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July 6th, 2011

Santorum Outworking the GOP Field

By Kevin Hall

Rick Santorum is on a quest to prove he is the most well-rounded candidate in the GOP presidential race.  The former Pennsylvania senator’s social conservative credentials are beyond reproach.  He also displays a depth of knowledge on foreign policy that few in the GOP field can challenge.  Now, Santorum is campaigning on economic issues, hoping his ideas for jobs and innovation will catch on with Iowa voters.

Santorum launched his “Courage to Fight for American Jobs” tour Tuesday in Burlington.  His campaign arranged a town hall event at the Winegard Company, which manufactures television signal equipment.  Following a tour of the facility, Santorum spoke to 50 employees about his vision for revitalizing the economy.   That includes reigning in the excessive regulations President Obama’s EPA would like to impose.

“You’ve got to understand, CO2, it’s carbon dioxide,” Santorum said.  “Exhale.  You’re now a polluter according to the EPA.   That plant up there, it consumes CO2 and needs CO2.  But according to the EPA, CO2, carbon dioxide, is now a pollutant. That is really hard to believe.  Those are the type of things that restrict manufacturing.”

Santorum believes finding ways to create manufacturing jobs is the key to bridging the wealth gap in America.  His comments impressed at least one member of the crowd.  “I liked what he said,” company president Randy Winegard told TheIowaRepublican.com.  “I haven’t met a lot of the candidates yet, but he seems very sincere.  His emphasis on trying to get back our manufacturing base is critical to getting jobs back in our country.  Right now, we’re on the wrong track.”

Santorum remains an underdog in the GOP race.  To try to close the gap, he has spent more days in Iowa than any other presidential candidate.  Santorum is trying to outwork the rest of the field.  On Monday, he walked in three different 4th of July parades.  No other candidate did more than one.  Santorum is also visiting small towns like Burlington, which have largely been ignored by other GOP hopefuls.

Whether or not that strategy will work remains to be seen.  Rick Santorum continues to languish near the bottom of the polls and his fundraising has not yielded the desired results.  The campaign also missed an opportunity to sign-up potential supporters at the Winegard Company.  A contact sheet was available near the entrance, but no one was asking people to sign it and the paper remained blank.

Santorum also failed to ask for support at the end of the speech.  As the Ames Straw Poll draws nearer, all the candidates should be reminding voters of the August 13th event and encouraging them to attend.  Santorum will continue his “jobs tour” Wednesday and Thursday with several stops at manufacturing plants and community colleges around the state.

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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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