Santorum Loses in Florida and Focuses on West

Jan 31, 2012 9:36pm

Las Vegas, NEVADA – Rick Santorum was far away from Florida on Tuesday  night, learning the results from that primary here in Nevada, one of  several Western states on which he is now staking his campaign.

“I want to congratulate Governor Romney,” Santorum said, calling Mitt Romney’s win a “resounding victory.”  It appeared Santorum would place third, behind Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Santorum, trailing in the polls behind Romney and Gingrich, turned his sites this week away from Florida and began focusing on Western states. In the past two days, while Gingrich and Romney duked it out in Florida, Santorum has visited Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada and Colorado.

Speaking of Nevada, he told a small crowd at his headquarters, “I think we’re going to have a little different result than what we saw in Florida.” Santorum called the Florida contest, perhaps the most negative of the  campaign so far, a “mud wrestling match.”

“If there’s one message from the campaign in Florida, it’s Republicans can do better,” he said of the negative campaigning and “accusations” flung in the sunshine state.  Santorum thanked supporters for their prayers concerning his 3-year-old daughter Bella, who late last week was hospitalized with double pneumonia. She remains in a Virginia hospital. The former Pennsylvania senator, who won the Iowa caucus but has placed dismally in the contests since then, also announced Tuesday he would purchase air time to run television ads in Nevada and Colorado. He ran no ads in Florida.

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