Santorum: ‘We Defeated Mitt Romney in Iowa’

January 19, 2012 - 6:44 PM

Mount Pleasant, S.C. (CNSNews.com) – At a primary-campaign stop today in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum claimed victory in the Iowa caucuses that were held on Jan. 3, saying that he not only won the certified vote count but that if you added in the votes from the precincts that were not included in the cerftified vote count his margin of victory would actually increase.

“We defeated Mitt Romney in Iowa,” Santorum told an enthusiastic crowd.

The Republican Party of Iowa today released the final certified vote count from the caucuses, showing that Santorum had 34 votes more than Romney.  That contrasted with the results the party had reported in the early morning of Jan. 4--in the first hours after the Jan.3 caucuses--which put Romney ahead of Santorum by 8 votes, making it appear that Romney had won the caucuses.

At the event, CNSNews.com asked Santorum, "How well will you have to do on Saturday to capitalize on your Iowa victory?"

Santorum said, “There’ve been two primaries held now and we’ve won one--with a big win in Iowa that’s finally been certified. I think it’s important to understand that not only did we win the certified vote--but if you add all the other votes, we won by even more. So this is a solid win.”

“It’s a much stronger win than Governor Romney claimed to have on the day that an uncertified vote had him up by 8,” said Santorum, a former U.S. senator of Pennsylvania. “We have a certified vote that has us up 34, and if you add on the rest of those precincts, we’re up by more. So, we feel very, very good about what this win will mean.

“It says that we can win elections, we can organize, we can put together an effort to pull the resources together to be able to be successful in being the person that can defeat Mitt Romney because, guess what, we defeated Mitt Romney in Iowa.”

The certified numbers from the Iowa caucus, which were released this morning 13 days after the caucus, show that Santorum ended up with 29,839 votes--168 fewer than the 30,007 he was reported to have on caucus night. Romney ended up with 29,805 votes--210 fewer than the 30,015 initially posted after the balloting.

Romney 2012

GOP primary contender Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

However, the forms needed to certify the results from 8 precincts were never submitted to the Iowa Republican Party by the people who ran those precincts. Also, officials with the Iowa Republican Party told the Des Moines Register that they discovered "inaccuracies" in 131 precincts.

Nonetheless, in the final certified vote count, Santorum, not Romney, had the most votes in the Iowa caucuses.

“As we’ve said from the beginning, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Santorum in South Carolina.  Adding to his remark about beating Romney in New Hampshire, Santorum said, “We came in and with no resources really and were able to come out and eclipsed both Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich who we were either tied with or behind. And so, again, we exceeded expectations.”