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Rick Santorum: Campaign Is ‘Burning Through Our Savings’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(PELHAM, Ala.) -- Rick Santorum asked a crowd in Alabama to deliver him a win in the state Tuesday and pitched to them he’s a better choice than either of his opponents because of his working class background and blue-collar roots.

“I’ve basically given up all my sources of income almost a year ago. We’re burning through our savings,” Santorum said to the enthusiastic crowd at a conference center. “People say, ‘Well did you ever think you’d get this long and have to worry about all the bills you’d have to pay? Well, I was praying I’d get this long, now I have to pray we can somehow or another stretch the budget a little bit more.”

He continued the theme of a candidate who is more in touch with his supporters and the electorate because he doesn’t have the fortune of his opponents or other politicians. “We need a candidate who can go out and deliver a message when it comes to energy who maybe doesn’t own oil wells, but his grandfather was a coal miner so I was in the energy industry too,” Santorum said to the crowd of about 200. It wasn’t clear who he was referring to -- perhaps former President George W. Bush, whose family was in the oil business -- or if he was just trying to portray himself as the hardscrabble underdog to Mitt Romney’s wealth. The campaign did not return requests for clarification. According to his tax returns, Santorum made about one million dollars last year.

Despite the former Pennsylvania senator’s need for Newt Gingrich to abandon his bid -- an aide to the former House speaker said this week Mississippi and Alabama were must-wins -- he hardly mentioned Gingrich and focused almost completely on President Barack Obama and Romney.

He told voters they need a nominee “who can go out in the general election and not just spend millions and millions of dollars trying to beat up the other person” and even insinuated the press favored the former Massachusetts governor because he will not be able to defeat Obama.

“Every time we’ve nominated a moderate in the last 30 or 40 years, we lost. Every time so now you know why the media’s for him,” Santorum said, referring to Romney. “They don’t want him to win. You know who they want to win.”

Santorum’s super PAC, “The Red, White, and Blue Fund,” announced Thursday they were running a negative ad jabbing both Romney and Gingrich in Mississippi and Alabama. They also called for Gingrich to get out of the race Wednesday to try and consolidate the more conservative electorate around one of the GOP candidates. The fund says the ad buy is “well over half a million dollars.”

If Santorum beats Gingrich here and in Mississippi, it could very well be a fatal blow to the speaker’s candidacy, although Gingrich has stressed he is going all the way to the convention. “If you elect, here in Alabama, and I’ll tell you what, a conservative will be nominated by the Republican party in the next few months. And if a conservative is nominated, we will win the general election,” Santorum said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio