New ad attacks Santorum on unemployment rate

A super PAC supporting former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has used an out-of-context quote from Rick Santorum to argue that the former Pennsylvania senator is irresponsible on economics.

The new Restore Our Future spot, called “Care,” ties Santorum saying he doesn’t “care” about the unemployment rate to his spending votes in the Senate.

“I don’t care what the unemployment rate is going to be,” Santorum said while campaigning in Illinois, the quote used twice in the ad. He went on to say: “It doesn’t matter to me. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It’s something more foundational that’s going on.”

His point: This election is not just about the economy. It’s about something bigger.

Romney, who has made economic competence the basis of his campaign, seized on the remark as evidence that Santorum is not serious about the economy. But Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus defended Santorum, a sign that some GOP leaders think Romney’s message is too narrow.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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