Romney hits Santorum robo calls as ‘new low’ in campaign
February 27th, 2012
10:27 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney hits Santorum robo calls as ‘new low’ in campaign

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Monday night kicked back against Republican presidential rival Rick Santorum for urging Democrats to vote against Romney in Michigan's primary.

"Sen. Santorum did something today which I think is deceptive and a dirty trick," Romney said on Fox News.

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Earlier Monday, Santorum's campaign confirmed it was using robo calls rallying Democratic voters to come out to the polls Tuesday and cast their ballots against Romney.

"On Tuesday, join Democrats who are going to send a loud message to Massachusetts Mitt Romney," says an unidentified voice in a Santorum robo call to Michigan voters.

Organized efforts by Democrats have also been under way to encourage Michigan Democrats to vote for Santorum in the state’s open primary, with the premise that the former Pennsylvania senator would be a weaker candidate against President Barack Obama in the fall.

Romney said he wasn’t “too concerned” about Democratic-led efforts, saying it “wouldn’t have much impact.”

As for the Santorum campaign's robo calls, however, Romney said his rival’s strategy is “confusing” and a “new low in this campaign.”

Speaking on the same program Monday, Santorum defended the campaign tactic and argued the call was “positive.”

“It’s talking about what we are doing to create jobs in Michigan,” he said.

Santorum went on to attack Romney over the former governor’s appeal to non-conservative voters.

“Of course, you know, it’s interesting that he criticizes me for attracting Democrats because one of the things that Gov. Romney’s people say is he can’t attract Democrats,” Santorum said. “We will wait and see.”

Romney and Santorum are statistically tied in Michigan and Arizona, both of which hold their primaries on Tuesday.

– CNN’s Ashley Killough, Jim Acosta and Dan Bash contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'

Limbaugh front and center in pro-Santorum mailer

Romney: 'I can't be perfect'

Graham, McCain predict big primary night for Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. politics as usual

    What a FOOL Sanscrotum is!

    February 27, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. Wobbly Walker

    I agree it's a new low. How much lower can he get? Is he going to snoop/intrude/steal as Nixon? I was going to vote Republican, but no way if it's Santorum.

    February 27, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  3. Tom

    There's no mention of Ron Paul, not only in this article, but in any of the articles on the blogs page. It's as if there are only three candidates in the race – and yet by some measures Ron Paul is running a strong second. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but even I'm starting to wonder if those who say the mainstream media are trying to paint Paul out of the picture are onto something.

    February 27, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  4. hollaye

    Santorum was stated by the Judicial Watch to be the most corrupt politician when he was Senator, now I know why. The truth come out, this guy is unethicial and he talks like a preacher, he should be ashamed of himself. We now know that he does not walk the talk, with all his moral issues. What is amazing is the Tea Partiers and the Evangelics think he is wonderful, they need to look and examine their moral and ehtical values. What a shame!!.

    February 27, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Is this really true that Santorum is asking Democrats to vote for him in the open primary? I think that if I were asking Democrats to vote Republican in the open primary, I would have them vote for Ron Paul. That would make it more fun.

    February 27, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. paul rosen

    looks like these two are a little busy crushing each others heads to be bothered with the president. In other news, Romney's is a little bigger than Santorum's..........

    February 27, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  7. Bill

    But not as low as spending 19 million dollars to trash Santorum in Florida? Romney is a loser and deserves everything he gets. One thing he will not get is the preidency.

    February 27, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  8. labman57

    Santorum should have simply implored Democrats to vote for him by using the rationale that Obama will have a somewhat easier time cleaning his clock in November than if Romney is the opponent.

    It would have been a more honest assessment than implying that he gives any more of a crap about labor unions and middle class workers than does Romney. He would have accomplished the same objective (encouraging Democrats to vote for him in an open primary), and perhaps he could have retained the few grams of dignity remaining within his sanctimonious body.

    February 27, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. edbonfla

    Santorum is a whining, sasrcastic, egotistical, also-ran who needs to fold up his tent. A while ago I thought it would be Newt who did the most harm to the Republican party's chances in November. My mistake, it is Santorum. His robo-calls show he is wanting to extend the process, ala Palin's urging, hoping some miracle will destroy Romney as opposed to his providing reasons and examples of his being acceptable.

