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Santorum Appears Near Court to Blast Romney on Health Care

Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate, leaves after speaking at the Supreme Court building after the justices heard their first day of arguments on the new health-care lawin Washington, D.C. on March 26, 2012. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared outside the Supreme Court after the justices heard their first day of arguments on the health-care law and attacked Mitt Romney, saying his rival for the nomination is “the worst person” to try to debate the topic with President Barack Obama.

Romney “can’t, because he supported government-run health care as governor of Massachusetts,” the former Pennsylvania senator said.

“There’s only one candidate who has the chance of winning the Republican nomination who can make this the central issue that will be a winning issue for us to win the presidency back, and that’s Rick Santorum,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the worst person to make that case is Mitt Romney,” echoing a similar comment he made yesterday while campaigning in Wisconsin.

Asked by reporters today whether he regretted using profanity when responding to a New York Times reporter who asked him to clarify his comment yesterday, Santorum said he didn’t.

“I don’t regret taking on a New York Times reporter who was out of line,” he said. “If you’re a conservative and you haven’t taken on a New York Times reporter, you’re not worth your salt, as far as I’m concerned.”

Santorum dismissed intensifying calls among Republicans to unite behind Romney to end the divisive primary to avoid further damaging the standing of their nominee against Obama.

“Of course, Governor Romney’s supporters are going to want everybody out of the way. It would be nice if Governor Romney and everybody else got out of my way. But that’s not how primaries work,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Hirschfeld Davis in Washington at jdavis159@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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