Santorum Treads On Romney Territory In Detroit

Michigan holds its Republican primary on Tuesday. Rick Santorum has forced native son Mitt Romney to campaign hard in Michigan. Santorum hopes to extend his streak of wins in the Midwest.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As Mitt Romney campaigned in western Michigan, Rick Santorum began today's fight in a part of the state where Romney is firmly entrenched, the suburbs of Detroit.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has that story.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum spoke at the greater Farmington and Livonia Chambers of Commerce breakfast. On the menu, sausage, fruit salad, muffins and quiche. Santorum only politely nibbled on a few pieces of sausage. In this suburb of Detroit, a part of the state where Mitt Romney is strong, Santorum had his work cut out for him. He attacked Romney on everything from tax policy to health care to climate change.

RICK SANTORUM: As governor of Massachusetts, Governor Romney proclaimed he was the first state in the country to put caps on CO2 emissions. Why are we giving that issue away?

GLINTON: Then, Santorum tried to outflank Romney on a fairly sensitive issue here in the Detroit region.

SANTORUM: Why are we giving away government's role in bailing out companies? Now I know that's not a popular topic here in Detroit, but at least I'm consistent.

GLINTON: Santorum was referring to Romney's support for the Wall Street bailout. Santorum took some time to defend his own anti-bailout stance.

SANTORUM: Capitalism is painful. We all know that. Markets are painful sometimes when people don't keep up and people do things that the market doesn't like, a lot of people suffer. But they suffer more if we try to rig the game.

GLINTON: Only 24 percent of Michigan Republicans approved of the government bailouts of GM and Chrysler. Meanwhile, quite a few undecided voters sat down for breakfast. Sandy Mull says she got up more convinced.

SANDY MULL: I think Santorum being against bailouts in general, I think he followed his convictions. And whether I agree with those are not, I think that at least he followed his convictions and wasn't, you know, in favor of helping one and not helping the other.

GLINTON: Mull said she still doesn't know who she's going to vote for and recent polls show the race is deadlocked. Mull says she's going to savor this fleeting moment when Michigan is the center of attention.

Sonari Glinton, NPR News, Livonia, Michigan.

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