Santorum adviser on Michigan: 'We have already won'
February 27th, 2012
10:22 AM ET
2 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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Lindsey

    One thing Santorum was NOT taken out of context on: his publicly-stated view that he doesn't believe American adults have ANY right to privacy at ALL, not even in their own homes. Think about what that means for a moment. If you think it means what you fear, you are right. He can use that statement to justify authorizing a police force to kick in your front door to arrest you if you're acting "subversively", i.e., "immorally".

    He has also said that Lawrence v. Texas, which dealt with police breaking down the door of a gay couple in their home and arresting them for having sex, should be the law of the land. I need to remind the ignorant that "sodomy" can also be engaged in between a HETERO couple as well. Now, put 2 and 2 together. Hopefully, you'll get 4.

    His statement disavowing our right to privacy in our own homes opens the lids simultaneously on a whole SKIDFUL of canned worms, folks. Send this freak back to the 14th century where he belongs.

    February 27, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. yuri

    We want Gingrich/Santorum team. Herman will be defense secretary and Palin, secretary of state. Ron Paul, for health. Romney will still be rumbling and licking his wounds, but let's give him transportation. Then watch the GDP skyrocket.

    February 27, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Charlie from the North

    Any of you who find the prospect of a "President Sanatorium" a scary one had better get out and vote in November. Take a lesson from Maine's Gov Paul LePage. A low voter turnout can give you spectacularly bad governing. All that is necessary for evil to win is for good people to not bother voting.

    February 27, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Roger

    I have to wonder if Santorum actually believes half the crap that comes out of his mouth. Surely this man is not that ignorant, but in any case it will be a very interesting fall if he actually gets the nomination.

    February 27, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Bozzz

    These fundamentalist "Christians" never seem to get the idea that you can't legislate morality.

    February 27, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. fatzer

    Romney lost his senate bid in 1994 by 17 points. mass. is his home state and he lost by the same much as santorum.

    February 27, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Dawn Elizabeth Slike

    America needs a contrast to Obama, not Obama Lite. Santorum attracts the more than half of America that can't stand ANY of Obama's policies or positions. There's nothing at all wrong with Santorum's positions. But there's plenty wrong with the kneejerk perceptions of his positions that I read above. People, learn to comprehend! Process. Reevaluate. Process again. Anger and frustration cloud one's judgment.

    February 27, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Mark1

    Paul and his groupies can longer get anyone's attention, so the next thing to try is attack someone.

    February 27, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Ed Fl

    Hope these GOP,ERS keep up their kindergarden campaigning. Obama will win this by default instead of an election.These GOP GOONS are a disgrace to the American election system.

    February 27, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    If santorum carries Michigan – and nobody ends up with enough delegates – they will all end up at the convention in tampa – and the people in attendance will end up voting for the one who they want to go up against obama.

    February 27, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Jake

    Santorum makes me want to puke!

    February 27, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. ShawnDH

    Dawn Elizabeth Slike wrote: "America needs a contrast to Obama, not Obama Lite. Santorum attracts the more than half of America that can't stand ANY of Obama's policies or positions."
    ________________

    It's obviously not true that there is a majority of Americans that can't stand ANY of of Obama's policies or positions. Obama is leading Santorum and Romney by double digits nationally, and Obama is soaring in the polls vs. Republicans. There is also plenty wrong with Santorum's positions, which are clearly influenced by proven-dead-wrong right-wing ideology, religious fanaticism and pandering to the far FAR right. Santorum will never be president. If you want to beat Obama, you'll have to do a heck of a lot better in your arguments and candidates.

    February 27, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. ShawnDH

    yuri fanatsized: "We want Gingrich/Santorum team. Herman will be defense secretary and Palin, secretary of state. Ron Paul, for health. Romney will still be rumbling and licking his wounds, but let's give him transportation. Then watch the GDP skyrocket."
    _________________

    I hope you're joking, because that is a truly terrifying vision for the nation. No thanks. We want Obama.

    February 27, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. RINO Bil

    What a pathetic spin!

    Santorum is looking more and more like a weasel the closer one looks at him. No real American would claim that a loss can be considered a victory. It is obvious that this little dweeb never served in the U.S. military.

