Santorum Adviser on Iowa: Romney ‘Sounds Like a Kid Who Didn’t Get What he Wanted for His Birthday …’

Jan 19, 2012 9:11am

GREENVILLE, S.C. — With the final results from the Iowa caucus showing that Rick Santorum had a 34-point lead instead of  an  eight-point loss to Mitt Romney, the Santorum camp is unsurprisingly gleeful, even though the Iowa GOP said there were  too many holes to certify the former Pennsylvania senator as the winner.

Romney’s campaign put out a statement this morning, calling the results a “virtual tie,” and that did not sit well with longtime Santorum strategist and adviser John Brabender.

“Well, someone should tell that to Mitt Romney.  He sounds like a kid who didn’t get what he wanted for his birthday so he smashed the cake,” Brabender told ABC News when asked  for his reaction to the news that Santorum  might have won the first caucus state after all.

Caught on a plane just about to take off for South Carolina, Brabender said Santorum had called Romney in New Hampshire to congratulate him, and the Santorum camp is now waiting by the phone.

“It’s my understanding we got an email that says Rick Santorum has been certified as the winner,” Brabender said. “In New Hampshire, Sen. Santorum called Mitt Romney and congratulated him. Romney should have the dignity, honor, and character to call and congratulate us on our win in Iowa.”

The Des Moines Register  broke the news this morning of the 34-vote lead, but because the results from eight precincts had not yet been counted, the Iowa GOP said it was too close to call. Of course, just as the eight votes on the early morning of Jan. 4 was a victory for Romney, the Santorum campaign sees the 34 votes  the same way.

“If eight votes was a victory, then 34 that’s a landslide,” Brabender said, “We each have one. It’s a draw.”

Romney was careful that night to say it was a victory for Santorum, but the former Massachusetts governor has always counted it as a win. His campaign even claimed it as a historic victory, noting Romney is the only  non-incumbent to sweep both Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Romney campaign put out a statement this morning thanking the Iowa Republican Party and recognizing Santorum, but that’s as far as it went.

“The results from Iowa caucus night revealed a virtual tie,” the statement read. “I would like to thank the Iowa Republican Party for their careful attention to the caucus process, and we once again recognize Rick Santorum for his strong performance in the state. The Iowa caucuses, with record turnout, were a great start to defeating President Obama in Iowa and elsewhere in the general election.

“We’ve had two states vote, we have one, and Romney has one. And [Sen. Santorum] won the state that has more Republicans voting than Democrats. Romney won the state where more Democrats and independents vote,” Brabender said before his plane took off.

With just three days before South Carolinians vote, Santorum is third in the polls behind Romney and Newt Gingrich. The new Iowa results  could be the shot in the arm the campaign needs to close the gap, but the question now is: Will it really matter?

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