The Etch a Sketch isn't going anywhere, if Rick Santorum has anything to say about it.

The former Pennsylvania senator made it through most of his speech this morning at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference -- and much of his argument against rival Mitt Romney -- without pulling out one of the toys. But not all the way.

Santorum got some of his biggest applause this morning when he went after President Obama for the federal health care overhaul and restrictions on drilling -- and then said Romney lacks credibility to prosecute the same case.

"What can Governor Romney do?" Santorum said. "Nothing. He agreed with him. Oh, now he's for repealing Obamacare. Now he's for drilling. But he wasn't."

"As his top adviser said..." Santorum said, with a pause, before pulling out a red Etch a Sketch. The move got laughs.

"Folks, we don't need people who write their public policy in Etch a Sketch," he said.

It didn't take long for the campaigns of Santorum and Newt Gingrich -- as well as the Democrats -- to pounce earlier this week after senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom compared the transition to a general election campaign to the shaking of an Etch a Sketch. He had been asked during an appearance on CNN if the Romney risked being pushed too far to the right during the primary campaign. 

Photo: New York Times, March 21


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