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September 26th, 2011
 

Santorum: Don’t Let the National Media Choose the Candidates

Rick Perry’s stumbles are giving hope to the rest of the GOP presidential field.  Following disastrous showings in last week’s debate and Florida Straw Poll, Perry’s frontrunner status could be fading.  His decline, along with Michele Bachmann’s, leaves an opening for a conservative candidate.  Rick Santorum hopes to fill the void.

“This race, clearly after the last few days is a wide open race,” Santorum told a crowd of 60 at the Adair County GOP fundraiser on Sunday.  “It just tells you that the voters really don’t know much about these candidates yet. They’re still learning more and once they do, well, they have some concerns about the positions some of these candidates hold.”

Iowa National Committeeman Steve Scheffler agrees.  “It’s more wide open than anybody ever expected,” Scheffler told TheIowaRepublican.  “Iowans are used to being courted on a one-on-one basis and Rick Santorum has done that.  His message is very consistent.  It’s very conservative.  It matches where caucus goers are.  I think anything could happen come caucus night.”

Santorum continues to slowly claw his way toward the top tier of the GOP field.  So far, the climb has been long and hard.  Santorum has spent more time in Iowa than any other candidate, despite running on limited resources.   His message, strong debate performances and hard work produced a higher than expected fourth place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll last month.

“I don’t just fight, I fight and win,” the former Pennsylvania senator said.  “I won on welfare reform.  I was the author, led the charge in the United States Senate, managed the bill to a successful conclusion and did something that we’re going to need to do with Medicaid, food stamps, education programs, housing programs.  Let’s end the federal entitlements.”

Santorum’s speech to the Adair County Republicans on Sunday helped him acquire at least one new supporter.  John Schildberg, a former Michele Bachmann backer, switched his allegiance to Santorum.

“He changed my mind tonight,” Schildberg said.  “I think he’s a shining example of somebody that tells it like it is.  He doesn’t pull any punches.  He’s not afraid to step on toes and it’s refreshing to see somebody that actually says what he believes.  I probably will support him in the caucus now.”

Most of the toes Santorum stepped on Sunday night belonged to Democrats in Washington, D.C.  He says ObamaCare and other liberal policies are government power grabs.

“We are the Saudi Arabia of coal,” Santorum said.  “We have more coal than any country in the world, but we are importing coal now.  Why?  Why are they doing this?  Why are they destroying this economy?  It’s about power.  Not electric power.  Political power.”

Rita King of Guthrie Center was impressed with Santorum’s speech.  “I thought he did a nice job,” King said.  “He’s one of my top guys.  I think he’s honest and hard worker.  He comes across with all real good viewpoints.  I think he stands for a lot of things that I believe in.”

Santorum says he hopes to visit all 99 Iowa counties before the Caucus.  That kind of commitment to the state could pay dividends when the first presidential votes in the nation are cast.

“Don’t let the national media tell you who the two candidates for president are going to be,” Santorum told the crowd in Greenfield.  “You here in Iowa decide.  Look at the candidates, look at who you like, look who gets those juices flowing for you, because if it does for you, guess what, it probably will for the rest of America.  And that’s exactly what we need.  Not some sanitized version that Washington and New York can live with because they’re in the middle and don’t upset people.”

Republicans won in 2010 by running on conservative principles.  Rick Santorum says that is exactly what is needed for GOP victories in 2012.

 


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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