Romney Reminds Pennsylvania Voters That Santorum is a Loser

New ad campaign highlights Santorum's "historically embarrassing" loss to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006.

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It will be another rough week for Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum as he comes under withering fire from rival Mitt Romney.

A new Romney TV ad running in Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania gives an indication of what's ahead. The narrator notes that Santorum lost his bid for re-election to one of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate seats by a "historically embarrassing" margin of 17 points to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006. The ad goes on to note that Santorum even lost his home county by 30 points. The tag line says, "We fired him as senator. Why promote him to president?"

[See pictures of Rick Santorum on the campaign trail.]

The ad is designed to counter Santorum's central argument in Pennsylvania—summarized by his slogan, "You know me"—that he is a solid conservative who didn't change his principles to get votes. But Romney, the national front-runner for the GOP nomination, is trying to remind Pennsylvania Republicans that Santorum was a loser in his last bid for office.

A Romney spokesman says the candidate will briefly suspend this negative ad because Santorum has left the campaign trail to care for his daughter, Bella, who has been hospitalized, but the ad will resume when Santorum returns to the campaign trail Tuesday.

Romney has bought an estimated $2.9 million in TV time for ads in Pennsylvania between now and the April 24 primary, far more than Santorum has available.

Losing the Pennsylvania primary would be very damaging to Santorum's viability in the GOP presidential race. The latest polls show a close contest there, with Romney in the lead.

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