    February 27, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Core Republican Values

    Santorum doesn't need to tell Democrats to vote for him. Democrats are smart enough to figure this out on their own!

    February 27, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  11. Windy City Wonk

    Santorum just lost both my respect and my vote. When confronted with this new tactic, his weird sheepish grin and his completely juvenile and inane defense finally allowed me to put my finger on what troubled me most about him. This guy is a dishonest doofus! Couple that with what I heard from his campaign chairman today as he gloated about already winning in Michigan, and that their goal was merely to make Romney spend money in Michigan. Really? Do you take us as chumps? You find trying to trick us into thinking you are a viable candidate amusing? Shame on you. You are a one trick pony and you should go away in shame.

    February 27, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE

    Like I said in one of my blogs, is respect something these candidates really practice, or is it just a word? Speaking for myself, if the presidential candidates get so down and dirty and disrespectful with each other in public, I don’t want to even think about what they’re like, or what they’re doing, in private. So, how in the heck can I ever trust them? To me folks, if any of these guys make it to the white house, well, that’s a little to scary for me.

    February 27, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  13. belindar

    Funny these two are so moral and Christ like; but this shows they are human and still evil and dishonest.

    February 28, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. Suman

    Santorum's 'tactics' may win him a few more votes; but does he and his supporters honestly believe these childish pranks will get him the nomination? Even if they do, because it seems Republicans seem to have given up any serious fight with the President and are enjoying a comedy, do they think they will be able to garner enough votes to win the election? Republicans have not only lost the forthcoming election, they have lost all future elections for Presidency.In 2016, it will be a dissident Democrat who will oppose the official candidate and might even probably win. Mark my words. I will be quoting this email in 2016 after the results are announced.

    February 28, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  15. Matt

    Santorum is one of the bigger crybabies I have ever seen in a political race. He gets called on the carpet for calling on democrats to help him win a R primary and he tries to make the other guy look like they are the bad guy.

    He gets outspent on the airwaves by Romney (who has a better fund raising machine bc he is more organized...which one would think is a good quality) and cries about it like Obama won't spend a bunch of money on ads against him.

    He gets called out on his voting record (HIS VOTING RECORD) and he complains that people are not playing a fair game...the guy is the ultimate crybaby loser.

    February 28, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  16. BK

    I love how some Republicans are calling that a 'new low' when they were out in force encouraging Republicans to vote in the Democratic primaries in 2008.

    February 28, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  17. Tired of republican lies

    Theyare talkiing about how small they are...lmao!!!

    February 28, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  18. enuff

    This whole election season has been a new low for all campaigning. I have not heard one idea that any have to fix things. Only attacts on each other and one liners that have made them look stupid.

    February 28, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  19. nothing new here

    New lows??
    Absolutely.
    These 2 ought to be ashamed, for calling themselves "Christian".
    These 2 don't even qualify for being considered "adults".

    February 28, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  20. Liz

    If these people really are democratic, they would not be voting for Santorum in any event. What is he thinking?

    February 28, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  21. ned

    Santorum has reached a new low in dishonor and deception. Despite his claim to represent "Christianity", he's not doing very well.

    February 28, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  22. king

    If I was a Michigan Democrat I would vote for santorum, just because he abandoned them when they needed his support most during the financial crisis with their life and blood auto industry. It took another man from another state to sacrificed his majority in Congress to go against the people's will and the bad advice from romney to liquidate, to save Michigan. Even though santorum was against the bail out, he's not from Michigan so it wasn't his responsibility to see that the state was saved, his concern was to his home state of Pennsylvania.
    But Romney committed treason against his state, and for that he should be austricated.

    February 28, 2012 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  23. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "deceptive and a dirty trick" = Wish I had thought of it.

    February 28, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  24. Darrien

    Santorum knows none of the dems in Michigan who night cast a vote for him ... virtually none of them are going to vote for anyone but Obama in the general election. What a tool .... Utter complete loser. He wants it tooooo bad, which is why he'll lose.

    February 28, 2012 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  25. Shelby

    Wow, this shows how truly desperate and pathetic is Santorum.

    Santo shows his true colors and it ain't pretty.

    February 28, 2012 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
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