kidding ourselves if we think we are on a level playing field with these giants of politics.

    February 8, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    The Real Tom Paine - How many of those catholics are observant, Truth? Get a clue. The American catholics dislike being told what to do by Rome as much as they do by DC. Look at the stats on how many catholic women have already used birth control
    ============================================================================================
    I guess it is impossible for leftists to understand that government trampling on religion and forcing a religion to violate its teachings is a HUGE transgression. It has ZERO to do with whether Catholics actually practice it. What you are essentially saying is that since in the government judgement, x% in a religion don't follow the religion by the letter, that government can decide that particular practice is irrelevant and can disregard it and force a church to disregard it as well. THAT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION.

    February 8, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Benefits Not the Middle-Class or Poor

    You're So Right, ST! Romney is certainly NOT concerned with the poor! For an extremely wealthy millionaire who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he has nothing in common with the Middle-Class much less the poor! And how many of you reading this are independently wealthy who could afford to vote for a Republican who would immediately Cut your benefits? Face the facts, how many? To vote Republican means to vote for someone who will come in and snatch your Social Security benefits that you paid into with your hard-earned money during your working years to have upon your golden years retirement to help you out as you well deserve, but with a Republican in the White House that simply would not happen and you know it! But again, if you're wealthy, you can not afford not to vote Republican. If you're not wealthy however, your only hope is President Obama in 2012! You'd better believe he is!! Otherwise, Lose all you've got so your hard-earned tax money can go to benefit the richest of the rich in this country!

    February 8, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. CoJo

    want to bet that Santorum comes out and says the courts are wrong with regard to prop 8 in Calif? Of course Santorum is right, he's always right!!!

    February 8, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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