Rick Santorum Argues He’s ‘Barraged’ By Negativity

Mar 16, 2012 7:01pm

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – As he made his first stop in Illinois prior to Tuesday’s contests, Rick Santorum argued that he’s been “barraged” by negativity and that attacks coming from Mitt Romney’s campaign are “typical.”

Santorum was asked by reporters to respond to comments made earlier today by former Gov. John Sununu, a Romney surrogate, who suggested that Santorum is a Republican version of Obama, and about the Romney campaign’s “offensive” being waged against him.

“It’s just typical,” said Santorum. “He has no vision for the country that’s positive. It’s just trying to tear down and take really outrageous and ridiculous things that in many cases are simply not true and post them up there and try to pretend that he’s the conservative in the race. People know that he’s not the conservative in the race.”

“We were barraged. We’ve been barraged in every single state, all this negativity, and no vision on the part of Governor Romney. We’re the candidate that’s got vision, that’s got momentum … and you know we feel good, we’re going to do well here, certainly I think better than anyone expected to here and we’ll see what happens,” Santorum told reporters in a media availability.

Santorum acknowledged that he is being outspent on the airwaves but suggested he can win because of the energy of voters.

“I guess it’s pretty bad; they tell us about 10 to one right now here in Illinois,” said Santorum. “I don’t have a lot of billionaire friends. I didn’t grow up in that area, don’t know those kind of folks by and large, and we’re just going to win this with people. That’s how we won Mississippi, that’s how we won Alabama, that’s how we won Missouri, Kansas… They like the guy who is scrappy. They like the guy who is trying to overcome the machine. Folks here in Chicago know all about the machine and what it means to fight that machine. It’s hard but it’s possible. ”

Santorum said he was not ready to make predictions about who will win the delegate count in Illinois next Tuesday but argued he can still compete against Romney despite not qualifying for all the delegates in the state.

“Again, this is one state. I mean we’re eligible in just about every other state going forward and we’re going to do just fine. As you know, getting on the ballot here in Illinois is byzantine, and that’s just the way it is,” said Santorum.

During an interview with a local CBS affiliate, Santorum, who lived in the Chicago area during his senior year of high school, admitted he became more of a White Sox fan than a Cubs fan while he lived in the Chicago area.

Santorum spoke to an auditorium full of high school students at Hersey High school here earlier in the afternoon. In the middle of his speech, he was interrupted by a teacher who wanted the senator to give the students an opportunity to ask questions.

“I’m used to that, I guess,” Santorum told reporters later. “Teachers always cut me off when I was talking in school. Sometimes I can tend to go a little long, so no offense.”

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