Santorum camp: Michigan's a tie
February 29th, 2012
03:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum camp: Michigan's a tie

(CNN) - Armed with a new delegate count, a Rick Santorum adviser on Wednesday painted Tuesday's contests as a "disaster" for Mitt Romney.

John Brabender said the campaign's count proves Santorum and Romney are tied in delegates won, which he said means the state should be classified as a split-decision instead of a win for Romney, who captured the popular vote.

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"You can only look at Michigan and move it from a win for Mitt Romney to a tie race," Brabender said on a conference call with reporters. "If we can do this well in Romney's home state we clearly think this bodes well for Super Tuesday states."

The latest estimates from CNN showed both candidates with 15 Wolverine State delegates, while Romney is ahead in the popular vote with 41% to Santorum's 38%. That leaves none of the thirty total Michigan delegates still in play.

Brabender also defended the campaign's courtship of Democratic voters in the state's Republican presidential primary, saying they targeted conservative members of the opposite party.

"I said from day one one of the reasons we're best suited is our appeal to Reagan Democrats and to get them to cross over," Brabender said, adding the campaign probably spent no more than a few thousand dollars on the effort intended to reach conservative Democrats.

The Santorum campaign attempted to rally Democrats behind his candidacy through robo calls in the state with Romney's opposition to the auto bailout. Michigan's primary was open to all voters.

More than half of Michigan Democrats who voted Tuesday backed Santorum, but it is impossible to say how much of the roughly 10% of Tuesday voters who described themselves as Democrats were influenced by the Santorum calls.

The former Pennsylvania senator won the most liberal and most conservative voting blocs in the state, while Romney had the edge with everyone else.

Romney's campaign preemptively responded to the conference call, saying Santorum made a "colossal mistake by inviting Democrats to come into the Republican primary in Michigan."

"Republicans should choose the nominee, not Democrats," Romney Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades said in an email. "Rick Santorum needs to apologize and pledge that he won't resort to these dirty tactics on Super Tuesday."

– CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Rick Santorum
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am not sure people are buying into his idea of the "United Catholic States of America and Vatican."

    February 29, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    Only delegates’ count So Romney didn’t win Michigan

    February 29, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Voltaire

    What is it about the entire GOP and their consistent denying of the facts and/or reality? In this case, it's about the numbers and last time I checked, there's no tie if the numbers are different, whether it's sports or votes.

    February 29, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. snowdogg

    "You can only look at Michigan and move it from a win for Mitt Romney to a tie race,"

    Nice spin there buddy!

    February 29, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. BigTBone

    "Republicans should choose the nominee, not Democrats" why isn't every primary open to everyone? I want to see the best of the best in leadership talk about great ideas, progress and how to make humanity better, regardless of party...
    (And after all the debates and primaries, there isn't a great idea or shred of progress evident in any of those potential "leaders".)

    For those very reasons I will be rewarding the only one displaying leadership in the presidential race with a Congress he can work with. Obama 2012.

    February 29, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Wobbly Walker

    Dumb comment from Romney camp about democrats voting. It will surely hurt them. Still, why are they still painting Romney unable to connect with the base when Santorum can't connect with the moderates? I thought republicans were going to rally around the nominee at the end, especially with an adittion of a right vice president. It was also dumb of Romney to call Michigan his home state as he left there after high school 40 something years ago.

    February 29, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess there were some Democrats that crossed the line to vote for Santorum. I would have rather they voted for Paul since I would prefer him to face Obama; rational Obama vs Paul who doesn't understand the world we're in.

    February 29, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    The idea that Santorum, a totally religious wing-nut could get anywhere near the White House, is absolutely scarey. All the efforts made by women in the last 100 years – right to vote, to go to college, to move into higher positions in business and industr, and the ability to control our own bodies and our own lives, would be at risk. Each time I hear hims speak he is more and more frightening. He wants us to be ingorant, barefoot and pregnant. I do not want my daugter growing up in a country goverened by this man. Obama in 2012.

