Santorum Admits ‘Lowlights,’ Says If Campaign Is About Math ‘We Are In Very, Very Tough Shape’

Mar 11, 2012 10:07pm

GULFPORT, Miss. — Two days before Mississippians vote, Rick Santorum admitted he has made a few mistakes on the campaign trail, saying he has had some “lowlights” on his quest to the nomination.

“Now I’ve had my highlights and my lowlights during the campaign,” Santorum said, telling the boisterous crowd he’s only had five days off since announcing in June.

“You know we get fired up sometimes and say some things that I wish I had a mulligan on if you will, but if you’re not scripted that’s going to happen,” he said. “Well, all of us in our own life say, ‘Well, I wish I hadn’t said it quite like that.’”

Last week on CNN, Santorum admitted that his wife Karen has tried to reel him in when he’s said some of his more eyebrow-raising comments, like calling President Barack Obama a “snob.”

He asked the crowd of about 300 at the Lookout Steakhouse here to embrace their “key role” in the next few days. The former Pennsylvania senator again hit back against the Romney campaign’s claim that their delegate advantage is insurmountable for Santorum, saying if that is the former Massachusetts governor’s pitch to voters, “we are in very, very tough shape” because “it’s not about math.”

“You have Gov. Romney now saying, ‘Oh this race is over, that mathematically it can’t work,” Santorum said. “When we have our nominee going out there and trying to sell the American public to vote for him because of mathematics, we are in very, very tough shape. This isn’t about math. This is about vision, it’s about leadership, it’s about taking this country in a direction that is critical because big things are at stake in this country.”

Santorum touted his campaign work ethic saying since this started he has been the hardest working candidate on the trail, throwing a jabbed veil at Romney and trying to contrast his opponent’s campaign as “going out, raising money and just trying to run negative ads.”

“In every state, we’ve been campaigning and campaigning hard,” Santorum said. “We haven’t blown off any state, we’ve gone to every state. Well, I didn’t go to Alaska, but there was a reason for that. It was just a little too far to get out there, but every other state that has been a primary, we’ve gone out and visited and we’ve talked to folks, and that’s not been a case with other campaigns. The other campaigns have been going out, raising money and just trying to run negative ads, and I’m trying to get out and talk to people.”

Of course, Santorum did not compete in every state choosing not to campaign in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Wyoming as well as Alaska. He did not campaign in Virginia, but he — along with Newt Gingrich — was not on the ballot in that state.

Santorum’s cousin, a former Miss Mississippi from the 1960s and a colorful character, introduced him at the restaurant asking the crowd for their help: “We need your in-laws, your outlaws, and even your enemies.”

Santorum said it’s the only way he’s been able to rack up victories since his surprise win in the Iowa caucuses in January.

“People walk out and they take a sign, they take the card and they say I’ll make some phone calls when the time comes I’ll go out and work for you and guess what, they did. That’s the difference,” Santorum said, before again jabbing Romney. “We haven’t run a campaign carpet bombing people with calls and ads. We’ve had people who care about our country enough to come out to a meeting to find out what the candidates really like because they too have that concern about our future and they’re the ones who have the energy and enthusiasm.”

Santorum is scheduled to campaign in both Mississippi and Alabama Monday ahead of their primaries Tuesday.

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