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."

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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. Name

    Hey Santorum,didn't your adviser say RUN!!!!

    February 27, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Rick in Az

    It doesn't really matter between Santorum or Romney. Could anyone actually see one of these guys talking to Iran or any other Arab country about religious extremist? Though I would admitt with Santorums view on women they might have abit more common ground but with Mitt, I'm pretty sure they would ask him about those golden tablets and bust out laughing...

    February 27, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. mypitts2

    "Already won"? Classic spin. Translated: "We think we're going to lose." Santorum and his team are incompetent and will wind up being the latest candidate - and last candidate - to wind up as Romney road-kill. They were leading in MIchigan until Santorum started babbling on about controversial stuff no one has cared about since the 1950s. Birth control? Seriously?

    February 27, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Jorge UU Boosh

    Go ahead and call me a "snob" because I have a 4 year college degree. Better a "snob" than a slob!

    February 27, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Anonymous

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

    Pretty sure Rick has won at least as many states as Rmoney.

    February 27, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Wobbly Walker

    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 -----------------------------

    Rudy, you are wrong! He brought it up to show his love for Detroit products. You just take it as him pointing out his wealth. I have friends who have spare cars at their second home, but are far from rich.

    February 27, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    "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."

    Yeah, it's you LSD crazies who keep coming here and making the same statement, basically "He's a great man with great values and a great family and he's been a great success at whatever he does. He's just what America "needs." Yet you all ignore his "greatness" comes from being a great corporate predator. He's a successful psychopath, nothing more. He knows nothing about average Americans and he cares nothing about average Americans. And you radical Romneybots never manage to address his robot phoniness, his elitism and his intellectually and morally bankrupt policies. Regardless of the words that rattle around repeatedly in your fact-free echo chamber, Flipper is not at all great. He doesn't have a heroic bone in his body.

    February 27, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Pete/Ark

    The Santorum staff previously worked for another republican...Thomas E Dewey....look how THAT prediction worked out....

    February 27, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. sf

    typical...leave it to a republican to be delusional

    February 27, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Donettes

    OHHH the madness. Anyway, I see 4 more years with Obama. And I like him.
    But I am not looking forward to 2016. What an Ugly picture that will be.

    February 27, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. tykl

    why is michigan romney's home state? everybody sets up any loss for romney being the end all be all (nobody has won all the states) and any win a given not worth mentioning. romney was born in michigan and grew up there, but i don't believe people vote on that. romney represented mass. (like gingrich represented ga and santorum pa), so mass is romney's home state. so the farce that michigan is romney's home state that he can't lose is just rhetoric.

    February 27, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Dave, CA

    Mr. Presumption strikes again.
    BTW Ricky- you didn't "win" so much as MI can't stand Romney that no one will vote for him. NOT something to crow about.

    You are still completely, utterly unelectable.

    February 27, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Tom

    Santorum is an idiot but the Romney people have nothing to celebrate either, especially after that FORD FIELD FIASCO. Not to worry America, Ann Romney will debate for poor tired Willard and she promises to be up all night in case that 3:00 am telephone call comes in so that her clueless husband can keeping on sleeping through the night. LOL

    February 27, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Pat in Il

    Ridiculous rhetoric. He should spend his time on more important things, like foreign policy and finance. Trouble is that he doesn't know anything about either subject.

    February 27, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Drew

    I hope Santorum gets the nomination.That way,we can get 4 more years of Obama.

    February 27, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  16. Jeff Johnson

    The evangilistas are coming, the evangilistas are coming.

    February 27, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. tim

    I can just picture it – "But Mitty, I dont wanna drive a crappy Cadillac. I wanna BMW!!!". "I know, honey, I know. But we have to make it look like we care about the American worker, and his job. Dont worry though. Once Im in the Oval Office, I'll buy you 3 BMWs, and 2 Mercedes's!".

    February 27, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    What are you going to do when they come for you mad boy mad boy

    February 27, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. ya

    “Rick Santorum also said that global warming is politics, not science. And he said he'll defend that position to the edge of the earth. "If I have to fall off..." –Jay Leno

    February 27, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. Martin Walters Seattle

    Don't expect a warm Family Home Evening in Michigan Mitt, you threw them under the bus!

    February 27, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Cacique

    To the commentor who used the expression greedy old pigs: it s the dems who are creating a class war by having one group with ointent of ever working and the working slaves who support them. Also include their beatification of illegal alien criminals.

    February 27, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. hillcrester

    The Santorum has already won the Presidency and can sit down and shut up: He won that by losing, too.

    February 27, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Ron

    Told y'all this guy was an idiot. If people in MI or any other primary/caucus votes for him, well, it says more about them than him. Let's see if Newt has a third life since republicans have rejected Willard in such grand fashion!

    February 27, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Santorum in the White House would be a national disaster. I find it hard to believe that any Republican woman would vote for a man that is so obviously prepared to place women in the second-class citizen category. Too many women in the past have fought long and hard to give us the right to vote, to be accepted at colleges and universities and to determine what we chose to do with our own bodiesI. I do not need Santorum or any Republican in my doctor's office or in my bedroom. Vote Obama in 2012.

    February 27, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. Jordan

    Hey guys we won! I mean on paper we lost, but really we won, you see....

    February 27, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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