Hours Before N.H. Debate, Santorum Attacks Romney

Jan 7, 2012 3:31pm
ap Rick Santorum jt 120107 wblog Hours Before N.H. Debate, Santorum Attacks Romney

Matt Rourke/AP Photo

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum repeatedly jabbed frontrunner Mitt Romney today in New Hampshire, previewing the line of attack he will likely take in tonight’s ABC/WMUR debate and into the first-in-the-nation primary to held here Tuesday.

Speaking before packed crowds, Santorum, who placed in a virtual tie with Romney in Iowa last week, came to New Hampshire with the former Massachusetts governor squarely in his sites.

Santorum jabbed Romney, portraying him as a coldly calculating “C.E.O” and not the inspirational leader he said the country needed. He further slammed Romney, accusing his health care plan of imposing higher taxes on New Hampshire residents who work in Massachusetts to pay for the legislation.

“I just don’t think it’s a skill set for what a president needs. We don’t need a manager,” Santorum said at an event hosted by the National Journal and Atlantic Magazine. “Americans don’ want someone to manage Washington. They want someone to fundamentally change Washington and create a vision of where America is going. We need someone who will inspire us, create a vision for us, motivate the American public to do its duty.”

Santorum continued his attack, adding that the country “needs someone who is going to go in there and provide that leadership to take on the big, tough issues.”

“And I don’t think we’ve seen any record of that or any vision in what Gov. Romney is trying to promote himself as. He is trying to promote himself as the guy who can win,” he said. “Pyrrhic victories are not victories.”

Later, at an event in Amherst, where the crowd was so big, people were moved outside a grocery store, Santorum kept up the attack citing a newspaper editorial that claimed the Massachusetts health care legislation Romney introduced increased taxes for New Hampshire residents who worked in that state.

“Gov. Romney has raised fees and I was reading this in the Union Leader yesterday, if you were someone here — if you were a Granite Stater and working down in Massachusetts … the costs under Romney went up about $500 a year based on the tax increases that he imposed on the people here in New Hampshire who interact with the state of Massachusetts. Fees went up, taxes went up, spending went up,” he said. “We saw ‘Romneycare’ be introduced, which was the template for ‘Obamacare’ — that is the reality of the candidate you want to put up as a contrast?”

Instead Santorum said his policies starkly contrasted with those of President Obama.

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