Mitt Romney Says Rick Santorum Would Like to Take Back Debate Remarks

Feb 25, 2012 11:10am
ap mitt romney jt 120225 wblog Mitt Romney Says Rick Santorum Would Like to Take Back Debate Remarks

Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. – Mitt Romney said today that he thinks Sen. Rick Santorum “wishes he could take back” some of the things he said during this week’s debate, after days in which Romney himself has seized on his GOP rivals’ admission that he voted “against his principles” during his time in Washington.

“We had this other debate the other night – that was so much fun that debate out in Arizona – and I think Senator Santorum wishes he could take back what he said,” said Romney, who addressed the Ingham Lincoln Day Breakfast at the Chisholm Hills Banquet Center in Lansing. “He talked about how he voted for some things because he took one for the team. The team has got to be the people of America. And this is not time for the politics of the past.”

Romney was referring to Santorum’s remarks during CNN’s debate earlier this week, when the former Pennsylvania senator was asked about his support of “No Child Left Behind.”

“I have to admit, I voted for that,” said Santorum at the debate. “It was against the principles I believed in, but, you know, when you’re part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake. You know, politics is a team sport, folks. And sometimes you’ve got to rally together and do something.”

Today, Romney continued to use Santorum’s own words against him.

“This is not time for lifelong pols that explain why they voted for this or that based on what they were asked to do by their fellow colleagues this is time for us to get America back on track,” he said. “And whether you agree with me or disagree with me on one issue or another we probably agree on 98 percent of the issues in front of us. And I will be a president of principle. I will fight for the things that get America strong. I will get us working again and I will shrink the size of the federal government.”

Romney has a full day of campaigning ahead of him just a few days prior to Tuesday’s primary in Michigan, and his attention today was pointed primarily at President Obama, particularly when it came to placing blame for the surging gas prices blanketing the country.

“And then there is energy, every year we send hundreds of billions of dollars out of our country to go buy energy from other nations,” said Romney. “I think this president faced a number of easy decisions that he missed, but this one is perhaps either at or near the top of the list: How in the world could he have said to Canada ‘No, don’t bring in that Keystone pipeline, we don’t need your oil. At a time like this, when we’re seeing gas prices like they are, we need to get that energy into this country.”

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