Rivals describe Romney as the weakest GOP presidential frontrunner since 1920
Washington, Mar.12 (ANI): Republican rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have sharpened their attacks on GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, describing him as probably the weakest GOP front-runner since 1920.
"Yes, he's (Romney) the front-runner," Gingrich said, adding "He's not a very strong front-runner, and almost all conservatives are opposed to him, which is the base of the party. I think we are as likely to see after the last primary in June a 60-day conversation about what's going to happen, as we are to see Romney nominated."
Their statements assume significance, as there is a view that Tuesday's Republican contests in Alabama and Mississippi could bring a new measure of clarity to the field.
The tension between Gingrich and Santorum is steadily increasing, with Gingrich rejecting suggestions that he leave the race if he fares poorly in the two primaries.
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday", Gingrich rejected the assertion that Santorum was the strongest conservative in the race, adding: "I think there's a space for a visionary conservative with big solutions."
Santorum, on the other hand, stopped short of joining his aides and supporters in calling for Gingrich to end his campaign. But he made clear that a two-man race with Mr. Romney was the party's best chance to present a conservative alternative for Republicans.
"Speaker Gingrich can stay in as long as he wants, but I think the better opportunity to nominate a conservative is to give us an opportunity to go head-to-head with Gov. Romney," Santorum said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The Republican presidential campaign has become a race to win 1,144 delegates needed to secure the party's nomination.
Romney holds a significant advantage over his rivals, but his advisers believe that he will not reach the delegate threshold for at least two more months.
Santorum argued Sunday that the race wasn't simply "a mathematical formula."He (Romney) can't close the deal," Santorum said.
Romney, who has struggled to win several Southern states, is looking ahead to the Illinois primary on March 20 as the place to make his stand in his fight with Santorum.
A new Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll released Saturday evening found that the two candidates are locked in a tight race.
The poll found Romney supported by 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters, compared with 31 percent for Santorum.
The result is within the poll's 4-percentage-point margin of error. (ANI)
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