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Santorum suggests that re-electing Obama would be better than a Romney presidency

Chris Moody
The Ticket

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(AP/Eric Gay)

Rick Santorum suggested Thursday that re-electing President Barack Obama would be better than electing Republican rival Mitt Romney, a statement that is arguably his toughest criticism of Romney to date.

"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 told supporters in San Antonio. "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."

Santorum was referring to Romney, whose campaign strategist said recently that they would be able to "reset" the campaign when they transition to the general election "like an Etch A Sketch."

[Related: Romney memo calls Santorum Obama's 'most valuable player']

The Santorum camp later clarified the candidate's remark, saying he didn't mean to insinuate that voters would be better off re-electing Obama than choosing Romney.

"What he was talking about was that they're just so similar. You've got to have differences to motivate people to vote," Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley told Yahoo News. "If there's virtually no difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, chances are they won't go out and vote."

Romney responded in a statement released by his campaign, saying that "any of the Republicans" would be better than Obama.

"I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican," Romney said in a statement. "This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure."

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