(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.