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. billy davis

    Mormons and Catholics they both relegate women to second class citizens. One for the pleasure of many women the other for the pleasure of many boys.

    February 27, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. packerfans

    Michigan Voter dont vote for Rickly. He want you womens stay home and cooking and care kids back old time!! That womens want no choice your right freedom?? Wish you lucx wrong vote for Rickly and cannot beat Obama!! He will total failure and his record does not have skills?? You dont like Mormon Mitt?? You forgot State and Church is seperation!! Mormon is Cult?? NO they are Christian.. They belive Jesus Christ( The Chruch Jesus Christ latter day saints. LDS or Mormon/ Jesus Christ said call my name his Chruch in Bible!! it is not cult!! you pray god which you will vote for tomorrow!! Whatever your reponsible wrong other vote and failure again again. Mtt was not President of untied states in past and nothing with Auto factory problem.. it was Bush and Obama fault period. Mitt disagree with bailout istead of cap and cut and balance is better for america than debts defict our money might be worthless?? Vote for Mitt Romney who can save America or other what he say!! wish you luck Vote for!!

    February 27, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. GOP Insider

    Santorum has no support inside the party and party leaders are trying to get him to withdraw. His religious views are too extreme; his economic policies are unachievable; and his leadership skills and ability to lead his own party, much less a partisan Congress are, quite literally, nil. The only think that Gingrich and Santorum are accomplishing right now is to weaken their own party's evential nominee, Mitt Romney, and take aaway needed time and energy to focus on Obama. Should Obama win a second term, the political lives of Santorum and Gingrich will be over for good -- along with Newt's lobbying venture, and Santorum/s lucrative speaking career.

    February 27, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. clarke

    You all should read " what makes Santo want to gag" He does not deserve your vote, he is stupid.

    February 27, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    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?
    ---------------
    Let me spell it out for you. First, Mitt Romney brought it up during a failed attempt at levity to show that he is just an ordinary guy, who just happens to have a lot of money. Romney is so out of touch that he thinks owning 2 Cadillacs is normal, which is why he decided to bring it up. He thinks most middle class people own summer homes and winter homes.

    What does that have to do with the high unemployment and balancing the budget? You should ask Mitt. He is the one who brought it up.

    February 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. CA David

    In the end, its about values, priorities and intentions. Mitt and Rick have expressed theirs through their campaigns and what has come out of their mouths. Do their values, priorities and intentions represent more than 50% of the voting American people? They keep getting in their own way and stepping on their messages. Mitt is an elitist, out of touch, Mormon with $250m, and Rick is a social cultural warrior on sanciticty of life and a serious Catholic who homeschooled six children. Neither in the mainstream of America. Its not complicated. Compromise and balance is the only way to go in a broken Washington. Neither of these two can do it.

    February 27, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. PTBarnumboy

    Ricks team better claim all the wins they can because they won't get too many any other way.

    February 27, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. king

    aaahhh its america at its greatest, forgetfulness!! if i was from michigan i would punish this man more than all of the candidates, because he left your livelihood out to dry. mitten was saying to liquidate your jobs in detroit, now hes flipp flopping and acting like he was for saving the company. which bank would have fit the bill, when every bank was trying to save themselves from the financial crisis. mitten used his personality of getting rid of wounded dogs and getting every penny theyve got before he untanize them. this is what he left the auto industries in michigan to do, until obama said NO!!!

    February 27, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. obandon

    Santorum is nothing but a cave man with his ideals and his comments. His repulsive comments comments bashing everyone who does not carry a club and drag their women around by the hair are reprehensible. I find this man frightning, someone who will take women's rights back to the stone age and a supposed leader who will make the rest of the world hate us more.

    February 27, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Aaron

    The Santorum grunts better watch it on the arrogancy. Teabagger Miller tweeted that he might as well pick out drapes for his DC apartment since he was definitely winning the Alaska US Senate seat in 2010. That turned so many people off that they voted in Murkowski as write-in candidate, and she won.

