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. Ed Peters

    Way to go Rick! When you're elected, should we schedule a time for you to come into our bedrooms, or will there be a lottery type drawing? Has the church set up a review for your "sainthood' credentials yet? Gotta admit, your Catholic church being the "Church of the USA" has been long awaited.

    February 27, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Mike S. - Dayton, OH

    Michelle – Thanks for the comment, but I'm afraid it is you who has missed point and apparently everything else that Santorum has said. The president has said over and over that he wants every child to have the opportunity to go to college or some kind of post-secondary trade or technical school. And college, by the way, includes community colleges which generally offer classes/certifications in a trade or vocation. That's why the president proposed an $8 billion investment in community colleges in his 2013 budget request. And so what does your guy Santorum do? He takes exactly half of the president's statement so that he can call Obama a 'snob' to pander to his crowds of ignorant supporters. Oh, and not only is he a snob, Santorum says, Obama actually wants kids to go to college so they can be indoctrinated as liberals to turn away from their religion. The best part about Santorum, like most of your Republican leaders is the hypocrisy – Santorum's own 2006 Senate campaign website quotes him as not only supporting all Pennsylvanians having access to higher education, but also Federal spending to support that effort including increasing Pell grants. So, if you are one of the people who listens to this guy and believes this crap, you need some serious help and maybe an education of your own.

    February 27, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Zenfire

    Rick Santorum is not the leadership that we need for America right now. He has very little experience in bringing people together and making things happen. Sorry – he is not the right guy.

    February 27, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. tstorm

    Santorum is so bigoted he makes Jesus cry.

    February 27, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Linda

    Neither one of them will be good for America!
    Obama 2012
    Please everyone, get out and vote! The only way that either of these two detrimental to your health and the health of the USA is if we do not get out to vote!

    February 27, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. PM Ohio

    Dawn Elizabeth Slike writes: "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."

    I question whether you follow your own methods...Dawn, how can you be processing and re-evaluatiing Santorum's positions and being a woman, still be supporting him? His voting record is more liberal that Mitt Romney (he never saw an earmark he didn't like) and his social agenda is akin to the Catholic Inquisition...where women should stay home and have babies (every time you do it), did I mention that he once supported a women's right to choose? Sound slike a flip flopper....

    Santorum's policies would create the biggest welfare state the world has ever known with millions of unwanted pregancies and the single moms on welfare not to mention the additional cost to the medical community, which is already strained under the costs of the uninsured.

    February 27, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Mindie from Indie

    More than half of America comprehends that Sanitorium is a complete fool if he thinks his positions are gonna fly with what America wants, but apparently you have been fooled Dawn Elizabeth Slike. Go figure.

    February 27, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ricky Santorum is wildly delusional. He makes Michelle Bachman look sane. Obama2012!

    February 27, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Wealthy Christian White Males Club

    Its a clever idea. republicans vote like lemmings. They have no idea what's going on, so you have to give them impression you are stronger. They'll vote for whoever they think other people will vote for.

    Personally, I am confident millions will turn out for Santorum in Michigan tomorrow. Maybe billions.

    February 27, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Julian Arancia

    In a way, sadly, the man is right. His little Putsch succeeded more than any of us ever would've thought possible.

    Anyone who's against this country becoming a true Christian Fascist state should take notice and start getting active.

    Santorum has made clear that he and the social conservatives really do see this as a culture war. They aim to gain control of the power of the state and use it to enforce their views on everyone. I'm guess anyone that doesn't fit will be shipped off to camps. Seriously.

    February 27, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. ren

    If Santorum becomes president, all the women will soon look and be treated like his beaten-down wife. She has the look of someone who knows what it is to be led around by a leash.

    February 27, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. koolman

    @hawksteel most people dont hold romneys religion against him. What we hold against him is he is an idiot. He has no idea how ordinary americans live. This guy has no business anywhere near the whitehouse. Think about this.. do the math just on his last 2 years rax returns. 42.7 mil divided by 730 days. Divided by 24 hrs a day divided by 60 secs in an hour. Comes to over 40 us dollars a sec. Yeah Im sure he understands us working stiffs

    February 27, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Errm

    Hawksteel....Romney "fixed businesses" by laying off people, stealing the company's money that he was supposed to re-invest and running.
    Have you forgotten his offshore accounts!?

    February 27, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. ned

    I don't get the "two cadillac" pettiness. My neighbor has 2 cadillacs (not rich)–so what? How many of us would drive 2 cadillacs if we were millionaires? What does that have to do with fixing the jobless problem and balancing the budget?

    February 27, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Squigman

    It's doubtful the residents of Michigan, are as desparate as this moron would like to believe. Few things are as irritating as someone declaring their superiority, before the contest begins. What a pile.

    February 27, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Errm

    Michelle....no, dear, it's you who have missed the point and your pal Ricky, as well. President Obama has said exactly what you said! He doesn't think everyone needs a 4 year degree, but some sort of training, even.
    Your buddy Ricky took him to task over something that he never said.
    What exactly are people taking out of context? The part where he said that Obama is a "snob" b/c he expects people to go to college (OR GET TECHNICAL TRAINING) or the part where he claimed that people shouldn't go to college b/c they will be "indoctrinated" by "liberal professors"?
    Sorry, but both you and Rick need a lesson in comprehension.
    Maybe a psych eval while you're at it.

    February 27, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. fernace

    When it's all said & done: Obama/Biden, Next 4!!

    February 27, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. stta

    I am wondering how many people that like Rick Santorum because he is correct or because they think they are better because they are Christian or just want things their way? I like the idea that the country was founded on the idea that Churches lead their followers and elected officials lead all the people. I am not saying churches can't provide guidance they just can't make the decisions for everyone. Not all people of no faith or different religions are immoral just like not all Christians have exclusivity on morals as I know from being with people.

    February 27, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. martin

    Woo-hoo! No more skool.

    February 27, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Donald Stump

    Which one is the worst?

    February 27, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Ain't life strange?

    Well, listening to Santorum, if he doesn't get the GOP nod, he can always run for Pope. His position on social issues puts him right in line for the highest position in his church. Just one point here... everyone can believe what they want about God and religion, and that right is also available to all of those Americans who believe in always doing what's right, are patriotic, raise their children on values and good judgement and yet do not believe in God or organized religion. This doesn't make them Satan's children or evil. To the holier then thou... get over yourselves.

    February 27, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Taran

    @shawndh and others: That doesn't look like Obama is in the lead by double digits. Way to continue the stereotype others have of liberals not being able to tell the truth.
    RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Approval at 45%, Lowest in Month - Falls Behind Romney, Paul...
    Romney 45% Obama 43%...
    Paul 43% Obama 41%
    Obama 45% Santorum 43%
    Obama 49% Gingrich 39%...

    February 27, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    This sanatorium and dewey and we know how that turned out,,,
    What a co,pelt gasbag this guy is. Has been learning from the newterman?

    February 27, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. TeeDeeDubya

    OK Rick, you won. Now go home and stop bothering us with your inane comments.

    February 27, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Hahahaha

    Thanks GOPs for saving us Dems the expense of running opposition ads – you're saying everything we'd be saying about you, for free! Please, keep talking.

    February 27, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7