Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says voters are tiring of the “Mitt and Rick show” and want to hear more from the other Republican 2012 candidates. The former Pennsylvania senator also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Thursday his candidacy is starting to rebound.
“I heard it in Florida — I’ve heard it in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, where I'm spending a lot of time — is that they’re tired of the Mitt and Rick show, that they want to hear from the other candidates,” Santorum said. “I think that’s why you’ve seen Herman [Cain] getting a bump. We’ve gotten a bump in — you know, obviously, we finished fourth in the straw poll in Florida — which was a big help to us. Our fundraising has jumped up in the last couple of weeks as a result of the debate.
“The most constant thing I hear is: I wish they’d ask you more questions — I wish I’d hear from some of the other candidates — and so I think there’s a dissatisfaction with the choices that have been presented to the American public, which all the papers, everybody’s saying it’s just this two-candidate race,” he said. “And I think you’re seeing — you’re starting to see a rebound — a response to that.”
Santorum said people are starting to look beyond the top two and “that’s an opportunity for us.”
“And we’re going to exploit that,” he said. “We’re going to spend a lot of time in those early primaries.”
Santorum also criticized Florida’s efforts to move up its primary date, saying it probably is an attempt by supporters of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to reduce the GOP field.
He added that it won’t help the state’s voters, as the Republican National Committee (RNC) would probably cut Florida’s delegate numbers in half if the primary date is changed without RNC approval.
“For the life of me, I don’t understand what Florida is trying to accomplish because whatever they’re going to accomplish, they’re going to fail,” Santorum said. “You know, they're going to move their primary up — it’s talked about moving up to January. All these four primary, early primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada — will move ahead of them. And all you’ve effectively done is cut off one month of the lead-up time to this primary process.
“What I believe is going on is somebody in Florida is shilling for Mitt Romney and probably Rick Perry — they want to shorten the playing field now that these guys are ahead . . . I’m sure that they’d like to have the election tomorrow,” he said. “So by moving up the calendar — you help the favorites — and there’s somebody in Florida who wants to help the favorite. They certainly don’t want to help the people of Florida because they’re going to be denied their delegates and they’re going to — they’re going to run afoul of the RNC.”
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