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Romney Admitted He Voted for Dems to Influence Races... But Criticizes Santorum for Advocating Something Similar

"It’s very different..."

When reports broke Monday that the Santorum campaign was resorting to robo-calling in heavy Democratic/union districts as a last-ditch effort to push ahead in today's Michigan Republican primary, Mitt Romney was quick to pounce, telling Fox News that the robo-call sounds like it’s coming from organized labor, and is an effort that is confusing people and deceptive. Romney called it “a new low” in the campaign.

POLITICO reports though that the tactic is something Romney should be familiar with, having admitted in the past to voting for Democrats in Massachusetts to alter elections. POLITICO dug up this clip from ABC News when Romeny ran for President in 2008:

ABC News’ Jonathan Greenberger Reports: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a new explanation today for why he supported a Democrat in 1992.

That year, Romney, then a registered independent, voted for former Sen. Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary.  He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, in an interview that will air Sunday on "This Week," that his vote was meant as a tactical maneuver aimed at finding the weakest opponent for incumbent President George H.W. Bush.

"In Massachusetts, if you register as an independent, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary," said Romney, who until he made an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994 had spent his adult life as a registered independent. "When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican."

The Romney campaign has since responded to the comparison between Romney's actions in 1992 and what Santorum has told voters in Michigan to do in this election, with spokeswoman Andrea Saul emailing POLITICO that it's "no comparison at all. This is a blatant effort by Rick Santorum to join forces with President Obama and his supporters to encourage Democrats to vote in the Republican primary."

Romney made the same point at a press conference today:

"It’s very different running for -- being a candidate for president, buying ads, and telling Democrats to go, to go mess into a Republican primary and to vote against me. Particularly when he doesn’t describe his own position on the very issues he attacks me for. In my case, I was certainly voting against the Democrat who I thought was the -- the person I thought would be the worst leader of our nation. In this case, as I recall, it was Bill Clinton. I wanted someone other than Bill Clinton. And certainly and against -- I voted against Ted Kennedy, Tip O’Neill, and Bill Clinton. It seemed like a good group to be against."

 What do you think of Santorum's robo-calls? Electoral sabotage or an attempt to sway "Reagan Democrats?" And do you see any difference between what Romney did in the past and what Santorum is encouraging now?
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