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Santorum, Romney labor over Michigan

Feb. 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM   |   Comments

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DETROIT, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are running a close race in Michigan ahead of the Feb. 28 primary, political observers said.

A statewide poll published Thursday in The Detroit News shows Santorum with a slight lead over Romney, a Michigan native whose father once served as governor of the state. The narrow lead, 34 percent to 30.4 percent, falls within the survey's margin of error.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, has had to fend off attacks from Romney's campaign on his fiscal conservatism and past support for organized labor, the Los Angeles Times reported. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has had to defend his opposition to the federal bailout of GM, which just reported record profits of $7.6 billion.

Romney, at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday in Farmington Hills, Mich., said he was "delighted" the industry was again profitable.

Romney was endorsed Thursday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who supported the federal bailout.

Santorum said Thursday he would not have supported the government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, the Detroit Free-Press reported.

"If we had just stayed out of it completely and let the market work, I believe that the market would have worked," Santorum said in an address to the Detroit Economic Club. "Would the auto industry look different than it does today? Yes it would be. Would it still be alive and well? I think it would be alive and equally as well, if not better."

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