February 20th, 2012
09:56 AM ET
6 years ago

Santorum spokesman: Michigan is Romney territory

(CNN) – A spokesman for Rick Santorum seemed to downplay expectations for Michigan's upcoming primary on February 28, saying on Monday the candidate plans to campaign in the state but recognizes Mitt Romney's deep Michigan roots.

"Michigan is an important state, but it's not the only state," Hogan Gidley, Santorum's national communications director, said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien." "We'll fight for every vote we can, of course. But it's Romney's home state."

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Romney, who won Michigan in the 2008 Republican primary and whose father once served as governor, has already invested heavily in ads in the state, along with a super PAC supporting his candidacy.

But recent polls show Santorum topping Romney in the Wolverine State, though Romney is not too far behind. The latest survey from the American Research Group on Friday showed Santorum with a five-point advantage over Romney.

"Romney's planted a flag there, and he's done commercials talking about how he's grown up there. So it's clear he thinks that that state is important to him," Gidley said. "So the pressure is squarely on Mitt Romney at this point."

Gidley also defended Santorum on accusations that the candidate was questioning Obama's Christian faith this weekend. The candidate stirred controversy when he said the president subscribes to a different faith than that found in the Bible.

But the former Pennsylvania senator on Sunday clarified his remarks, saying he was referring to Obama's ideology, particularly on energy and environmental issues.

"What Rick was talking about was that the president's ideology has turned into a theology of sorts," Gidley said.

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    Michigan is embarrassed about Romney, as they should be!

    February 20, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Paula

    With team willard asking trump to stump on radio religious rick might still win but lol either way

    February 20, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "What Rick was talking about was that the president's ideology has turned into a theology of sorts," Gidley said.
    First rule in politics, accuse your opponent of having your own flaws before they can fault you for them.

    February 20, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to think that Michigan is still Obama territory.

    February 20, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    Anything but a big win (at least 8-9%) for Mittens will be a disaster for him.

    February 20, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. AJ

    Michigan is squarely for Mitt. Santorum is just way tooooo out there for most people. The Tea Party has got to wake up...they are supporting a guy who called himself in his book a "Big Government Conservative".

    Mitt went into the most liberal state in the country and fixed a huge deficit....how??? By raising fees on government services. Basically, you want something from the government then you are going to have to pay for it.

    Michigan needs to wake up about Obama though. The jobless rate is going down ...why? because more and more people are leaving the job force or are running out of benefits and having to take whatever there is out there....look at the underemployed numbers. Also, what happens in May when all of the new graduates come out of college and the economy still looks like this? or even worse?

    February 20, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |

    If Willard can't get a landslide victory in his home state, his campaign is over. Victory isn't good enough. He needs to win overwhelmingly which I doubt will happen.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 20, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Anonymous

    "Michigan needs to wake up about Obama though. The jobless rate is going down ...why? because more and more people are leaving the job force or are running out of benefits and having to take whatever there is out there....look at the underemployed numbers."

    You don't have a clue about Michigan. It's employment situation is actually improving faster than the nation as a whole and people are beginning to move back to the state as engineering and other jobs are being filled. Try some basic research before you spout nonsense. It's the GOBP deathcult that's in trouble in Michigan.

    February 20, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    "Michigan is squarely for Mitt."

    Not at all. His so-called "deep" ties to Michigan are just more phoniness. He abandoned Michigan years ago and now acts like he's entitled to win by virtue of his birth (which kind of defines his entire life's attitude). His anti-worker, anti-union and anti-bailout rhetoric is toxic in Michigan. Lots of Dems will be voting for Mr. Frothy just to wipe the smug off of Rmoney the Entitled Elitist's face.

    February 20, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. diridi

    This junk idiot does not know. this nation is no man's territory, it is the territory of MIDDLE-CLASS-AMERICAN TERRITORY, O.K, Not any of these animal's territory. what a nonsense this idiot speaks. Obama2012.
    PS: This election is all about Rich v/s Middle Class America. Enough nonsense of GOP.

    February 20, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. w l jones

    After Michigan primary theirs might be more candidate on the unimployment line. Bless.

    February 20, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. rafly

    I traveled alot in the last 2 years, saw economy been imporving, from Venice Florida, to UP Michigan, from DC to California....it felt good for myself, when I saw hiring sign on the street.

    Obama/Biden 2012
    Senate and Congress will be BLUE

    February 20, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Anonymous

    If Romney hopes to take Michigan.he needs to take advice from Dick Morrris and Gov. Huckabee as he appeared on Judge Jeanine on Fox News, Saturday, Feb. 18. He is who he is, own it, be more specific on how he enlisted people's help, organized them and put the Olympics back in the winning column, a team effort of which he was the leader - we already have a president who charms and relates to people while he runs us into debt we will never recover from unless he is NOT given another 4 years. Be specific as to what he will do for Michigan. Explain that altho' GM/Chrysler is showing progress they owe citizens millions, it would be same scenario if govt. had stayed out of it, but GM/Chrys would now be showing results like Ford who did not take the bail out. Forget reading from prompters, talk to us. Use prompters only to prompt - let Obama be the prompter king.

    February 20, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |