Romney says GOP rivals acted like Dems

February 8, 2012 - 5:36 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — Mitt Romney says he's a better tea party candidate than his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

The former Massachusetts governor lashed out at Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum on Wednesday, the day after losing contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

Romney says his opponents are members of a Republican Party that had lost its way. He says spending on lawmakers' pet projects doubled under Gingrich, a former House speaker. He says Santorum, a former senator, was a major proponent of that type of spending.

Romney says the tea party movement was created to fight Washington insiders who spend too much and that Santorum and Gingrich "are the very Republicans who acted like Democrats."

Despite Tuesday's results, Romney says he expects to win over conservatives going forward.