Santorum Campaign ‘Girding’ Their Loins For Pennsylvania Primary

Apr 4, 2012 9:55am
gty rick sanoturm wisconsin beer thg 120403 wblog Santorum Campaign Girding Their Loins For Pennsylvania Primary

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ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:

A top adviser for Rick Santorum said Wednesday morning that after Mitt Romney’s three-primary sweep Tuesday night, the Santorum campaign is “girding our loins” for the April 24 Pennsylvania primary.

Despite growing calls for Santorum to exit the race, the adviser said the former Pennsylvania senator huddled with his senior staff in Mars, Pa. Tuesday night where he held his election night event, and began to plot a three-week course for a win in the state he represented in Congress from 1991 to 2007.

Santorum starts with a three-city tour of Pennsylvania today but will have no public events over the Easter weekend. However, staff said that does not mean he’s taking the days “off.” He intends to use the time to sketch out his strategy for keeping Romney at bay in a state where one recent poll, taken before last night’s primaries, shows Santorum holding on to a 6 percentage point lead over the former Massachusetts governor.

The adviser said part of the strategy will be to make the weeks between now and the April 24 primary a family affair. Santorum’s wife, Karen, and the couple’s oldest daughter Elizabeth, who turns 21 on Monday, plan to launch their own barnstorming tour of the state starting next week.

The mother-daughter campaign swing, playfully — but not officially — dubbed “The Better-Half Tour,” was Karen’s idea, according to an aide.

Though Romney did not mention any of his opponents in his victory speech in Milwaukee last night, Santorum placed a call to Romney to congratulate him on wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The two candidates were, indeed, able to connect.

Santorum’s team is anticipating an onslaught from the Romney campaign in Pennsylvania — television ads, robo-calls, and a heavy campaign schedule. But they insist that dropping out before the Keystone State primary is not an option.

Santorum has already set the bar for himself: “We have to win Pennsylvania,” he said last Sunday.

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