Trump Launches Assault on Santorum in Michigan

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  • Donald Trump
    (Photo: REUTERS/Steve Marcus)
    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) is endorsed by businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada February.
By Jonathan Moormann, Christian Post Contributor
February 20, 2012|5:46 pm

Donald Trump launched yet another attack against republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum in Michigan today, saying, "There's nothing -- no gift, no Christmas gift that could be given -- better than Rick Santorum for the Democrats."

This is the latest attack in a series of appearances from Donald Trump on behalf of Mitt Romney's campaign. Romney has also called in other high profile surrogates to the state, such as former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, but Trump's complaints against Santorum have been the loudest.

On the "Today" show last week, Trump expressed confusion over Santorum's recent success. "It's an amazing thing, but Santorum … lost his election in Pennsylvania as a sitting senator by 19 points," Trump said. "So the people who knew him best turned him out and they let him go. Locally he did even worse."

Earlier this month, Trump told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren about Santorum, "All of a sudden, he says, 'let's become president?' Give me a break."

At the beginning of the 2012 election cycle, Donald Trump said that he was considering a presidential run of his own. Initial polls had Trump looking competitive, partly because Trump very publicly questioned the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate, earning him the favor of the "birther" movement. After the president's birth certificate was released last April, Trump's numbers went down and he eventually ended his campaign.

Trump publicly endorsed the Romney campaign in an event in Nevada, but it initially appeared that Romney would keep the real estate mogul and reality TV star out of the limelight. Developments in Michigan have forced the Romney campaign to change their strategy, however. Even though Mitt grew up in Michigan, he is currently in a dead heat with Santorum there and would lose significant momentum without a win.

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As for Santorum's opinion of Trump, it seems their distaste is mutual. After Trump's endorsement of Romney, Santorum said sarcastically, "I can't imagine Donald Trump being hypocritical … That would be totally out of character for Donald Trump."

Trump's attacks against Santorum are just another salvo in what has been one of the most negative primary campaigns in history. According to a study by Kantar Media/CMAG, negative ads have increased from six percent of ads in 2008 to 50 percent of ads this year.

 

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