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Santorum says he'd be well ahead if he had Romney's money

March 05, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign rally at the Dayton Christian School in Miamisburg, Ohio on Monday.
Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign rally at the Dayton Christian School… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )

Reporting from Miamisburg, Ohio — With hours remaining until the polls open in this crucial state, Rick Santorum said Monday no one expected him to last this long into the Republican presidential contest, but that a combination of hard work and a consistent conservative message has allowed him to compete despite being massively outspent by rival Mitt Romney.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I come to the people of Ohio as a candidate who shouldn't be here, who shouldn't be here, if you looked at any political expert and you looked at the money that's been spent and the airtime that's been given, but we're here for a reason -- because I'm experienced, I'm principled, I'm values, [I'm] energy, enthusiasm and grit," he told hundreds of supporters and students at a Christian school in this suburb of Dayton.

"Growing up in a steelworker town, growing up having to fight for everything you got is exactly the kind of person that we need to have not just in the White House, with the big problems that are facing this country, but in this election, someone who doesn't think you can buy it, someone who knows you can't buy it. You've got to earn it, you've got to fight for America."

Santorum said if his resources were equal with Romney's, he would be running away with the race, but that such a scenario was irrelevant because the GOP nominee will not be able to outspend President Obama in the general election.

"This race isn't going to be won or lost in the fall on money, this race is going to be won or lost on someone who can capture the imagination of the American people, someone who can go out and articulate that vision for where our country must go if we're going to be free and safe and prosperous," Santorum said.

Santorum said his family is sacrificing financially because he gave up lucrative work to run for president.

"I walked away from all the jobs that I had, all the money, that is, and we're living, basically we're spending down our savings, not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering into college in the next couple years," he said. "But this country's worth it."

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