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Rick Santorum: Romney is not running as ‘one of these “crazies” you have to worry about’

Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News
The Ticket

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Santorum at a town hall Thursday (AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C.--An undecided Republican voter named Diane asked Rick Santorum, after his stump speech during a town hall Thursday at a school here, to explain how he could be elected president. She explained that she hadn't yet decided between Santorum and Romney, and was worried Romney wasn't truly anti-abortion.

"Mitt Romney's run three times, once as a liberal, once as a moderate and once as a conservative," Santorum said to laughs from the crowd of about 300 people. "He's running as an establishment conservative and not one of these 'crazies' you have to worry about."

Santorum said Romney was sending a "signal" to moderates that he would not really be conservative once he's elected, while knowing he can still count on votes from more conservative Republicans in the general election against Obama.

But Santorum argued that Romney's nomination would result in a lack of enthusiasm among Republicans that could lead to a victory for Obama.

"You want big turnouts. How many people get excited about a moderate?" He said to laughs. "We need to get our people excited."

Santorum also said he could appeal to blue-collar Democrats with his pitch to bring more manufacturing jobs to the country by lowering taxes for companies.

"Show me how Gov. Romney and his background will relate to those voters?" he said.

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