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. Woman In California

    This sudden of lovefeast of the Romney's will soon cease as people settle down and listen to the two men debate each other and each man has to give an accounting of the direction that they want this country to move in and most importantly, how they intend to get there. Then, and only then, will the president's numbers RISE.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 29, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Norma

    The republican party is and always will be the party of exclusion. They always say what they think Latino votes want to hear until they take office. This Latina can read between their lines. And no thanks!

    August 29, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. cali girl

    Santo is acting like he is the nominee. Most of this article is how Santo himself carried blue collar workers.

    August 29, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The unhinged GOBP tea potty are desperate. Their lies are not working.

    August 29, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. CBR

    Really. Did we miss something here? This whole campaign is being paid for by the 1% who are investing in a political campaign instead of using the money to put America back on track. The blue collar jobs were sent overseas and we have not heard that they are coming back.

    August 29, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After watching the "Hate and Division Support Group" last night, I am convinced that republicans take to lying like most people take to breathing.

    August 29, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. CJ

    This is fascinating, Rick, because it is your party that wants to restrict access to the ballot.

    August 29, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. rs

    Did he buy some blue collar workers?

    August 29, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    There is a narrow voting demographic out there for Romney to pick up.

    All that is really left out there are the people who are "one of us." Since Romney couldn't win them over yet with the truth, then you have to fool them with fiction.

    You know you really have to ask yourself something because the ACA has been law for over two years. How come it took so long for the Republicans to finally figure out that the ACA "steals $716B from Medicare"? If it were true, don't you think that they would have made a big fuss about it in the 2010 elections, just like they did with death panels and other lies?

    August 29, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Steve- Illinois

    Even Carter lead Reagan by 10 points at this period in the election.
    ---------
    No, he didn't. The failed hostage rescue occured in April, 1980. Carter immediately dropped like a rock in the polls. You are being told that just to get your hopes up.
    -----–
    As late as October, 1980, Gallup had it Carter 39, Reagan 32 (remember that John Anderson was running as an independent in that race and was polling strongly). So you're wrong, Rudy. Source – Gallup.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha".

    August 29, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Meka

    ONLY the 1%, should be voting for Romney & Ryan.
    America's Logic will step in-come November!!

    August 29, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Always Vote

    Like the blue collar miners FORCED to attend Romney's event? Yeah, I bet they are really going to go vote for him.

    August 29, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Arun

    Looks like Mitt is true to form. Etch a scetch. He and his party are trying real hard to flip flop on everything they preach!! The american public is blind if they believe this crap!!

    August 29, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    As late as October, 1980, Gallup had it Carter 39, Reagan 32 (remember that John Anderson was running as an independent in that race and was polling strongly). So you're wrong, Rudy. Source – Gallup.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha".
    -------------------------–
    October, you say. The polls were dead wrong, and the public knew it. No one liked Carter. The election result a month later is proof of that. Anderson gave Carter a run for his money in the popular vote. I lived it, remember?

    No one wanted to vote for Carter, especially with the situation brewing in Afghanistan and the US boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympic Games in 1980. Tensions with the Soviets was at an all time high, since the Cuban Missle Crisis. Carter was hinting at military action to roust them out. Carter had demonstrated geniune ineptude when no one thought to check the weather forecast. Ted Kennedy tried to get him thrown off of the ticket at the DNC convention. That's how bad it was.

    August 29, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. truth hurts

    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.

    August 29, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    truth hurts

    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.
    -----------

    you really should be giving acknowledgement to the people saying this. I'm not sure Rush and/or Hannity would like you quoting them verbatim. Talking Points are important to the GOP.

    August 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Factoid – There are more people, under Obama, who are NOT on food stamps, than under Bush the younger.

    August 29, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. truth hurts

    and yet you offer nothing to refute it. the truth stands for all to read.

    August 29, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. John in Brooklyn

    Al...are you kidding? The people who should NOT be voting for Romney are people who have a job and paying taxes. He really believes that government should be paid for by the dupes who pay taxes and should serve those who are smart enough not to have to.

    August 29, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    Rudy, NYC

    "The election result a month later is proof of that. Anderson gave Carter a run for his money in the popular vote. I lived it, remember?"
    ------
    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"

    August 29, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Mr 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" will outsource all the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly, to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    And all this time I have been blaming the sweater vest for making him look like such a dork.

    August 29, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. TheVoice2

    Mitt Phony's motto "vote me President now, I'll give you details later"

    August 29, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Al-NY,NY

    John in Brooklyn

    Al...are you kidding? The people who should NOT be voting for Romney are people who have a job and paying taxes. He really believes that government should be paid for by the dupes who pay taxes and should serve those who are smart enough not to have to
    ---------------–

    not sure if you followed what I was trying to say but let me know....

    I was sarcastically calling Truth (HA!!) out on his parroting of the right wing leaders Fatty and Shamitty and their daily propaganda

    August 29, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. Paul Ernest show

    Is it not ironic that those The GOP and Romney are criticizing the president over, are sitting right before these speakers.
    Most people who participate in these conventions are not the working class, but volunteers who are unemployed and most of the time drawing unemployment or food stamp. Americans were already loosing their houses and jobs before Obama took over, and to continue to ridicule people's suffering speaks eloquently of where the heart of the GOP is.

    August 29, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Jack

    Anybody believing that one, might be interested in a bridge that's up for sale, here, in Brooklyn-again.

    And those miners who were pressured to lose hours/pay to show up for alexithymic Mitt's speech? Is that the kind of "inroads" that Santorum is babbling about?

    PA sure showed Santorum how much he had "connected" with those blue collar workers, didn't they?

    August 29, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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