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Santorum hits out at rival Romney

Rick Santorum has attacked rival Mitt Romney, calling him "the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama" even as it appears the former Massachusetts governor is on course to clinch the Republican Party's nomination.

Mr Santorum told voters that Mr Romney is "uniquely disqualified" to be the Republican's presidential pick and urged his supporters to stand with him even as he faces an increasingly improbable pathway to the nomination, despite an easy victory in the Louisiana primary on Saturday night.

With all Louisiana precincts reporting, Mr Santorum captured 49% of the vote to 27% for Mr Romney. Newt Gingrich was far back at 16%, followed by Ron Paul with 6%.

Although the victory gives Mr Santorum bragging rights and 10 more delegates, it does not change the overall dynamics of the race.

The former Pennsylvania senator still dramatically lags behind Mr Romney in the battle for delegates to the party's August nominating convention in Tampa, Florida.

Mr Romney remains far ahead with 568 delegates to Mr Santorum's 273, according to an Associated Press tally. Mr Gingrich follows with 135 and Mr Paul has 50.

Mr Romney is just short of half of the 1,144 delegates it will take to clinch the nomination ahead of the convention this summer, while Mr Santorum is shy of accumulating a quarter of the needed delegates.

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