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Obama campaign uses Santorum exit to attack Romney

April 10, 2012|By Michael Memoli
  • President Obama speaks on the economy at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
President Obama speaks on the economy at Florida Atlantic University in… (Marc Serrota / Getty Images )

CHICAGO -- The Obama campaign has long treated Mitt Romney as the likely Republican foe. Rick Santorum's decision to end his presidential bid means that it's all but official, and the news quickly became fodder for another attack.

In a statement, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said it was Romney's special-interest-backed campaign operation, not the candidate himself, who "finally was able to grind down" his GOP rivals.

"But neither he nor his special-interest allies will be able to buy the presidency with their negative attacks," Messina said. "The more the American people see of Mitt Romney, the less they like him and the less they trust him."

David Axelrod, the chief Obama strategist, added snark: "Money can't buy love, but it can buy GOP nomination."

Obama is in the key fall battleground state of Florida on Tuesday for a speech on his so-called Buffett rule and campaign events.

The president himself has only begun targeting Romney, last week linking him to a budget plan from House Republicans he called a "prescription for decline."

At a fundraiser earlier Tuesday before Santorum's announcement, Obama looked ahead to a general-election debate that he said would "probably have the biggest contrast that we’ve seen maybe since the Johnson-Goldwater election -- maybe before that."

mmemoli@tribune.com

Original source: Obama campaign uses Santorum exit to attack Romney

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