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Friday
Oct072011

Rick Santorum: Early Primaries, Caucuses 'a Travesty'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called the front loading of the primary schedule a “travesty” and placed blame for it on Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in an interview with ABC News.

“If we are looking at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day caucuses or the day after Christmas Day caucuses this is a, this is really a travesty for the election nomination process of the president,” Santorum told ABC News.  “Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and we can shift it back.  It doesn’t have to go back to the original schedule but at least shift it back until it is out of the holiday period."

A series of steps by Florida, South Carolina and most recently Nevada which just set its primary on Jan. 14 has raised the possibility that either New Hampshire or Iowa could move their contests to the month of December, a move that Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn just Thursday said his state at least would work to avoid.

Santorum suggested that the leading candidates, especially Romney, are trying to “disrupt” the process to have the primaries so early that other candidates simply won’t have the time to build enough momentum to take on the front runners.

“Well this is clearly Mitt Romney and Rick Perry [who] I am sure are very interested in running the clock out,” Santorum told ABC News.  “They are in a position where they have resources and name recognition.  The shorter the time frame, the less opportunity for other candidates to come up and catch them from behind.”  

Santorum suggested that the candidates should come together and urge the states to all move their dates back to avoid the need to campaign anywhere over the holiday.

“Look, I am sad that we may have a caucus the day after Christmas,” Santorum said. "It is going to absolutely affect the holiday season and for people in Iowa and for the country that should be focusing on a very important thing which is the birth of our savior instead, because of someone’s games to shorten the time frame.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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