March 14th, 2012
10:19 AM ET

Santorum rep. on primary wins and other candidates; Romney as 'Barack Obama light'

Rick Santorum Senior Strategist John Brabender opens up to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien about campaign, other candidates after primary wins in Mississippi and Alabama.

Brabender says, “Yes, I mean, everybody thought I think Romney was going to win Mississippi and everybody thought Gingrich was going to win Alabama and Rick Santorum won both of them coming off the heels of winning Kansas on Saturday. So it's an exciting time for the campaign and I think Rick Santorum said it best that a lot of average Americans are showing people the pollsters don't know as well as they do. And so it was a pretty big upset last night and certainly gives the campaign a tremendous amount of momentum.”

He continues, “Rick Santorum made it very loud and clear that he's not running to be the conservative alternative for Mitt Romney, he’s running to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama…. The belief among conservatives is we're not going to ever beat Barack Obama by just putting up Barack Obama light, and so there is a real path that says if conservatives and Tea Party supporters decide that we are now going to unite behind one candidate, not only will he be the nominee but I strongly believe will beat Barack Obama.”

When O’Brien asks Brabender about Romney saying that Santorum “is at the desperate end of his campaign,” he replies, “I’m not sure I’m going to listen to the value judgment of a guy who strapped his dog on the top of the roof of his car and went hurling down the highway.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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