Santorum adviser on Michigan: 'We have already won'
February 27th, 2012
10:22 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum adviser on Michigan: 'We have already won'

Detroit (CNN) - A senior adviser to Rick Santorum is downplaying the latest trend in Michigan polling, which shows Mitt Romney creeping back to a narrow lead ahead of Tuesday's closely watched Republican primary.

"We have already won," Santorum adviser John Brabender told CNN. "No matter what the results are, we've won. This is Romney's home state."

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Though Santorum's lead over Romney slipped after his poorly reviewed debate performance in Arizona last week and a string of conservative remarks on cultural issues that have called into doubt his viability in a general election, Brabender said that the very fact that Romney is scrambling to win his native state is a glaring indicator of Romney's weakness among Republican voters.

"The Romney campaign is spending a fortune they never expected to spend in Michigan, and every dollar they spend in Michigan is a dollar they don't have on Super Tuesday," he said.

The former Pennsylvania senator entered February with the goal of emerging as the singular conservative rival to Romney, a feat he has now accomplished, Brabender argued.

The last month has exposed Romney's deficiencies as a candidate, he claimed, pointing to Romney's capacity to draw attention to his vast personal wealth with unscripted remarks on the campaign trail.

On Friday, for instance, Romney said his wife Ann drives "a couple of Cadillacs."

"You can't write this stuff. He could become a Saturday Night Live character, 'the rich guy running for president,' and they wouldn't even need a script writer. They can use his own words and it comes out funny."

Brabender said that as of Monday, the Santorum campaign collected campaign contributions from 100,000 individual donors in the month of February, most of them in small dollar amounts.

He also said they have proven their viability by weathering attacks from Romney and a pro-Romney super PAC better than any other Republican candidate to date.

"We have survived the Romney attack machine," he said. "Romney and Ron Paul have tried to hurt us jointly, but the polls still show us tight with Romney. We have certainly survived it to a much bigger extent than anybody else has so far."

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul dismissed Brabender's arguments and said the results on Tuesday will speak for themselves.

"You don’t win by losing, and we are working hard to convince the voters of Michigan and Arizona that Mitt Romney is the best person to lead on jobs and the economy," Saul said in an email.

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 (169 Responses)
  1. logicnLA

    I have a different take- no matter what, he's still a loser! You cannot run a campaign based on religion in 2012 and have any hope of winning a general election. Most of us are smarter than that. We can separate our faith from politics and expect politicians to do the same despite all the noise from the fringe.

    February 27, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Mr. Brabender is absolutely corrrect. They have already won. If you are in a statistical dead heat against your rival in your home state, that doesn't look good. Compare the polls in Pennsylvania to the one's in Michigan. Santorum is killing Willard in PA, while Willard can barely keep up in Michigan.

    February 27, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is ironic that Mittens' parents are buried in Michigan, and Michigan can bury Mittens' candidacy.

    February 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Daniel

    We'll see who is laughing when Romney wins Michigan by 10 points and Santorum has to slink back to his little hole. I have never seen a more hypocritical, rude, unqualified Presidential candidate as Santorum. He whines and cries all day about being attacked, yet he is the nastiest of all. He will not win, MI, he will get destroyed in AZ, and his money will dry up. Romney has not lived in MI for a very long time. You want to compare something important? Look at how Romney is doing in MA, compared to how Santorum is doing in PA. Romney will crush everyone in MA, and Santorum could very well lose PA. And enough of this saying that Romney has a problem with "conservatives"... He has a problem with bigoted anti-mormon scum who should not even be allowed to vote because they live in the stone ages – just like Santy.

    February 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Ed in GA

    This sanctimonious wind bag Santorum will have it handed to him tomorrow in MI and AZ. I'm sure that RIcky will be whining about something. Who cares if Mitt's wife has two Cadillacs? We already know that Mitt has been a highly successful businessman and has a lot of money. By the way, Mr. America Santorum happens to drive an Audi. Wow...he really stands behind his American car makers. At least Romney drives American made cars (Cadillac and Ford Mustang). Santy can whine all the way back to PA where his constituents voted his whiny rear end out of the Senate by a record 18 points. Nothing like being vetted by the people who know you best.

