Santorum hopes to etch image of Romney in voters' minds
March 23rd, 2012
05:27 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum hopes to etch image of Romney in voters' minds

Shreveport, Louisiana (CNN) - If Rick Santorum has his way, the image of Mitt Romney as a politician who shakes and erases his policy positions will stay etched in voters' minds.

Case in point: on Friday in Shreveport, Louisiana, the former Pennsylvania senator not only kept alive the two-day old controversy – he drew bold new lines around it.

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"We're excited that Louisiana is going to hit the reset button," Santorum told a small crowd in a Holiday Inn event room one day before the state's Republican primary. "A little different reset button than the Romney campaign is talking about right now…The reset button they're talking about is a reset button that says that we'll tell you what you want to hear – for now – as we run in a Republican primary."

Moments later, as he's done since the controversy began, Santorum held up his favorite, new political toy – and gave it a shake.

"We're looking for someone who has the courage of their convictions. Who's not going to hit the reset button, pull out the Etch A Sketch – and try to remake themselves," the candidate said, adding imagery to his words.

Santorum's campaign has held aloft the metaphor since Wednesday, when a senior Romney advisor talked to CNN about Romney resetting the race from the GOP primary to the general election, should he become his party's presidential nominee.

Romney's campaign has complained that the comments have been taken out of context. On Wednesday, the former Massachusetts governor said, "Organizationally, a general election campaign takes on a different profile."

"The issues I am running on will be exactly the same," Romney continued. "I am running as a conservative Republican. I was a conservative Republican governor. I will be running as a conservative Republican nominee, at that point hopefully, for president. The policies and positions are the same."

But even that has proven irresistible to Santorum.

"When [Romney] was asked the question about this Etch a Sketch comment, he said 'Oh no, I'm planning on running as a conservative,' Santorum told the crowd.

"Ladies and Gentlemen I am a conservative. I don't have to plan on running on anything," Santorum added, eliciting applause from his supporters.

Also see:

Romney primary tactics insufficient for general election, Gingrich says

Romney pens op-ed to mark 'Obamacare' anniversary

Santorum doesn't let up on Etch A Sketch attack

DeMint calls for GOP assessment of race, praises Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Jeremy

    Santorum needs to throw in the towel. Everyday he prolongs this thing just makes him look like a bigger moron. He is starting to flip and flop more than Romney! He has already pulled an etch a sketch shake up on his "vote for Obama over Romney" comment.

    March 23, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Santorum is pulling a Gingrich and shooting both of his feet. Much more of this and not only will he lose the nomination, he'll never win another office again. IS it worth it Ricky???

    March 23, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Valentina

    Saint Ricky has become so angry that he is not going to get the nomination that he is beginning to lose some of the screws. He is becoming a joke with each passing day and anyone who still listens to him is a total fool. Ricky, give it up.

    March 23, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Bill

    Romney, the brylcreemed, flip-flopping, out of touch Etch a Sketch candidate. I almost feel sorry for the GOP having to put this guy up as their nominee. Not too early for them to start looking at 2016, when they might have a chance of winning.

    March 23, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    Santorum needs to realize that we don't need another trainee in the White House. He is just like Obama, neither had ever been governors, mayors, city managers, county managers, never dealt with budgets, employment, taxes, investments, tourism, permits, laws, parks, roads, utilities, businesses, insurance, catastrophies.

    March 23, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Is Santorum also looking to Democrats for support in Louisiana? This should be his strategy now because the Republicans are rallying around Mitt Romney. I mean, okay he's got to hang in there because so many supporters gave him so much money, but outside of that it's time to move forward and win the general election. Romney 2012!

    March 23, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Dan5404

    Both have been etched in people's minds: one, a position- changing fliip-flopper denying he ever said something different and the other, an ulra right-wing evangelitic extremist trying to push relision inrto politics in a big way. They've had some 20 debates and countless gaffes to expose themselves and their big weaknesses to the public. If Republicans wanted Romney, he'd have more than 40% of them for him, while Santorum is only 27% and cannot win the nomonation. They are both big time losers.

    March 23, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Romney is not My Hero

    Leave Santa alone! He's secretly campaigning for the Obama Administration. He even said it's better to stick with President Obama than vote for Rob-me. God bless his imaginary heart.

    Thank you – OBAMA 2012!

    March 23, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Squigman

    Sketch this on your toys. Santorum as well as Romney, are not interested in the freedoms of the people. One believes that all answers can come from behind a church pulpet. The other believes that corporations are people. Both are stark starring nuts.

    March 23, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. Exrepublican

    These repub clowns are truely an embarassment to this country,between the tea party congress and these fool candidates its like watching Jerry Springer 24/7 lol.All of these candidates are flip floppers and their position changes daily.

    March 23, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. Scef

    Come on, even though I am a staunch supporter of THE POTUS, I knew and understood what he meant. Romney has changed positions more times than can be counted. Blind ambition is a dangerous thing.

    March 23, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Jack

    Mitt-etch complaining about context? That's really rich! Remember his ad that put Mc Cain's words in President Obama's mouth? Remember when Tom Brokaw asked Mitt-etch to stop running the ad with Brokaw footage?

    March 23, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Just Say No to Flipper

    Rick is actually right on the money here. Rmoney is a bought and paid for neocon corporatist robot who will do or say anything solely to obtain power.

    March 23, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. roscoe

    I hadn't really thought about but Santorum is right. If it ends up being Obama vs Romney, the country is better off re-electing Obama. That is very rare in this day to have someone patriotic enough and brave enough to speak such a truth. Well said, Mr Santorum

    March 23, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Yup! It reinforces the flip flopping and opportunistic image of slick Mitt Romney. Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul need to stay in the race until the convention. They owe it to the American people to expose the true character of Romney.

    March 23, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. ziegfeldf

    He's also a theofascist. "Put some pants on those piano legs, Mama, they're giving me unclean thoughts."

    March 23, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. mascmen7

    Loose lips torpedoed USS Santorum in San Juan harbor demanding English be spoken. Is he crazy? Now USS Santorum suggests we re-elect a Kenyan born, Russian communist educated liar imposter as president. Santorum is crazy. Santorum es muy loco en la cabeza!!!

    March 23, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So after all of this, I will watch in great amusement as Ricko swallows his extensive and bruised pride to endorse Willard. That way, in 2016 when he wins the Republican Nomination, by beating Sarah Palin, to run against Hillary Clinton we will have even more fun as she ressurects all the stuff he said the last two years, too!

    March 24, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |