Romney: 'I wonder which team Santorum was taking it for'
February 23rd, 2012
12:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: 'I wonder which team Santorum was taking it for'

Phoenix (CNN) - Picking up where he left off after CNN's GOP debate in Mesa, Mitt Romney went back on the attack, turning Rick Santorum's own words against him.

Speaking to a business group in Phoenix Thursday, Romney recalled Santorum's explanation for why he supported the No Child Left Behind law during his time in the Senate.

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"Sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake," Santorum said at Wednesday's debate.

"I wonder which team he was taking it for," Romney quipped, drawing cackles of laughter from the audience.

"My team is the American people not the insiders in Washington and I'll fight for the people of America not special interests," Romney added.

The former Massachusetts governor had a bounce in his step in what may be his last appearance in Arizona before next Tuesday's primary.

"It was kind of fun. I enjoyed it," Romney said about the debate.

Romney plans to spend much of the coming days in Michigan, which also holds a primary on Tuesday. A Romney loss in his boyhood home state is likely to raise doubts within the GOP about his ability to clinch the Republican nomination.

His fresh line of attack against Santorum is a signal of just how personal the next stage of the race may become.

"I don't know if I've ever seen a politician explain in so many ways why he voted against his principles," Romney also told the Phoenix crowd.

The Santorum campaign is responding in kind with a tough new ad that paints the former Massachusetts governor as unprincipled. The ad, entitled "Say What," uses quotes from Romney's past indicating he once favored abortion rights.

Also see:

Five things we learned from Wednesday's debate

Detroit Free Press endorses Romney

Candidates enter critical phase after possible final debate

Obama to talk energy and gas prices at Miami speech

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Stephen in VA

    Man, every day these guys become better ads for why we should re-elect Obama.

    February 23, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Jeremiah Deem Tulsa

    Ron Paul seems to be the only principled candidate and the only willing to answer questions without dancing around the core issues. That being said he is flawed as well. God wish us all luck!

    February 23, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Arthur

    It is a sad day in America, CNN is moving more towards the right everyday !!! last night Romney insulted John King, when King asked him a question and Romney's reply ask your question I will give you an answer that I see fitting even if it does not answer your question and what about his hand clapping when Santorum was speaking? Just these two incidents alone are not presidential and actually childish!!!!!!! Yet your pundits all drinking the same Kool aid never once point out that these two incidences were not presidential and I defy you to explain to me differently. So why is CNN giving Romney a pass ? what about his press release that he sent out and deleted a part of the message, is that presidential ? why doesn't he stand up and stick by his convictions and of course your station really does not call him out? I actually think I was watching Fox News ! at least they are blatant not cowering under the covers like you all at CNN

    February 23, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Dave

    Gee MITT, these Americans really like you, Cant you tell by all these kind words!!!!

    February 23, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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