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Santorum says he's running most positive campaign

Jason Reed / Reuters

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum greet supporters Thursday at a campaign event in Spartanburg, S.C.

 

LAURENS, SC -- Rick Santorum's Republican rivals might take issue with how he defines the word "positive."

The day after releasing an ad proclaiming Mitt Romney to be "just like Obama," the Republican presidential hopeful told voters at the Capitol Theatre here this afternoon that he has "run a very positive campaign."

The comment came in response to a voter concerned about the increasingly negative tone the campaign has taken on, fearing it could undermine the eventual nominees ability to compete with President Obama in the general election.


But, despite the new ad and mailers sent out this week, Santorum maintains that he has stayed above the fray, touting that his campaign has "run more positive ads in this state than any other candidate."

But even when answering a question about the negativity of the campaign, Santorum went on the attack. He said voters in the Palmetto State will need to look beyond what they see in ads and look at what candidates stood up for. "What was motivating you.  Was it a government run health care system?" Santorum said, jabbing at Romney. "Was it -- as  I said, the only person I sat on the couch with is my wife. I don't sit on the couch and advocate for the government to get involved in climate change," referencing an ad featuring former Speaker Newt Gingrich with Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Santorum's rhetoric on the trail has matched the strength of his ads.

No one has been off limits. Yesterday he called Romney "timid" with "a lot of character issues." Gingrich "is bold, but he's all over the
place." Ron Paul routinely draws fire from Santorum over what he calls the congressman's isolationist foreign policy. Even Perry is
still drawing some of Santorum's attention, though it's mainly just jabs about the Texas governor's "oops" moment.

"We’ve gone out there and run a very positive campaign in the first three primary states and we’re been rewarded for that. When you get rewarded for that, the other side decides they’ve got to tear you down," Santorum said. "I find it remarkable that you see certain candidates who basically run predominantly negative ads I suspect because they aren’t very — particularly proud to run on their record."