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Rick Santorum Brushes Off Loss of Paul Ryan Endorsement

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(HUDSON, Wis.) -- Rick Santorum shook off questions about Rep. Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Mitt Romney Friday morning, saying only that he is working to get the “endorsements of the people” not the Republican establishment.

“No,” Santorum said to reporters when asked if he had any reaction to Ryan’s endorsement. “We’re just continuing to work hard. We’re getting the endorsements of the people out here across Wisconsin. That’s what we’re excited about.”

Santorum said he’s spoken with Ryan several times recently and told reporters he was not surprised by his endorsement Friday morning.

In nearly all of his speeches in Wisconsin over the past week, Santorum has lauded Ryan as a visionary for the Republican Party, even commenting in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville earlier in the week that his fiscal blueprint will help the GOP win the election this fall.  But hours after the Wisconsin congressman threw his support behind Romney, Santorum omitted Ryan completely from his speech though he told reporters after the event that it was unintentional.

“Well I’ll mention him in the next one, just to make sure. I support his budget, he’s done a great job with it,” Santorum said on the rope line.

“I’m supportive of it. I think it’s a great step, as I’ve said before. It cuts $5 trillion over five years, we need to do $5 trillion over, or, over 10 [years]. We need to do $5 trillion over five. So it’s a great start, we just need to be a little more aggressive to get to a balanced budget sooner,” Santorum later added.

Though he neglected to mention Ryan in his speech, Santorum praised the state’s governor -- Scott Walker -- and reiterated his support of him and the lieutenant governor as they face a recall vote this June.

Throughout his time in Wisconsin, Santorum has attempted to create a contrast with Romney not only in policy, but also in demeanor, telling voters that he’s the candidate that understands their burdens and to whom they can relate.

“We need someone who can talk and relate to folks who are out there battling in this economy feeling like they’re swimming alone. Someone who can relate to them, who maybe doesn’t talk about being the CEO of a company and having, you know, jokes about firing people,” Santorum said speaking of Romney. “We talk about what it’s like to grow up on a steel town and what it’s like to work with people who are scratching and clawing every day who are suffering because of gas prices and we understand the plight that they’re going through. That’s the message. That’s the message. That’s what we can do to not only deliver Wisconsin in the fall but deliver a big win in the swing states.”

Santorum chided the Romney campaign for focusing so much on calculating delegate math saying, “We’re not going to win the general election on math. We’re going to win the general election on vision.”

Santorum has been in the state for the past week, save one day for fundraising and a speech in California. Meanwhile Romney is making his first appearance in Wisconsin on Friday, a point Santorum made in his speech as he insisted the time he’s spent campaigning across the state ahead of Tuesday’s primary has been well spent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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