Romney lauds Santorum on win

2012-02-08 09:57
Denver - Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney congratulated Rick Santorum on Tuesday after the social conservative won poll races in Minnesota and Missouri, with Colorado "too close to call".

Speaking in Denver as early results gave Santorum a clear lead in the Centennial State, Romney said he hoped to be in either first or second place in Colorado, the latest state to weigh in on the 2012 Republican White House race.

"The race is too close to call in Colorado at this point, but I'm pretty confident we'll come in number one or number two," he told a small group of supporters.

"I'm looking for a good showing. I know there are people coming back from caucuses, but I want to say thanks for the efforts you made to get out to caucuses.

"And thanks to people in Missouri and Minnesota who took time to vote today. This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Senator Santorum. I expect to become our nominee with your help."

Shortly after his speech, Romney's security detail moved in and there was a brief scuffle, after someone apparently tried to throw something, possible glitter, at the candidate, CNN reported.

Stopping the streak

Video images showed some sort of blue powder being thrown. After stepping back momentarily, Romney resumed shaking hands with workers on a stage behind him, before leaving the room to waves and cheers.

Updated figures on the Colorado Republican Party's website gave Santorum 42% of the vote, against 28.5 for Romney, with 17% of the vote counted. CNN put the gap at 41% to 30%, with 46% counted.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was at 15.1% and Texas Representative Ron Paul at 13.1%, according to the official results.

Presumed frontrunner Mitt Romney appeared to have cemented his lead with resounding wins in Florida and Nevada last week, but Santorum told a crowd of supporters that an upset in Minnesota "can stop the streak".

The Republican establishment hopes the contest will be over well before the August 27-31 convention in Tampa, Florida, avoiding a bitter battle that could hurt the eventual nominee's chances against Democratic President Barack Obama.

Read more on:    newt gingrich  |  mitt romney  |  rick santorum  |  us  |  us elections 2012

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