GULFPORT, Miss. – The Republican party will be in trouble come November if Mitt Romney attempts to inspire voters using math, Rick Santorum argued to a roomful of Mississippi supporters on Sunday.
"You have Gov. Romney now saying, 'Oh this race is over that mathematically it can't work," Santorum said. "When we have our nominee going out there and trying to sell the American public to vote for him because of mathematics, we are in very, very tough shape. This isn't about math. This is about vision, it's about leadership."
Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, will need to win 61 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination, according to calculations by the NBC News political unit. That’s a tall order, especially with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remaining in the race and cutting into Santorum's support.
But the Santorum campaign has dismissed the delegate argument, and instead focuses on the upcoming states and the possibility of non-binding delegates coming their way.
As Santorum took his campaign to the South, he continued to stress how his grassroots campaign has been the key to his success, contrasting his style with that of his rivals. He said it is the aggressive schedule of town halls held in Iowa while he was at the bottom of the polls that led to his rise. "You keep going, because every meeting I've had like this, people walk out and they take a sign, they take the card and they say 'I'll make some phone calls,'" Santorum said.
He added, "We haven't run a campaign carpet-bombing people with calls and ads."
Santorum targeted Romney and President Barack Obama over one of the most heavily-used talking points used during this Republican primary – the teleprompter. "I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter. Because all you're doing is reading someone else's words to people. You know, when you're running for president, people should know not what someone's writing for you after they've had pollsters and speech writers test it."
Santorum also acknowledged some of his own mistakes that have came from not using a teleprompter. "You know we get fired up sometimes and say some things that I wish I had a mulligan on if you will, but if you’re not scripted that’s going to happen," he said.