Romney not backing down on Santorum
February 20th, 2012
04:39 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney not backing down on Santorum

Cincinnati, Ohio (CNN) - Mitt Romney took an aggressive tone against GOP rival Rick Santorum at a Presidents Day speech in Ohio, as the Republican candidates geared up for a week of intense campaigning.

After touring a bioscience firm in Cincinnati, Romney underlined his business experience in a speech to employees.

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Romney told the small audience he had run "four enterprises" and could better attack Washington's ballooning federal debt than Santorum.

"During his time in the senate, only two terms, the size of the federal government grew 80 percent," Romney said. "When Republicans go to Washington and spend like Democrats, you're going to have a lot of spending."

Romney said that unlike Santorum, he was a "budget hawk."

State and national polls show Santorum continues to pose a real threat to Romney, including in states such as Ohio, which votes March 6.

Romney will head next to Michigan, a state he has long been expected to win but where Santorum has proven to be a strong opponent.

The four GOP candidates will then meet on-stage at a CNN debate in Arizona on Wednesday.

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney always touts his "business experience" but never tells us about what he actually did. Not even when asked.

    February 20, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. DENNA

    Don't quit. Heck I assumed you would be on top of it by now. That pest, Santorum, is getting in the way. But don't worry. The more he talks, the sillier he sounds. You'll be back on top. You are the man President Obama will beat, have no doubt about that!

    February 20, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What enterprises has he run? Other than the company, Olympics, and MA is he saying he ran? I don't think that he can really say that he ran them very well since there were many people under him doing the work.

    February 20, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Jules

    Romney better talk to some of the women's issues because if Santorum wins the nomination, Obama wins the female vote overwhemingly.

    February 20, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Santorum shows his immaturity and unpresidential presence by spouting off remarks regarding hot-button issues. He places more emphasis on these details about birth control when instead he should be telling us how he would create millions of jobs. It's probably because he has no clue on how to create jobs since he's never created any before!!!! Hey, sounds like he has something in common with the other senator that got voted into the WH by people that didn't think before they went to the polls. When Obama gets re-elected, all of you Santorum lovers will get what you deserve.

    February 20, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. cali girl

    Santo is getting the one two punch from his own and here comes the white house on full guard. This is not over yet, ut could still turn again. Can't wait for more if the slug fest.

    February 20, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Andy

    I am a life-long Republican – So why won't I vote for Santorum?

    If Santorum ends up being the Republican nominee, I will end up voting for Obama. I never, ever thought I could feel this way, but it is true.

    Why?  Very simple:  Obama was elected President while never having a job other than in Washington.  Santorum, just like Obama, has never held a normal job either. Santorum has never run a business. He has never had to meet a payroll.  He knows NOTHING about business.

    So, purely from an ECONOMIC BASIS, I prefer Obama over Santorum simply because I KNOW what I have with Obama.

    HOW CAN WE EVER ELECT A PRESIDENT TO RUN THIS ECONOMIC MACHINE (the USA) WHEN THE PERSON HAS NEVER RUN ANY BUSINESS BEFORE?

    I just can't vote for Santorum. To me, it's either Romney or I stay with the person I already know (Obama).

    February 20, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Rmoney must be desperate if he's going back to bragging about being a vulture capitalist who screwed workers and taxpayers.

    February 20, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Dave

    I don't have anything against Santorum, but I am confident the GOP will lose if he gets the GOP vote. Romney is the only one to defeat Obama and actually change the nation for the better.

    February 20, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Jules
    Romney better talk to some of the women's issues because if Santorum wins the nomination, Obama wins the female vote overwhemingly.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ...except for those women who choose to vote based on the economy, jobs, leadership, past performance, etc.

    February 20, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Dennis

    Lol romney can not connect with the working class and his team asks the likes of trump to go on radio. karl rove how are you going to fix this or at least patch it up

    February 20, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Romney has five sons who avoided military service.

    Rick Santorum has three sons and cant wait to start a war.

    The Republican Party has such Vision and Patriotism.

    February 20, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Penobscot

    @ Rudy NYC...I think Romney's $250-$500 million personal wealth speaks enough about how good he was at business.

    February 20, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. MD

    Romney will ultimately win. He is a good man that has been successful running a business (restructuring failing companies and ultimately hiring more than 120,000 taxpayers/people), fixing problems with the 2002 Olympics, and governing MA (balanced the budget and got a $2B surplus).

    He's generous and smart. He'll make a better president than our current guy.

    February 20, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. packerfans

    Come on Vote for Mitt Romney!! Rick want womens back kitchen old time fashion!! NO Vote for Women old time!! He want forced women stay home!! What you want Rick?? He want you more babies at home!! there is no freedown for Womens!! Do Not Vote Rick even he cannot beat Obama!! Obama want you vote Rick!! Obama afraid Mitt can win!!

    February 20, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Romney is not My Hero

    DENNA – I love the way you think. Move over Sanctimonious Sweater Vest, Robot Romney is the man for the losing position against Obama.

    Obama 2012 – No matter what nut the GOP throws in the ring. (but Mr. Robot will be funnier)

    February 20, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. mctaket

    I'd be reminding everyone that the voters in Pennsylvania rejected Santorum by a landslide! You'd think that would tell them something!

    February 20, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Indy

    "Look at me I am rich and ran a business using other peoples money to make myself rich, and I wear my Moms jeans" is just not cutting it for Romney. Mitts simply will never connect with common people that make up the majority of voters

    February 20, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  19. Vivian, a Catholic

    I really don't understand why no one is paying attention to the obvious...Santorum lacks the understanding of basic English. He freely admitted that he does not know the definition of "theology," a common word in the English language. Clearly, he needs to undergo an English proficiency test. I suspect that he will not pass.

    Furthermore, has anyone even seen his birth certificate??? I haven't seen it. How do I know that Santorum was even born in this country??? He lacks a command of the English language, and I haven't seen his birth certificate. Mr. Santorum has a lot of questions to answer in his quest to turn our democracy into a theocracy...

    –Tongue in cheek

    February 20, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Jim Brown

    For the sake of religous freedom and freedom in general, I want Rick Santorum to win it all. He is the only honest man in the race. And Obama is a religous bigot.

    February 20, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. Jim Brown

    For the sake of religous freedom and freedom in general, I want Rick Santorum to win it all. He is the only honest man in the race. And Obama is a religous bigot.

    February 20, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  22. CharlyBrains

    Mittens is a Mormon, he got a twisted view about Christian theology. The funny thing about it is that nobody really digs deeper into his beliefs nor the way he made his fortune. Everything everybody knows about him comes out of his mouth. C'mon research, dig up and wake up America before is too late... :(

    February 20, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. nolimits3333

    Santorum is Opus Dei...

    Just like the Surpreme Court.

    February 20, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. Larry L

    Are the two candidates that different? Both practice the same sort of contraception...

    February 20, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. nrog

    He ran four enterprises. I hope that doesn't count the state of Mass. because it was only one term and he spent it full-time planning his never-ending presidential campaign. But, yeah, he did run a sporting event too.

    February 20, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |