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In Ala., Santorum Dismisses Delegate Math, Attacks Romney and Obama

ABC/ DONNA SVENNEVIK(MOBILE, Ala.) -- Rick Santorum may be behind Mitt Romney in the delegate count, but on Friday he said none of it matters if he wins “election after election.”

Citing the “grass-roots” level of his organization, Santorum told reporters after a speech at the USS Alabama complex, “Look, we are breaking all the rules and folks who like to play by the establishment rules, they just feel really nervous about us.”
Adding that in December he was “sitting at two percent,” he suggested the naysayers would call it “an act of God for Rick Santorum to be here in March … well, here I am.”

The “act of God” reference is a jab to the Romney camp, who told reporters this week that only divine intervention would make it possible for the former Pennsylvania senator or Newt Gingrich to get the nomination.

Santorum also made it clear he will be closely watching whether Romney is awarded all of the delegates in Florida and Arizona, despite Republican National Committee warnings that they would be doled out proportionally. Those states traditionally award delegates on a winner-takes-all basis, but because they moved their primaries up, the rules changed.

“This idea that Mitt Romney is going to get 50 delegates out of Florida, that’s just simply false,” Santorum said.

Santorum suggested the race would soon be down to just him and the former Massachusetts governor and that Gingrich may exit the race soon, or as he called them to one voter he met today: “Newt and the chameleon.”

During his speech to a crowd of about 100 people standing in front of retired jets, Santorum railed at the president, using rhetoric even more heated than usual, saying Obama “turned his back” on Israel and “doesn’t stand up” for the military.

This week the president signaled he would be open to talks with Iran to try and stop them from developing nuclear weapons, an approach Santorum called “weakness in the face of hostility.”

To cheers from the crowd gathered on a rainy day in a setting tailor-made for the speech, Santorum said, “This is an administration that apologizes anytime the American military does something that may offend the sensibilities of people whose sensibilities are easily offended, and yet doesn’t stand up for our men and women in uniform as they are fragged, as they are attacked by mobs in Afghanistan,” Santorum said, referring to the apology the administration gave when copies of the Koran were accidentally burned by the military in Afghanistan, sparking riots there.

He continued his assault on the president, going so far as to say Obama “has trouble telling the American public the difference between good and evil.”

“If he has trouble looking in the eyes of the American people and telling them the truth about a nuclear Iran, then we have a president who is probably the greatest antithesis to Ronald Reagan that this country has ever seen,” Santorum said. “Reagan had the courage to do what America’s always done, speak in terms of right and wrong.”

Alabama’s primary, as well as Mississippi’s, are on Tuesday, and Santorum is hoping to deliver a knockout punch to Gingrich with twin victories. This is a region still affected by the 2010 oil spill and Santorum was asked if, in states that still have “bad memories” of the incident, offshore drilling was truly the best option.

“It is the best option, it is a better option than receiving oil from places in the world that are going to turn around and then use it to attack us and use it to kill our men and women in uniform,” Santorum said. “I think creating jobs here, creating opportunities for people to become prosperous as a result of this and to have more energy security and lower energy prices is a clear benefit to the region and to the country.” Santorum will also campaign in Kansas on Friday, ahead of their caucuses Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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