February 28th, 2012
10:58 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum on robo call criticism: I can take it

Kentwood, Michigan (CNN) - Accused by Mitt Romney of using a "dirty trick" robo call in the hours leading up to the Michigan primary, Rick Santorum was quick to jab back at his GOP rival.

"We're going to get voters that we need to be able to win this election and we're going to do that here in Michigan," Santorum said to CNN in defense of his robo call, sent out to voters on the eve of the primary.

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On the call, an automated telephone message encourages Democratic voters to cross over and cast ballots for Santorum to send a "loud message" to Romney. The primary is open to all voters.

"Romney supported the bailout for his billionaire buddies but opposed the auto bailout. That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker," the robo call adds. It ends with the line: "Paid for by Rick Santorum."

Santorum charged his rival with a "cheap shot" of his own in releasing a robo call featuring the former Pennsylvania senator's endorsement of Romney in his run for President four years ago.

"When I go out and have a message of growth and opportunity instead of running negative ads and are running robo calls with my voice from four years ago, that's not a dirty trick," Santorum said sarcastically inside a diner outside of Grand Rapids.

"I don't complain about that. I'm a big guy. I can take it," Santorum added.

Santorum noted Romney has also made appeals outside of the Republican Party, pointing out some of the former Massachusetts governor's support in New Hampshire came from undeclared and independent voters in that primary.

"And when he goes out and recruits folks who aren't Republicans that's all right," Santorum asked.

At a brief news conference Tuesday morning, Romney suggested a strong Democratic turn-out in the Republican primary could diminish its results.

"I think the hardest thing about predicting what's going to happen today is whether Senator Santorum's effort to call Democrat households and tell them to come out and vote against Mitt Romney is going to be successful or not," Romney said to reporters.

"I think Republicans have to recognize there is a real effort to kidnap our primary process," he added.

Also see:

Romney's special guest: Kid Rock

Romney hits Santorum robo calls as 'new low' in campaign

Gingrich zeroes in on Santorum in the South

Santorum robo call to Democrats: Send a message to Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Rick Santorum
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Chris

    The more attention Santorum gets, the more I am convinced he's not ready for the "BIG SHOW' yet.

    February 28, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. politics as usual

    Santorum is Santainted now.

    February 28, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    At least Santorum's ad does not try to hide the deception by telling you that the ad is "paid for by Rick Santorum." Romney's ad misquoting Pres. Obama in a video where Obama was actually quoting John McCain was the one of the worst deceptive ads that I have ever seen. What makes it the worst is that the Romney campaign was so proud of the deception and had actually pointed out that that was the whole point of the ad, to be deceptive.

    February 28, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. steve

    Looser, please go home to your ugly wife and Chur Freak kids. Everyone can past your stuipd tricks, should change you last name to Gingrich.

    February 28, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Do what you have to do Rick. I'm not knocking you. The goal here is to knock off Willard.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    February 28, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Go Rick! Rmoney is getting desperate.

    February 28, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. cali girl

    Should be an interesting day, although it won't matter much, if Rmoney wins it will give him more delegates, if Santo wins it won't make a dent to the delegate count sine Rmoney has quite a bunch. Still a long way to go. They are even considering California now, who doesn't go until June. That may be a deciding state.

    February 28, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. he said what

    I remember Obama and Clinton having some knock down drag outs... but nothing as childish as these two. Santorum is just the bullied little boy who finally found someone big to stand beside him... he feels 10 foot tall and bullet proof..and looks like a bafoon. Romney is the same old lying flip flopping fool.

    February 28, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. New Age Independent

    If you want to ensure that people ignore you at the polls, by all means continue with the Robocalls.

    February 28, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Gary Morgan

    Mitt just got licked Ha ha Ha!

    February 28, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. LOLA

    In a fair world, Mr. Santorum-Santissimo would be confined in a psychiartic institution, but unfortunately we are not living in a fair world............................

    February 28, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. ozzie

    Stop your lying and deception, Ricky. You intentionally misquote the President concerning education. You, Mr. Family Values, call the President a "snob", even as you lie about what he said. What family value and what part of your Catholicity do your lies and disrespect reflect? You supported the invasion of Iraq when just about every moral leader, including the Pope, condemned that invasion and bombing as a defeat for humanity. You do not support the DREAM Act, which the U.S. Bishops and the Pentegon support. Your level of hypocricy is matched only by the depth of your self-righteousness. As a Catholic, I find you embarrassing.

    February 28, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. JnCnd

    I think there is a big difference between getting Dems to vote for you because they like you (Romney in Mass) and trying to get them to vote against your rival because you know they think he's the only one that can beat Obama. Rick Santorum.. for being so religious your quite the sleaze bag.

    February 28, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. diridi

    robo calls and DVDs do not work.....IT era....

    February 28, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Santorum is Santainted now."

    Ha...yes...santorum is quite often associated with the taint.

    February 28, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |