Romney Eeks Out Iowa Win, Santorum Says 'Game On'

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, and right, Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP)
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, and right, Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP)

By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DES MOINES, Iowa - A squeaker of an Iowa victory in hand, Mitt Romney headed into the New Hampshire primary insisting that staying power sets him apart from runners-up Rick Santorum and Ron Paul and the rest of the GOP presidential field. Two rivals already looked shaky - last-place finisher Michele Bachmann canceled a campaign trip Wednesday and Rick Perry was heading home to Texas to think things over.

Romney shrugged off the promise of sharper criticism from his GOP rivals and President Barack Obama's re-election team now that he's narrowly carried the first contest of the nomination.

"I've got a big target on me now," Romney said Wednesday, adding that doesn't faze him. "I've got broad shoulders. I'm willing to handle it."

The former Massachusetts governor was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses in the wee hours Wednesday by just eight votes, bringing down the curtain on an improbable first act in the campaign to pick a candidate to challenge Obama in the fall.

The Iowa GOP said Romney got 30,015 votes, to 30,007 for Santorum, whose late surge carried him to a near win after months languishing in the depths of opinion polls.

"Game on," declared Santorum, jaw set, after easily outdistancing several other contenders to emerge as Romney's top challenger.

This segment aired on January 4, 2012. The audio for this segment is not available.

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