Mitt Romney Beats Rick Santorum in Michigan and Arizona

Mitt Romney Beats Rick Santorum in Michigan and Arizona

Mitt Romney won two primaries but still needs to find his political voice.

Published February 29, 2012

For someone who nearly lost the state in which he was born and raised, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney talked a lot of smack during his victory speech after the results of the Michigan primary came in, pledging to oust President Obama from the White House and “get him back home where he belongs.” But, according to rival Rick Santorum, the former Massachusetts governor shouldn’t count his chickens before they hatch, after squeaking out a win in his own backyard.

 

Romney, who predictably won Arizona’s Tuesday primary, acknowledged in his remarks that he may not have won by a lot in Michigan, but he “won by enough,” about 30,000 votes. However, it was Santorum who delivered the more rousing speech, focusing on the economy and hitting all of the populist hot spots.

 

As MSNBC commentator and Hardball host Chris Matthews noted during post-primary analysis, Santorum gave a speech full of heart, but the brainier Romney’s lacked the kind of passion and vision that connects with the GOP base.

 

Barack Obama can do both. He has a brain and he has heart and can cause a thrill in American people,” Matthews said. “He can have a vision and he can have a passion to go with that vision, which is a real challenge” for the Republican candidates.

 

Santorum now needs to pivot from the culture war he’s been waging on such issues as birth control and the indoctrinating effect of liberal colleges, which likely cost him votes in Michigan, and made Romney look more electable, to jobs, which resonates most with the American public.

 

“The Obama people have already figured this out. This election’s going to be about the little guy and the little gal … everyday folks who are struggling to make ends meet,” said former Republican National Committee chairman and BET.com commentator Michael Steele on MSNBC Tuesday night. “I think that is the one thing Santorum has been able to really connect to.”

 

All eyes are now on next week’s Super Tuesday, when ten states will hold primary contests, 437 delegates will be at stake and Romney’s resilience will be tested again.

 

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(Photos from left: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images,  Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones

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