• WisPolitics


Monday, April 2, 2012

 5:01 PM 

Santorum says he offers 'stark contrast' to Obama

OSHKOSH -- Rick Santorum made his final push for conservative votes in Wisconsin today, saying he'd provide the "stark contrast" needed to defeat Barack Obama in the general election.

Santorum also compared his primary race with Mitt Romney tomorrow in Wisconsin to the contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

"How damaging was that?" Santorum said. "They thought it would be fatal. It turned out to be the best thing to happen because they let the process work, they let everybody speak, everybody get their chance to participate in this process. It’s a good thing, steel sharpening steel, and come out of that convention with energy and enthusiasm. To me this is the best opportunity for us to win."

Santorum at an Oshkosh rally repeatedly assailed Romney as a moderate who would lose the election for conservatives by highlighting positions on cap and trade, global warming and health care that he said would play into Obama's hands.

Santorum said he’d unite conservatives across the country and that the Badger state can "give us a chance" if the GOP establishment won't.

Despite the focus on national politics, state politics hovered in the background. Although he didn't mention him by name, Santorum tried to link himself to Gov. Scott Walker by arguing that voters would be making a similar choice by voting for Santorum on Tuesday.

"You here in Wisconsin have stepped up to the plate," Santorum said. "You did it two years ago when you put forward a strong leader for this state and look what happened. You have strong leadership that you can trust and is going stand by their convictions and, boy, have you made a difference here in the state of Wisconsin."

Santorum also stood by the health care plan put forward by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and accused the Obama administration of distorting his proposal by characterizing it as "pushing grandma off a cliff."

"What was this horrific plan?" Santorum said. "Let me ask you a question: How many people here would like to have same health care plan as members of Congress? OK, well, that's what Paul Ryan's plan basically did."

-- By Jason Smathers

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