2012 ELECTION

As Santorum seizes social issues, Romney demurs

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

The former Massachusetts governor sells himself as the efficient CEO who will fix the economy. He makes little mention in his standard campaign speech of the social issues that increasingly have dominated Santorum's events.

Romney, who is Mormon, has pushed a petition aimed at ensuring "religious liberty" and criticizing the Obama administration for requiring health plans to cover contraception, even at Catholic hospitals that oppose birth control.

He rebuked Santorum during a campaign rally in Boise, Idaho, last week but focused strictly on Santorum's spending record in Congress. In several recent stops in Michigan, Romney did not mention Santorum.

Romney's campaign schedule has stayed largely the same. He holds relatively few traditional campaign events in a day. Monday, for instance, Romney held one event to Santorum's four in two states.

Romney spends significant time making phone calls and raising money, a vital task in which he outpaces his opponents.

His public events are aimed mostly at generating local media coverage. By rarely taking questions from his traveling press corps, Romney has avoided being dragged into issues such as Santorum's claim that Obama's theology is not Bible-based. (Santorum later said he did not question that Obama is a Christian.)

His target audience is the business wing of the Republican Party and most of Romney's campaign events are held at factories or outside small businesses, giving him the opportunity to highlight his economic credentials. Romney has used the strategy since Iowa. Monday's event was held at Meridian Bioscience, a Cincinnati-based medical device maker, where Romney addressed a handful of employees and toured the factory.

Romney advisers say they aren't changing the messaging strategy they believe has worked in other states.

Holding small events allows the campaign to reach local media and show that Romney is putting in time in the state.

Romney held a series of rallies in South Carolina only to lose, and switched back to holding smaller events leading up to Florida's primary, which he won.

  1. «
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. »

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus