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Santorum reiterates vow to support Romney if he’s the nominee

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
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Rick Santorum in San Antonio, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP)

Rick Santorum clarified remarks he made in Texas on Thursday when he said Republicans "might as well stay with what we have"which seemed to imply a Barack Obama presidency would be better than electing Mitt Romney. But the former Pennsylvania senator claimed the media was distorting his comments and also reiterated his pledge of support for the party nominee in November.

In a statement Friday, Santorum said he would "never" vote for President Barack Obama and clarified what he meant:

"I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous. This is just another attempt by the Romney Campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney's policies mirror Barack Obama's. I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it's easy to see why—Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts. Voters have to be excited enough to actually go vote, and my campaign's movement to restore freedom is exciting this nation.  If this election is about Obama versus the Obama-Lite candidate, we have a tough time rallying this nation. It's time for bold vision, bold reforms and bold contrasts.  This election is about more than Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Rick Santorum—this campaign is about freedom and I will fight to restore your freedoms."

Here's the full quote from Thursday that Santorum said was misconstrued:

"You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum said. "If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future."

In an interview with Yahoo News, Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley also denied that Santorum meant to say Obama would be better than Romney, but argued that there was little difference between the two.

"Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been teammates for decades," Gidley said. "I wouldn't be surprised if Mitt Romney picked Barack Obama as his running mate."

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