GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum dialed up the criticism of front-runner Mitt Romney, claiming Thursday that voters might as well vote for President Barack Obama if the former Massachusetts governor makes it to the general election.

At a campaign stop in Texas, Santorum reiterated his argument that Romney is a fake conservative and a flip-flopper, bringing up the now infamous Etch A Sketch gaffe one of Romney's aides made Monday morning.

You win by giving people a choice, Santorum said, according to the Associated Press. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there.

Santorum then brought up the now-infamous symbol that he and Romney's other critics have been using for the past couple of days to attack the Republican front-runner.

If they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.

The former Pennsylvania senator was referring to a comment made by top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who compared his candidate to the popular children's toy on CNN.

I think he'll hit a reset button for the fall campaign, Fehrnstrom said. It's almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.

Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney's other opponents have claimed the comment is evidence that Romney will say or do anything to win over the voters he's addressing.

Romney soon replied to Santorum's attack, saying he was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as a president than a Republican.

The election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America, Romney said in a statement. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.

Rival GOP candidate Newt Gingrich also tweeted criticism of Santorum's statement.

UPDATE: Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart backtracked his comments on CNN Friday morning. 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, she said (via National Journal).