DAYTON, Ohio — Seeking to highlight Rick Santorum’s disorganization in getting his name on the GOP presidential primary ballots in several states, the Romney campaign held a conference call with reporters to discuss what they said was organizational deficiencies that “should give Republican voters great pause as we get ready to face President Obama.”
“On Wednesday, the day after Super Tuesday, the Santorum campaign is going to be looking at a sufficient deficit to Governor Romney in bound delegates,” said Ben Ginsberg, chief counsel for the Romney campaign. “And any realistic hope of closing the gap fades away with his organizational incompetence — that failure to organize.”
By the Romney campaign’s calculations, Santorum is ineligible for 16 percent of all bound delegates awarded on Super Tuesday and could give up as many as 18 of Ohio’s 63 delegates because the campaign did not submit the proper paperwork.
“Now it’s not only Ohio where he has failed this test,” Ginsberg said. “He failed to get on the ballot in Virginia on Tuesday at all. He’s failed to file a complete slate in Tennessee. He has failed to get on the ballot at all in the District of Columbia. And he’s failed in four of the upcoming Illinois congressional districts.
“So what that means is that basic organizational test that you’re going to have to have to battle President Obama is a test that Rick Santorum and his campaign have flunked,” he said.
Challenged as to whether the backing of the Republican National Committee would help the nominee with organization, especially in Santorum’s case, Ginsberg suggested that organization in the primary is still essential.
“I think if you look at it historically, what you see in campaigns is the ability to organize in the primary is the foundation that you have to have through the fall,” he said. “And if you can’t organize in the primaries just as a general rule in the past, it means that in the two months you have to pull together a campaign, it doesn’t work quite so well and you can see the differences in the successful and the unsuccessful campaigns.”
Santorum responded to the Romney campaign’s comments over his ballot eligibility at a Subway restaurant in Wilmington, Ohio, telling reporters: ” If that’s the only thing that they find is a problem with my candidacy, we’re in pretty good shape.”
He added that organizationally things are “different now” than they were in November and December and lauded his campaign for getting on ballots nationally, given the size of his war chest last year.
Further pressed as to whether he’s worried about the issue, Santorum responded, “No I’m not worried about it at all.”
ABC News’ Russell Goldman contributed to this report.