Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Shock for Romney as Right Backs His Rival

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Shock for Romney as Right Backs His Rival

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gardner and Paul Thompson

WHITE HOUSE hopeful Rick Santorum became the darling of the Republican Right wing with a hat-trick of victories today.

The anti-abortion, anti-gay rights candidate sent front-runner Mitt Romney's campaign into a spin after winning in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado.

Although Mr Santorum won the first caucus in Iowa his campaign had stuttered while Newt Gingrich and Mr Romney set the early pace.

But analysts believe the influential conservative arm of the party is not satisfied with Mr Gingrich or Mr Romney and wants a more hardline candidate.

Mr Romney, who currently leads the race to take on Barack Obama in November, was confident of victory when the polls opened, even planning a winner's speech in Denver.

As the results came in he delivered the speech, but with a less triumphant tone: "This was a good night for Rick Santorum. But I expect to become the nominee with your help."

Former White House adviser David Gergen was more damning, claiming: "The Romney bandwagon just went in the ditch. …

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