-By Glenn Thrush
February 12, 2012- A groggy Rick Santorum, donning suit and tie, sans sweater vest, didn't think much of Mitt Romney's 38-to-31 percent win over him in last weekend's CPAC presidential straw poll.
When CNN's "State of the Union" host Candy Crowley said she was surprised Santorum didn't do better with party conservatives, he shot back: "Well, you know, those straw polls at CPAC… for years Ron Paul has won those because he trucks in a lot of people, pays for their tickets, and they come in and vote and they leave. We didn't do that, we don't do that. i don't try to rig straw polls."
Did Romney rig CPAC?
"You have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought, we've heard all sorts of things," Santorum said.
"We didn't pay them to turn out," he added, speaking of his supporters at CPAC, Missouri and elsewhere.
He went on to say that he didn't think there was anything wrong with that, except he doesn't want to engage in that kind of politics.
Romney's campaign rejected Santorum's statement.
“Rick Santorum has a history of making statements that aren’t grounded in the truth," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
"Yesterday Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw poll and won a separate nationwide survey of conservatives conducted by CPAC organizers. Also, Mitt Romney won the Maine caucuses. Conservative voters recognize that in order to change Washington, we need someone who isn't a creature of Washington.”