March 22nd, 2012
04:10 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum doesn't let up on Etch A Sketch attack

(CNN) – Rick Santorum showed no signs of dropping his Etch A Sketch assault on Mitt Romney Thursday, brandishing the children's toy at an event in Texas and later saying his chief rival was winning states by spending huge amounts of campaign cash.

"You win by giving people the choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum said at the San Antonio speech, held at national headquarters of the veterans' financial firm USAA.

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He continued, suggesting re-electing President Obama might carry less risk than if Romney wins the presidency, "If we are going to be a little different, we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk in what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future."

Romney responded in a statement, saying: "I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America's promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure."

Santorum's speech came as part of a new effort to paint rival Mitt Romney as complicit in the creation of President Barack Obama's health care law, a measure that faces a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The law's two year anniversary comes Friday, and Santorum's campaign said they would mark the occasion by launching a "campaign within a campaign" to link the law Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts to the nationwide law.

In a press release Thursday, Santorum's organization asserted, "Two years ago this week, Barack Obama took Mitt Romney's advice – and said the government, for the first time in history, could force you to buy something."

The press release didn't pass over the now-inevitable Etch A Sketch reference, proclaiming: "ETCHED IN STONE: ROMNEYCARE = OBAMACARE" in the subject line.

On Thursday, Santorum continued the now-ubiquitous metaphor, telling the Texas crowd "I can tell you as someone who doesn't have my policy positions on an Etch A Sketch and I carry one of those around now. My policy positions are written out of conviction."

The Etch A Sketch uproar began when Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Romney adviser, said on CNN the campaign would "hit a reset button" to take on President Barack Obama in the fall if Romney wins the GOP nomination, adding "it's almost like an Etch A Sketch - you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."

Asked after his speech about reports Romney was meeting with key Republicans on Capitol Hill, including South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Santorum said his campaign wasn't about courting the Republican establishment.

"If this election was about endorsements and money, I wouldn't be standing here," Santorum said. "This election is about connecting with real people, asking about the real problems they know are major in this country, and having someone who can relate with them and connect with them."

He continued, "I don't spend my time on the phone chasing around elected officials who are part of the system. I'm looking to talk to people who want to change the system."

Santorum also added he wouldn't win the GOP nomination by throwing money into campaign ads and staff.

"This election isn't gonna be won by a Republican candidate who's gonna outspend Barack Obama ten to one to win a race," Santorum said. That's how Romney wins. He overwhelmingly outspends whoever's in his way. That's not gonna work in the general election."

Also see:

Ann Romney urges folks to lighten up

Who does Jeb Bush want for vice president?

Romney tries to clean up Etch A Sketch mess

New Democratic super PAC looks beyond 2012


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Dave

    That idiot Santorum can barely string a sentence together without getting something wrong. The last thing he should be doing is picking on someone for their gaffes.

    March 22, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. mommagroves

    If Santorum could put the same focus into discussing the issues that are important to this country, rather than cry about the money that Romney has raised and do everything in his power to make Romney look bad, he may be further along. I certainly don't want another president that blames everyone else for everything and that's exactly what he's doing. He blames everyone else. Sorry Rick, you're not going to be our candidate. This is the most important election of our lifetime and that's why Romney is way ahead.

    March 22, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Romney is not My Hero

    "If we are going to be a little different, we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk in what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future."

    Pope Sanctimonious is doing the Obama Administration proud. He's even endorsing Obama during his attacks on Rob-me. It's fantastic!

    Thanks – OBAMA 2012!

    March 22, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. hillplus

    Uh, Rick.... I am embarrassed for you. This is just desperate.

    March 22, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. hillplus

    "Santorum also added he wouldn't win the GOP nomination by throwing money into campaign ads and staff."

    Uh, Rick? You won't win the GOP nomination. Let's just stop there.

    March 22, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. JLFuller

    He tsalks about this thing because he has nothing else worth listening too. This is nothing. It wasn't even Romney who said it and it was taken out of context to boot.

    March 22, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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