    February 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. steve

    Santorum is a CHURCH FREAK, he will be gone soon, maybe he devil has found him

    February 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. diridi

    Do you assure 100%. How idiotic....Obama2012.

    February 27, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. knowndoyen

    Santorum is a loser. I'm glad everyone got to see and will continue to see Santorums as he is. Republicans might get it right and vote for a guy that can will against Obama. If you want Obama to lose you will need to vote for the guy they fear the most. It has always been Romney. Obama wiener Axlrod said Santorum could be the Republican nominee? They are pushing hard for it. Then you have Santorum saying Romney and Paul have some type of a deal. What about the Obama and Santorum do they have a deal?

    February 27, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. sbssue1

    I hope you are wrong, because I will vote Democratic if this should happen. He is not the kind of person I would have for a president......what happened to women's rights?

    February 27, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Paul1st

    If the Santorum campaign truly feels that he has already won Michigan, then they should not spend any more of their precious campaign funds on the state. Declare "victory" and move on. Unless, of course, they really did not mean what they said. Frankly, Santorum likely has a solid hold the ultraconservative Republican and crossover Democratic voters.

    February 27, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Santorum is not a suitable candidate for President no matter what he claims. His positions border on lunacy!

    February 27, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Scott

    Santorum can win EVERY single state until the election, but Obama and his BBC are going to have Santorum running scared.

    February 27, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. RealPolitics

    Romney did Santorum justice by verablly trying to beat him in last weeks debate bringing out the minimal things Santorum did as a Senator. Now those things are old news, there will not be any new news on Santorum, which leaves him with a clean race to the finish and allowing Romney to be exposed about his secret private sector experience that will reveal that Romney will get rid of anybody's job as long as he is still making money.

    February 27, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Anonymous

    ""You don’t win by losing, and we are working hard to convince the voters of Michigan and Arizona that Mitt Romney is the best person to lead on jobs and the economy," Saul said in an email."'

    And you're failing miserably at your work, Ms. Saul. Michigan voters do not like your sorry elitist excuse for a candidate who acts entitled to their vote by virtue of his father.

    February 27, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    diridi

    Do you assure 100%. How idiotic....Obama2012.
    ------
    Did you READ the article? How idiotic... true, true, true

    February 27, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Dead heat.
    No heat.
    Obama 2012. All heat. Period.

    February 27, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. clarke

    How about waiting for the people to vote. That would be nice, we do count you know.

    February 27, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Linda

    It doesn't matter who wins the Primary for the Republican party, Romney and Santorum have done enough damage to each other and their party......Obama will win another term.....the more they criticize the President on all the issue when most of us all know he isn't responsidbe for the high gas prices, or the events in Afganistan, if he was smart he would just pack up our troops and bring them home and leave that country to distroy themselves.....

    February 27, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Thomas

    Mitt Romney / Jan Brewer

    Leading us to Victory 2012

    February 27, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. judy

    mind boggeling to believe anyone would vote for pope rick or average guy mitt. Newt is not even in the race any more. Hvae the repos really all gone crazy or what. Keep it up Obama looks like the only adult in the room with you loonies. Both these guys are an embarrassment and the world is laughing it's head off. Womens issues will be set back 60 years . Obama 2012

    February 27, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Thomas

    Rick Santorum / Glenn Beck

    Compassionate Fascists 2012

    February 27, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. honeybe

    For someone whose platform is Christianity, Rick Santorum is a poor example of it.

    February 27, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. blf83

    Santorum is a loser – period! When sex ual preference and women's reproductive rights are his only real issues, he becomes American Taliban. He does not represent people of Pennsylvania, Republicans, Roman Catholics, evangelicals, or Americans.

    February 27, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. blf83

    Santorum is a loser. All he cares about is others' behavior in the bedroom. He represents no American, Pennsylvanian, Roman Catholic, evangelical, liberal or conservative. He is America's Mullah Omar.

    February 27, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Cedar Rapids

    "They have already won. If you are in a statistical dead heat against your rival in your home state, that doesn't look good."

    If Santorum is in a dead heat with Romney in Romney's state then the only person who is winning is Obama.

    February 27, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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