    February 27, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Ok, so he is claiming victory and no votes in Michigan have been cast yet. Let me guess – he has Sarah Palin's staff feeding him the news and polls now, right? Ricko needs to get his head out of 1957 and see what the world is all about because it sure doesn't jive with that Ozzie and Harriet world he lives in. By the way, Michigan, if you don't support him en masse, he will have the Pope declare your state to be Interdict. Just like the Pope used to do to England, or Germany or France when they were bad boys. If you don't understand what that term means, and you ain't Catholic – don't worry about it.

    February 27, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Spencer

    There are so many individuals out there who are far more qualified for the job, yet we only get to choose from a bunch of circus clowns. The election process needs to change. I'm tired of both the GOP and Obama. I would rather have Bill Clinton back in office over anyone who is currently running.

    February 27, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. hawksteel

    Santorum is making 'faith' and family value issue as if only he owns them, of that his brand of faith is the only one out there. He forgets that his prime opponent Romney is also a man of faith and family values, unless he thinks that people with faith from different denominations don't count. Romney has be steady in his faith for years. People have said if he is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he would easily be the nominee. But he flatly rejects the possibility that he switches his religion.

    He is a super rich and quite a handsome guy. But common perception, such person should not be so devoted to his wife and family. Yet he is a great husband to his only wife of 40+ years, staying by her side when her wife Ann battled cancer and MS. He is a great role model also to his 5 sons as a caring father. Even some Christians out there cannot claim such record. He is so squeaky clean that some media who like controversy consider him boring.

    All these strong moral values of faith & family and committment of Romney are brushed aside because he is not evangelical ??? Come on folks, this is 21 century USA, not middle ages. People should not let religious bigotry taking over the process of nominating a US president. Bigots are those who could not tolerate differences, at the same time preaching such intolerance to members within their congregations. We are not in the Middle East. This is America, the strongest nation on earth who exemplies personal freedom.

    On top of that, Romney has exceptional proven skill to fix up things, whether it is the Olympics which went into financial troubles with scandals, or fixing up bad businesses, or governing a state with success. What has Santorum done in this area? He was never in the real world of businss & economy, never governed anything. The country is in such bad financial shape, a critical moment of US history. Why elect another Washington insider trying to fix up the mess and excesses of Washington, and without any proven skill in the economy. Can we afford another experiment like Obama?

    February 27, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. 2buttercups

    We've already "won" what? What has he "won"? The primary? The general election? Inquiring minds want to know.

    February 27, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. Stta

    I don't understand the people that like Santorum's disingenuous self righteous Christian rhetoric. The scary thing is he may win Michigan due to democrats voting for him so he runs against Barack in the General elections figuring Santorum is a weaker candidate than Mitt. The two problems I see by doing that is it will incorrectly reinforce Santorum to believe what he is saying is right and patriotic. The second is what if he wins to be POTUS Pope of the United States.

    February 27, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. PM Ohio

    I think it is a win, win, win...!

    February 27, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. C Lee

    Congratulations to the GOP.......more children have been killed/injured today so that you can keep your GUNS to protect you all from BIG GAME or EACH OTHER. How many more children have to die before you realize your damn guns are killing children. You know, what you are accusing women of doing by taking birth control/freedom of choice...what HYPOCRITES YOU ARE.......

    February 27, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. candycane

    Yes, Santorum won a place "down there" where it is "hot and full of fire". I doubt that church confessions will keep him from that "place", because he truly is a FRAUD!!

    February 27, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. IndeePendant

    To all you Ron Paul supporters out there – Ron is exploiting your emotions to do two things in this campaign. 1. To promote his Son for a similar future campaign or get him an administration seat in future Romney govt. (if Romney wins Presidency), and 2. To provide a shield for Romney during campaigning and debates by going after whoever is troubling Romney at the given moment (he went after Perry, then Gingrich and now Santorum). Have you guys seen, he never or hardly goes after Romney, even though he has been a flip-flopper on almost every conservative issue. In fact he went all the way supporting Romney, when Romney made 'Safetynet' comments. What's the 'deal' (made) between Ron and Romney? Is he Romney's scrooge in the campaign? Is this a fraud being payed on voters by Ron and Romney? Should it be investigated?

    February 27, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. PM Ohio

    Only these clowns count someone else's struggles as their own win. The Tea Party must still be winning because we are all still suffering.

    February 27, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. walleye46

    Counting your chicks before they hatch can sometimes be embarrassing.

    February 27, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7