Santorum takes morning victory lap on cable, with eyes on Michigan

Dylan Stableford
February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum spent the morning after his three-state sweep in the Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota caucuses with interviews on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

"We felt it, we felt it coming," Santorum said on "Fox and Friends" of his surprising victory over Mitt Romney in Colorado and more expected victories in Minnesota and Missouri, that latter of which did not award delegates last night.

"Even as we were not doing particularly well in Florida and Nevada we saw our contributions online just continue to go up," Santorum said on CNN. "This last couple of weeks have been frankly the best two weeks we've had at the campaign fundraising wise."

He added: "So it's not just those three states, which we're most appreciative of, but you know, I believe conservatives are beginning to get it, that we provide the best opportunity to beat President Obama."

Santorum hit back at claims by Romney's campaign that Tuesday's caucuses were not so important in the grand scheme of the 2012 Republican race, and that Santorum is not the conservative alternative he claims to be.

"Mitt Romney is saying I'm not conservative," Santorum said on Fox News. "That's laughable."

On CNN, Santorum said: "We're not running for the CEO of the country.  We're running for someone who can lead this country."

The former Pennsylvania Senator did concede one point to his Massachusetts rival. "Missouri, I agree, was a beauty contest," Santorum said, before adding that is a "key state" for whoever the Republican nominee is in the fall.

After his victory in the Jan. 31 Florida primary, Romney did interviews with all of the major network morning shows--including ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS "this Morning" and the "Today" show--as well as cable, stumbling over a question from CNN's Soledad O'Brien on the poor.

On Wednesday, Santorum had no such stumble.

"A lot of folks lose races, but I didn't lose, unlike Governor Romney, my principles," Santorum told O'Brien of his loss in a 2006 re-election bid. "I stood up and fought for what I believed in, in a very tough election year."

He also claimed his current campaign is already reaping the financial benefits of Tuesday's sweep.

"I think last night we raised a quarter of a million dollars online," Santorum said. "So we're doing really well. And we feel like going forward we're going to have the money we need to make the case we want to make."

What's next? On "Morning Joe," Santorum made his path ahead quite clear: He's putting his chips on Michigan on Feb. 28, looking to take his blue collar, populist appeal directly to Romney in Romney's home state.

"We think Michigan is a great place for us to plant our flag," Santorum said. "We're also heading to Ohio. Super Tuesday is going to be a very, very big day for us. We've got organizations developing in every one of those states on Super Tuesday. We feel very good that we have an opportunity. We'll obviously be down in Arizona for the debates. But we think Michigan is a great place for us to plant our flag and talk about jobs and manufacturing and giving opportunities for everybody in America to rise."

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