(CNN) - Rick Santorum's campaign accused Mitt Romney of "political thuggery" Thursday after the Michigan Republican Party announced it was awarding two at-large delegates to the former Massachusetts governor.
The decision by the state party means that Romney won 16 delegates Tuesday night and Santorum was awarded the remaining 14 of the 30 delegates up for grabs in the primary. Media outlets, including CNN, previously estimated the count as a 15-15 tie between the candidates.
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The Michigan GOP's announcement sparked an angry response from the Santorum campaign.
"There's just no way this is happening," said Hogan Gidley, national communications director of the Santorum Campaign. "We've all heard rumors that Mitt Romney was furious that he spent a fortune in his home state, had all the political establishment connections and could only manage a tie Rick Santorum. But we never thought the Romney campaign would try to rig the outcome of an election by changing the rules after the vote. This kind of back room dealing political thuggery just cannot and should not happen in America."
The Romney campaign brushed off Gidley's accusation and accused Santorum of trying to "hijack" the primary by encouraging Democrats to vote for him in the primary. The Michigan primary is open to all registered voters, regardless of party affiliation.
"Because his strategy failed and Mitt Romney won, he is now attacking the Republican Party," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "The Romney campaign respects the process as determined by the Michigan state party, and we are pleased that we have been awarded a majority of the delegates. We are now focused on the upcoming contests."
Saul Anuzis, a member of the Michigan Republican Credentials Committee, said the committee voted last month to award the two statewide delegates to the winner of the primary vote, but there was confusion in the memo sent to the campaigns in regards to that vote.
"While we all regret the error in the memo, it does not change what was voted on by the committee, which was to award the two at-large delegates to the statewide winner," said Anuzis, a prominent Romney supporter in Michigan. "It was premature for any candidate to be declaring the delegate count prior to an official announcement by the Michigan Republican Party."
But Gidley, in a statement to CNN, disputed this explanation.
"Everybody knew the rules before the election, but after the election was over, the Establishment changed the rules for Mitt Romney," Gidley said.
Michigan Republicans originally received 56 delegates in their total allotment but was penalized after breaking national rules for setting their primary date. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination.
– CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger contributed to this report.
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Crisscrossing the country in search of delegates
Actualy on Tuesday I read that it was 2 delegates for each district plus 2 for the winner before voting started. Then I read differently on Wednesday. And now we're back. There seems to be confusion with a bunch of states so far. Why?
So far we have witnessed republican voter fraud, republican voter suppression, and the biggest pay for vote activity in our history. We know what to expect from the pubes in November.
ooooh, the gloves come off!!!!
I love the GOP primaries. They are all trying to screw each other over and then whining when someone else does it. Too funny!
It is to Mittens advantage to have the Kochs and Rove running his disasterous campaign. Do right wingnuts and baggers really want Mittens to add $3.4 trillion to our national debt so the wealthiest Americans get more tax breaks at our expense?
Welcome to the GOP Mr. Santorum, starting to realize the Ron Paul campaign's allegations of tampering aren't all that kooky after all.
Sounds pretty cut and dry here. They voted on something they all agreed upon, and held to it once the dust had settled. So what if the candidates didn't know about that information fully? I'm happy with Michigan to sticking to what they agreed to well prior to this event, and not being swayed by any campaign to change their rules in the aftermath.
Based on the misspeak from Mittens, I am confident he will announce that our country was made great by 'Gnus, Gusts, and Gold.'
Cheaters never Win! Go Mitt!!
Mr. Santorum – the difference is one delegate for crying out loud and Romney won popular vote by over 30,000. Please stop embarrassing yourself and the entire Republican Party with this childish talk of yours and your silly attacks and accusations. Just proves that you are in no shape or form ready for the big stage.
Romney stealing wins, nothing new here... Iowa, Maine and now Michigan
What do you expect from this mormon slimeball, He is so unethical & racist he doesnt even allow blacks as elders in the Lds & he is the HIGHEST ranking Mormon in Boston.
Is Ricky whinning again?
What was in this memo that was supposed to have been sent to all campaigns?
Santorum whining again. His spokespoeple sound almost as pathetic as he does. Mitt won, and he didnt squeak by either, he won by a fair enough margin to take the majority of the delegates. What is Santorum's problem? Sore. Loser.
Most Californians are looking forward to November so we can give Willard the proper greeting – one he will NEVER forget (BALLOTS MARKED BARACK OBAMA).
Cannibalism at its finest!! We should just have a wrestling match and televise it!! It would make billions!!! We would then put it toward our debt. We should do this with all our politicians and we would be debt free!!
Mr. Izz wrote:
Sounds pretty cut and dry here. They voted on something they all agreed upon, and held to it once the dust had settled. So what if the candidates didn't know about that information fully? .....
I guess you missed the part in the article quoting the Michigan Republicans saying that they had misinformed the campaigns. Either that, or you do not believe in Democracy. The fraud being committed by state Republicans in these primaries is absolutely appalling. I guess that they are practicing up for the general election in November.
What's the big deal? It would make since to me for the cadidate who got the most votes to get the most delegates. Santorum is acting like a big baby.
ricky kept silent in IA, NH, ME, and NV when the GOP stole it from Paul.
It seems pretty clear to me. They had the ruleS set up before the vote. Some people are just sore losers. I don't think two delegates are going to make or break this. It looks clear that Santorum is getting desperate. Go figure!
Get used to it – this is the manner in which RoMoney would operate as president. I don't think we want someone like this as president.
Makes sense, republicans are deducted thugs.
So Sanotorium is making a complement.
What is the news?
WOW!@!!! Think this guy isn't doing everything to win..think again......doing the general .....I don't believe if grandmothers won't start to vanish if they vote against him...
Keep whining little Ricky! none of it matters- you will never get the nomination in 2012.