(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Thursday his opponents complain too much about the political ad wars taking place among the campaigns and super PACs, arguing the competition is important for the Republican presidential nominating process.
“Look, it's not something I'm going to whine about. I know there are some candidates that want to whine about the fact that in campaigns you go back and forth, to talk about the distinctions between one another,” Romney said on Fox News. “But let's talk about a process that gets us to a nominee."
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His comments came a day after Santorum’s campaign released a new television ad against Romney, accusing him of making “ugly attacks” against the former Pennsylvania senator.
While Romney’s campaign says it hasn’t gone negative against Santorum, a pro-Romney super PAC has launched a blistering ad hitting Santorum as a “Washington insider” in states that hold contests in the coming weeks.
Santorum responded to the attacks Wednesday, repeating his criticism of Romney as a “uni-dimensional candidate” in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.
The former Massachusetts governor, however, said Thursday he’s not concerned about Santorum’s recent surge in the GOP horserace.
“Right now we have a new kid on the block who is going to go under the same scrutiny that everybody else goes under in this process,” Romney said. “I'm pleased that I have been able to come out with the most delegates."
Newt Gingrich has also called out Romney for his attack strategy, attributing his decline in the polls to Romney’s scathing campaign against him in Florida. Most recently, Gingrich has predicted his own campaign will soon bounce back in the race as Romney switches focus from the former House speaker to Santorum.
But Romney said his opponents should realize that a big race will come with a hard fight.
“No one is going to hand the nomination to someone on a silver platter,” Romney said. “They have to fight hard to win the nomination.”