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Mitt Romney Surrogate Says Rick Santorum Should Give Back Delegates

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A Mitt Romney campaign surrogate said on Wednesday that Rick Santorum should "give back" some of the delegates that he won in the Michigan primary on Tuesday, insisting that some were obtained by nefarious purposes.

"[Santorum] cheated by asking people who would never vote for him for president to vote for him in the Republican primary," Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said on a call with reporters. "I believe that he should agree to give back a percentage of the delegates that he won in the Republican primary with Democrat votes that would never support him for president."

The Santorum campaign made robocalls to Michigan residents earlier in the week urging Democrats to vote for him on Tuesday. Some did -- he won 53 percent of the vote among people who identified themselves as Democrats.

Romney surrogates insisted on Wednesday that Santorum's robocalls were an attempt to partner with President Barack Obama to wreak havoc on the Republican primary process, and that Democrats only voted for the former Pennsylvania senator because they believed it would help the president in the general election.

In the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries that allow Democrats to vote, as long as they register Republican at the door, they should only do so if they plan to vote for the candidate in the general election, former United States Treasurer Bay Buchanan said on the press call.

But Romney himself voted Democrat and then switched to vote Republican in the primary during the 1992 Democratic senatorial primary. He has justified that move by saying he wanted to vote for the candidate least likely to win in the general election, hoping to oust former Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said Wednesday that there is "no comparison at all" between his actions and what Democrats reportedly did in Michigan.

Santorum campaign adviser John Brabender said in a call with reporters earlier on Wednesday that he had heard nothing about liberal Democrats voting for Santorum because they supported Obama. Instead, he said the robocalls were directed at "Reagan Democrats."

Alice Stewart, a Santorum spokeswoman, told CNN on Wednesday that the robocalls were "absolutely not" a mistake.

"And we’ve said all along that the purpose -- we’ll see how the next states play out -- but the key is we’ve always said we need to appeal to conservatives and also Reagan Democrats," she said.

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