    February 29, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. RINO Bil

    Santoum lost Michigan period. No amount of spin is going to change that fact.

    February 29, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. alkarrk

    Rick Santorum sure was quick to point out that Iowa was a "WIN" not a "TIE". And Romney was honorable enough to concede the win to Santorum even though it was by a much smaller margin than Romney took Michigan.

    February 29, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rick, you'd be far more credible in this argument had you not pulled the dumb move of asking Democrats to vote for you. It has tainted anything you got in Michigan. You're known by the company you keep so please stop courting sleazy Democrats to vote for you.

    February 29, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Mitt Romney now has 157 delegates to Rick Santorum's 58. I don't know how else to add 'em up!
    So as hard as the Democrats have tried to avoid this, it looks like Obama will have to face Romney. And I like Mitt Romney's odds all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Romney 2012!

    February 29, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Scott

    Why should we even vote anymore? Apparently the people running Santorums campaign can just decide that he won.

    February 29, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Wake up people

    I'm no Reagan anything. As a matter of fact, I voted for the crackpot Santorum, simply because I wanted the flip flop king to lose. And it's not because I think he can beat our President. It's simply because I don't like him and I will NEVER forget him saying let Detroit go bankrupt. He is also an idiot, who made money off the less fortunate. But he is the guy the Repubs want and he is the guy they are gonna get. Be careful what you wish for.....

    February 29, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    It is amusing to hear a Republican complain when someone does something that is within the rules [ which they usually designed and wrote, so that they know where all of the bends in the rules already are ] and the Republican comes out of it at a disadvantage. Usually, they're just grumpy over the fact that they didn't think of it first.

    Anyone catch that video of Romney from the last POTUS election cycle bragging about registering as an independent in MA so that he could vote in the primary for what he felt was the weaker Democrat?

    February 29, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Valentina

    Keep talking Brabender... With that crazy talk of yours you will alienate the rest of the supporters that Santorum has left. Pretty soon the whole Santorum campaign will become a "disaster".

    February 29, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Four and The Door - So as hard as the Democrats have tried to avoid this, it looks like Obama will have to face Romney
    =======================================================================================
    Not just avoid Romney but actively work to sabotage Romney and actively attack him during Republican PRIMARIES. Practically unheard of and hardly "presidential". I do believe there is more than a hint of Obama/Democrat desperation in the air. They are correct to be worried with their 4 years of disaster and failure. It sure didn't help them in 2010 and they've only made it worse since.

    February 29, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    @Four – Mitt Romney's claim to job creation is a strong as Bank of America's claim to job creation, and every bit as weak.

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

    LOL So then, Rick, was it a tie in Iowa, too? Difference of many more votes in Michigan. Nothing keeps Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert and SNL getting great ratings like the GOP contenders.

    February 29, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Romney is not My Hero

    They're both losers. It's the two faced, flip flopping Robot Romney vs. the overly religious nutcase, Sanctimonious.

    HEY GOP – No matter which way you count it, lie about it, buy votes or try to get the other side to help out – it's OBAMA 2012!!! Get used to it.

    February 29, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Don't worry Mitt. Whether you or Santorum get the nomination you can count on the fact that no Democrats will vote for either of you.

    February 29, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Kathyrn

    @ Four and the Door

    Romney can't even begin to hold a candle to the level of intelligence of David Axelrod, and given that the economy is getting better, where does that leave Mitt but howling (or rather whining) in the wind? Slice it, dice it and splice any way you want–even the republicans would love for Jed Bush to jump in.

    February 29, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. lps

    You think R. Santorum is regretting that he didn't get on the ballot in Virginia?

    February 29, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Loren, Keene NH

    How many of those districts had "democratic" votes so you won the district Rick? That is cheating...is that something you would want your children to do to someone else? If so, are you really a good Christian?

    Would you beat Obama in PA? No! You didn't even win your Senate seat!

    February 29, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Matt

    So delegates are all that matter now Santorum camp? By my count Romney netted 42 delegates yesterday to 13 for Santorum. That doesn't seem like much of a tie?!?!

    February 29, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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