Santorum suggests economy no longer top concern

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum suggested this weekend that if the GOP continues to focus on the economy, it may not perform as well at the polls in November.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum suggested this weekend that if the GOP continues to focus on the economy, it may not perform as well at the polls in November.

You hear now the media starting to say, oh well, looks like the economy is getting better,” Santorum told supporters in Missouri Saturday night after winning the Kansas caucus. “You know, the economy may be getting better and Republicans may lose their edge on that issue. Well, if that was the only issue in this race, that may or may not be the case, we don't know.”

Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, has made the economy a central platform in his campaign, while Santorum routinely draws attention to other topics, such as healthcare and social issues.

Santorum predicted during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that Romney would be vulnerable in a debate over healthcare reform if he became the Republican presidential nominee.

Santorum also indicated he would be more aggressive with Iran than the Obama administration has been regarding the country's nuclear development capabilities.

It is unclear if the change in strategy will lead to Santorum getting the GOP nomination. Most public affairs professionals continue to believe that Romney is the most electable in a general election against Obama and note Santorum's focus on social issues during the primaries has actually turned off independent voters who will likely decide the presidential election.

Meanwhile, Romeny continued his winning streak by gathering additional electorate votes in the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Mariana Islands on Saturday. Additional races will be held Tuesday, March 13, in Alabama, Hawaii and Mississippi.

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