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Santorum Hopeful He’ll Pull Off a Wisconsin Upset

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(MENASHA, Wis.) -- Rick Santorum expressed some optimism on Monday about his chances in Wisconsin ahead of the Republican presidential primary there on Tuesday, saying he’s hopeful he’ll “pull off an upset” and shake up the race.

“We’re feeling good.  We’re feeling like we might pull off an upset here tomorrow in Wisconsin.  What do you think?” Santorum said at a rally at Sabre Lanes bowling alley.

Despite spending eight of the past 10 days in Wisconsin, Santorum has trailed Romney in the polls in the Badger State throughout his time in the state.

While he repeated his usual criticisms of Romney on healthcare and cap-and-trade energy policies, Santorum laid into the former Massachusetts governor for his position on the Second Amendment, an issue he does not normally attack his rivals on during his stump speeches, and he touted his own approval rating from the National Rifle Association.

“I usually get questions -- where are you on the Second Amendment?  Well, I am a great defender of the second amendment, A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, I have somewhat -- you can applaud that,” Santorum said, before criticizing Romney.  “Someone in the 1990s, when everybody wanted to do more gun control, including another candidate in this race who is a former governor of Massachusetts who will go nameless, but I didn’t support the Brady Bill when he did.  I didn’t support the assault weapons ban.  I stood tall and I didn’t say that we have a lot of good gun law in Massachusetts and I won’t touch any of them.  I didn’t put taxes on gun registration and ownership, increase it by 400 percent.  I’m someone who has a solid record on going out and protecting the Second Amendment, someone who believes that the Second Amendment is there to protect the First Amendment.”

But while he criticized the former Massachusetts governor for his Second Amendment stance, along with labeling him as the “Etch-A-Sketch” candidate, Santorum admitted Romney would be a “better” alternative than President Obama, and said the Republican Party would support him should he gain the nomination.

“A moderate Massachusetts governor is not going to make that strong contrast.  He’ll pull out the Etch-A-Sketch.  And we’ll be stuck again with someone who is -- yes, better.  We’ll support,” he said.  “But it’s so much harder to win when you aren’t motivating the people that you need to in this country to get out and vote so we can win the states like Wisconsin and Indiana and Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

After his rally, Santorum bowled his final game of his bowling tour through Wisconsin.  Of the eight days he’s spent in the Badger State, Santorum bowled seven times, even playing multiple games in one outing.  He started his bowling streak last Saturday with a turkey in Sheboygan and ended his tour with a win and a score of 152.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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