Rick Santorum clarified comments made Thursday that we "might as well" stay with President Barack Obama over "taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future," referring to Mitt Romney.

In a statement released Friday, Santorum said: "I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous. This is just another attempt by the Romney Campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney's policies mirror Barack Obama's."

"I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it's easy to see why - Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts," he continued.

Earlier on Friday, Santorum Press Secretary Alice Stewart tried to clarify the candidate's comments referring to Romney and his top adviser's recent comparison between an Etch a Sketch and the way Romney's positions could change from the primary to the general election.

"What he was referring to in the context of a statement was that he's worried that voters will have that feeling," Stewart said on CNN. "What we have with Mitt Romney is a mirror image of Barack Obama. Both believe in government takeover of health care, cap and trade, Wall Street bailout."

When pressed on whether his position ran counter to GOP unity behind the party's nominee, Stewart said, "Rick has made it abundantly clear once a nominee is chosen he'll stand behind the nominee and do everything we can to replace Barack Obama."