Santorum Suggests Obama Beats an ‘Etch A Sketch’ Candidate

Mar 22, 2012 3:03pm
gty rick santorum waves nt 120306 wblog Santorum Suggests Obama Beats an Etch A Sketch Candidate

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Rick Santorum played off of the Mitt Romney campaign’s Etch A Sketch gaffe today when he told an audience that the country might be better off with President Obama than with a candidate who will shift his positions with ease and who he believes is not very different from the president.

“You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future,” Santorum told a crowd at USAA.

During a press avail following the event, Santorum, who carried the Etch A Sketch during his speech, argued that Romney knows he can’t win in the general election.

“All the things that allow Romney to win the primary are unavailable to him to win the general and that’s why you see these Etch A Sketch comments because he knows he can’t win,” said Santorum.

As he spoke to a crowd which included people standing on other levels peering over the ledge to hear him, Santorum stressed the weight the Texas primary will carry on the overall race, saying the race will continue through Texas, whose large delegate count of 155 offers him the “opportunity to reset this race.”

“You have a very important role to play in this election, here in the state of Texas. It’s the second-biggest delegate prize, and you’re going to have an important role. This race will not be over when Texas is coming around. And you’re going to have a choice, an opportunity to really, and I think we’ll have again this Saturday, to reset the race. We have Louisiana coming up and another opportunity to reset this race. And you’ll have that same opportunity here in the state of Texas.”

Santorum has repeatedly referenced the “two-man race” evolving in the campaign but has yet to ask Newt Gingrich, who attracts many of the same type of voters, to drop out of the race. Asked if he has spoken to the Gingrich campaign, Santorum said he himself has had no contact with the candidate or his campaign.

“As you know campaigns talk almost every day and we’ve talked to the Romney campaign. I know yesterday we talked to — folks in my campaign talked to the Romney campaign, talked to the Gingrich campaign. There is constant communication going on,” said Santorum. “I don’t talk to them. So you have to ask the folks on my staff. I’m worried about being a candidate I’m not worried about anything else right now.”

UPDATE: This afternoon, Romney issued a statement in response to Santorum’s comment:

“I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America’s promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”

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