    February 27, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Christian Conservative

    Barack Hussein Obama: I'm sorry the infidels desecrated the holy Quran.
    Rick Santorum: I'm not sorry for being Christian. It's where my values come from.

    February 27, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Tex71

    Oh, I do hope Santorum wins the GOP nomination! Not that he has a snowball's chance in Hades of winning, but because he is the only GOPper with the guts to tell the truth about his beliefs and policies in the general election. The USA desperately needs to see an honest juxtaposition of the true fundamentalist death cult alongside mainstream American values.

    February 27, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. 1rooster

    I heard Santorum criticizing the president for wanting kids to go to college. He went. How stupid can one be. Rick is starting to sound like Pol Pot. Remember, he tried to kill all of the educated in Cambodia.

    February 27, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. edge

    At this rate, I'll vote for Romney in the primary, which is sad enough. Then in the general election, I'll vote for Obama, which is positively pathetic. Why? Because I care more about stopping the march of religion than I do about fixing the economy.

    Obama, you're not my man, but you are welcome to kick these bigot's asses.

    February 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Michigan patriot

    I am for Mitt Romney because he knows what this country needs. He might not know everything or be the perfect person to beat Obama, but he has the best chance. Obama has destroyed this country, what this country stands for. Share the wealth around? Sure, to give it to the ones that don't want to work, or all they care is give me, give me and give me more. If we don't get rid of this man that calls himself the president of all americans, we will have a socialist country.

    February 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. jlf

    Santorum is dillusional. he is a very dangerous, unbalanced individual who will criticize anything or anyone one past,present,future,dead,or alive. how crude, rude, and disrespectful he has become since with 3 wins.

    February 27, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Matt

    It IS quite an interesting spin, but he does have a point. I'll be voting Santorum tomorrow, not because I choose him necessarily, but I choose "Not Romney". BTW, I also am a Michigan native!

    February 27, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Mike Ikeo

    Santorum is STILL a joke. Santorum thinks women can't fight in a war, even though HE is banging the war drum for Iran. He wants your family to fight and die, but certainly not his OWN daughters. This fool equates gay marriage to rape, pedophilia and bestiality. Santorum and Gingrich are NOT even on the ballot in 5 different states, that total hundreds of delegates! Santorum is unacceptable and unelectable. They both have ZERO viability, and will soon fade.

    My bet is that Gingrich is out by the beginning of April, with the Santorum out by the end April. Ron Paul is the ONLY vote for peace instead of war with Iran, sound currency instead of increased inflation, and personal liberty and freedom instead of garbage like the NDAA, TSA, SOPA, the War on Drugs, and the Patriot Act. Vote Ron Paul for President!

    February 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. snowdogg

    It ain't over til the fat Republican sings

    February 27, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Jeepers

    IF he's talking about being the most out of touch lunatic running, then yes. Yes, he has already won. And that's saying a lot with the group in question.

    February 27, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. James

    How many home states do Romney's rivals conveniently claim he has? First it was his five year presence and massive organization in Iowa, then it was New Hampshire, where he owns a home and next door to the state where he had his business and poltical career. Then we heard Nevada was almost his home state because he's a Mormon and 10% of Nevada is LDS. Now Michigan, were he was raised and his dad had his business and political careers is his home state. Later we will hear how Utah (Olympics), Massachusetts, and probably Idaho are his home states. With a little more creativity, Romney's rivals will have him trying to measure home-state expectations in ten contests. Pretty silly.

    Republicans who think the social warfare crusading going on in the Primaries is going to deliver the White House in the General, are severly mistaken. It's just alienating voters for the General.

    February 27, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. maggie

    What? More arrogance from "the snob?" Shocking.

    February 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Sean in DC

    From the article: "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."

    And I guess when Santorum loses the state it'll be a glaring indictor that he STILL managed to fail after holding a large lead. Oops... Man, you gotta LOVE campaign spin. True high comedy.

    February 27, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. tstorm

    I think the GOP can best be represented this election year by a giant "cuckoo clock"!

    February 27, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. Reasonably

    And the Christian Taliban marches on.

    February 27, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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