Santorum: Romney making inroads with blue collar voters
August 29th, 2012
01:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: Romney making inroads with blue collar voters

Wesley Chapel, Florida (CNN) – Mitt Romney is making strides in talking about issues important to blue collar workers, one of the GOP presidential candidate's former rivals said Wednesday.

Rick Santorum, speaking to Louisiana delegates at a hotel outside Tampa, said his win in the Bayou State's Republican primary in March was fueled by working and middle class voters.

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"It was amazing during the campaign - it happened in Louisiana but it happened in nearly every state that we ran in after we became the main contender against Romney - we found this trend that was really interesting," Santorum said, explaining a trend he learned from speaking with Romney's pollsters after dropping his own bid for the GOP nomination.

"It said if you were going to vote between when the polls opened and noon, I was up by four," Santorum said. "If you were going to vote between noon and five, I was down by five. And if you were going to vote after five o'clock I was up by 20 points."

"Those are the folks we need," the former Pennsylvania senator continued. "Folks that can't get off work to go vote, that have to punch the clock, that want someone to talk to them."

After his speech, Santorum said Romney was working harder to bring in the type of voters that in the primary were drawn to other candidates.

"I am encouraged Gov. Romney is, I think, talking more and more about these things. We talked a lot about that after the campaign and I think you have seen him focus more on his pitch towards those voters," Santorum said.

Part of his role going forward, Santorum said, would be convincing voters that initially went for him to put their support behind Romney.

"I think that's the key voter group that I need to work and talk to throughout the course of this campaign, to try to get them to understand that we've got a team that can make things better for them, not just for the country," Santorum said.

Cindy Dore, a Louisiana delegate who watched Santorum speak, said afterward that initially, voters in her state were just more familiar with him than Romney when they cast primary ballots.

"Everybody in a primary has their favorite," she said. "We didn't know much about Mitt Romney but we knew a lot about Rick Santorum."

Dore said voters were becoming more and more familiar with Romney as the general election campaign wears on.

"I don't think it'll be a problem," Dore said. "I'm one of those likeminded voters. I agree with his message and his family values, and values for the economy and the hard-working taxpayers, and I think that most Americans will see the same values in Mitt Romney."

"I think everyone really respects him," Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, said of Santorum. "He's going to have big effect on the future of the party, and that's one of the reasons people are going to support him."

Any help Santorum can offer Romney will only benefit the Republican presidential candidate, Villere said.

"He'll have a real positive influence on the Romney campaign," he said. "He seems genuinely to really, really want to help Romney out. And that's important for Romney. If we're going to win this election, I think we need people like Rick Santorum."


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    truth hurts wrote:

    any person with a job and paying taxes or anybody that would like a job should be voting for Romney/Ryan. all Obama has for you is more unemployment and food stamps and massive debt for your kids. yes, it is that simple

    ...and yet you offer nothing to refute it. the truth stands for all to read.....
    -----------------------------
    At our current pace under Obama, we have knocked off half a trillion in four years from the annual deficit. At that rate we will balance the budget in less than ten years, even with 8% unemplolyment.

    The Romney/Ryan Plan doesn't even balance the annual budget for over 30 years. I just cannot imagine how tens of trillions of dollars of debt that economic ideology would generate over the next 30+ years. Can you? If you can, then you're nuts.

    August 29, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Ummmm... BIG swing and a miss. Final tally for popular vote was Reagan 50, Carter 41, Anderson 7. Anderson didn't even come CLOSE to Carter. I lived it too... savvy?

    "Nice try, but we gotcha"
    ---------------
    Good, welcome back. You took the bait. I've drawn you back out of your hiding place. I was worried about you after that "an IRS estimate is not just a little piece of paper" debacle. I'm glad you didn't change your name like the way some wimps do when they get pounded really hard. I hope I wasn't too hard on you, because I've got a lot more to dish out.

    August 29, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. rs

    Truth-

    Romney/Ryan are the proponents of low wage, no-benefit jobs so that their corporate masters can keep making lots of money. If they were interested in promoting the middle class, they'd be putting their outrageous tax cuts there, and not with the rich who neither need them or USE them. The way out of the GOP made economic mess is for money to move- and not to the Caymans.

    August 29, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Curt

    Guess Santorum loss the blue collar workers when he was defeated a few years ago. Guess what Rick, I don't think Romney has much in common with blue collar workers and I hope most people are smart enough to realize it come election time.

    August 29, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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