Santorum Addresses SuperPAC Donors in Dallas, Releases Negative Romney Ad in Michigan

Feb 23, 2012 3:00pm
ap santorum tk 120222 wblog Santorum Addresses SuperPAC Donors in Dallas, Releases Negative Romney Ad in Michigan

Eric Gay/AP Photo

PHOENIX – Off the campaign trail today, Rick Santorum is appearing at a fundraiser for his superPAC in Dallas.

Candidates and campaigns are not allowed to “coordinate” with their superPACs, but they are permitted to address these groups. Mitt Romney has spoken at his superPAC fundraisers as well. Candidates must leave before the “ask” portion of the event takes place.

Foster Friess, the main donor to the “Red White and Blue Fund,” was planning on being there too, but he’s on an around-the-world trip with his wife, Lynn, for about three weeks.

After the CNN debate on Wednesday evening, Santorum was asked in the  spin room, where reporters gather,  what he was planning to tell the donors.

“It’s a fundraiser, I’m not doing a superPAC event,” Santorum said, either incorrectly or falsely.

Santorum’s national communications director Hogan Gidley said he wasn’t sure what Santorum meant by the incorrect statement. And just because he’s off the trail doesn’t mean the campaign isn’t still waging its battle for Michigan, where Santorum will be back campaigning Friday. On Thursday the campaign released a new negative television ad that goes hard after Romney in his home state. The ad shows no video, just statements dramatically crossing the screen.

“I don’t line up with the National Rifle Association (NRA),” the ad reads, attributing the statement to Romney and the source as the Boston Globe.

“I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose,”  that ad continues, sourcing a debate Romney did in his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor.

There are several other statements, including “Romney Advisor Admits Romneycare was Blueprint for Obamacare.”

The Romney campaign hit back, calling it a “dishonest attack ad”

“He will do and say anything to avoid a discussion about his votes for wasteful earmarks and his enthusiastic support of Arlen Specter, the liberal senator who cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare. If business as usual in Washington is the problem, Rick Santorum can’t be part of the solution,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement.

Wednesday, an NBC/Marist Michigan poll showed Romney with 37% and Santorum 35% support. The state, along with Arizona, votes Tuesday. A new Quinnipiac poll also out Wednesday showed Santorum over Romney nationally 35 % to 26%.

The campaign has not advised on the buy, but the pro-Santorum superPAC “The Red, White, and Blue Fund” is also running ads in the state and has spent $1.3 million on the ads.

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