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Santorum Not Finished In Run For GOP Nomination

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mitt Romney cruised to a strong victory in the Florida Republican primary.

The runner-up, Newt Gingrich, claimed it is now a two-person contest for the nomination.

But Rick Santorum, who placed a distant third, had a different take.

After his 14-point loss to Romney, Gingrich tried, again, to elbow Santorum out of the presidential race.

“It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader Newt Gingrich and the Massachusetts moderate,” Gingrich told supporters.

Santorum, who campaigned in Colorado and Nevada after finishing well-behind in Florida, was having nothing of that claim.

“In Florida, Newt Gingrich had his opportunity,” Santorum told supporters last night.

Santorum says Gingrich failed to stop Romney.

“He said, ‘I’m going to be the conservative alternative. I’m going to be the anti-Mitt,’ and it didn’t work. He became the issue. We can’t allow our nominee to be the issue in the campaign.”

The former Pennsylvania senator says it’s his turn now.

“If you want a strong principled conservative who is not the issue of this campaign — who will make Barack Obama the issue in this campaign — please vote for me and help us out.”

Santorum has several chances to demonstrate he — not Gingrich — is the better conservative to take on Romney and ultimately the President.

Nevada holds its caucus this Saturday, February 3, followed by contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri (non-binding) on February 7.

Then there’s a Maine caucus from February 4 through the 11th, followed by the Arizona and Michigan primaries on February 28, a Washington caucus on March 3.

Ten states vote on Super Tuesday on March 6th.

At his Faith-Family-Freedom town hall meeting in Colorado, Santorum repeated his claim.

“Who is the best one to stand up, number one for the values that you believe in, and number two, to be able to take on Barack Obama, and make Barack Obama the issue, not the Republican candidate.”

Despite Romney’s solid victory last night, a majority of Republicans — 56 percent — did vote against him.

Santorum and Gingrich each would like a one on one against Romney.

Here’s another reason this contest is continuing.

It takes 1,144 delegates to win the GOP nomination.

Romney has just 71 delegates.

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