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Axelrod: Santorum Takes ‘Divisive Positions’ On Social Issues

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Presidential candidate Rick Santorum looks down as he speaks during an address to the 39th Conservative Political Action Committee on Feb. 10, 2012  in Washington, D.C. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum looks down as he speaks during an address to the 39th Conservative Political Action Committee on Feb. 10, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A top adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign says Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has taken “divisive positions” on key social issues.

David Axelrod tells “CBS This Morning” he believes voters don’t yet know Santorum very well. And he declines to speculate on how tough a race the former Pennsylvania senator could give Obama.

Axelrod says when people begin to look closely at Santorum’s positions, “we’ll get a better idea” of how well he’ll do. The former White House adviser also says the GOP race has been overcome by “negativism” and that has a “dispiriting” impact on voters.

As for the Obama re-election campaign, Axelrod says: “We don’t get exhilarated by good numbers. We’re not devastated by bad poll numbers. We just stick to our knitting and keep going.”

The latest national CBS News/New York Times poll shows Santorum taking a slight lead over Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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