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September 21st, 2012
 

Top GOP Stars Christie, Santorum Descend on Sioux City

Political junkies in northwest Iowa got their fix on Thursday as two of the Republican Party’s top stars visited Sioux City. 2012 Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie headlined separate events in Iowa’s fourth largest city.

Governor Christie delivered a lunchtime speech at Congressman Steve King’s fifth annual “Defenders of Freedom” fundraiser. King was not in attendance. He flew back   to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for congressional business. Christie told the crowd that Steve King helped him before he “became something”, and Christie promised back then he would return the favor.

In 2009, when Chris Christie was running for governor of New Jersey, he got called in front of a Democrat-led committee in Congress. Christie said the purpose of the hearing was basically to create a campaign commercial for his opponent, Jon Corzine. Christie and King had never met each other before.

“There was only one guy who stood up for me during that hearing,” Christie told the crowd. “There was only one guy who went on the attack against the Democratic chairman, who was attacking me for prosecuting a company that resided in his district and had given him hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. There’s only one guy who put that on the record and that’s the guy we’re here for today, Congressman Steve King.”

250 tickets, costing $100 each, were sold for the King fundraiser and his staff called the event a “huge success”. This is the second time Governor Christie travelled to Iowa to stump for Congressman King.

“At first glance, you might not think that me and Steve King are the most natural pals, this guy from New Jersey and this congressman from Iowa,” Christie said. “But here’s the thing that we have most in common: We stand up for what we believe in.”

Later on Thursday, Rick Santorum delivered the keynote address at a celebration of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The event, organized by Sioux City radio host Sam Clovis’ new PAC, the Conservative Alliance of Iowa, attracted an overflow crowd of around 400.

Northwest Iowa was instrumental in Santorum’s Iowa Caucus victory. This was his first return trip to the Siouxland area since his January triumph.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the great support I received from people here in northwest Iowa,” Santorum said. “It feels like home here in Iowa and particularly northwest Iowa and I just wanted to come back and on behalf of Karen and all the kids, who by the way are just doing great, they miss Iowa too. I say that in all sincerity. We talk a lot about our time here.”

Santorum spoke on the importance of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, adding that the Constitution without the Declaration could have been   “a very dangerous document”.

“The two are linked together,” Santorum said. “One without the other is just one side of a coin. The Declaration anchors the Constitution, because the Constitution is there to protect the God-given rights of our country.”

The evening event was the first fundraiser for the Conservative Alliance of Iowa. The goal was more geared toward celebrating the constitution and introducing the new political action committee to local conservatives. Organizers were hoping for a crowd of 300, so their expectations were greatly exceeded.

“I could not be happier,” Sam Clovis told TheIowaRepublican.  “I can’t say anymore than that. It was tremendous. A packed house, people are engaged. They heard three really different speeches tonight they heard really three different speeches tonight, on three distinct things. We didn’t coordinate it that way, but that’s how it worked out.

Clovis delivered a moving speech about his time in the Air Force during the first Gulf War. Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats roused the crowd as he spoke about judicial overreach and the impact one court decision can have on the country.

The Akron Theater Group provided another highlight of the evening with their “Remembering the Founders” skit. Four players took turns reciting quotes from our Founding documents, crafted by such luminaries as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Congressman King was also scheduled to speak at this event, but was unable to due to commitments in D.C. Senator Grassley delivered a pre-recorded speech about the importance of the U.S. Constitution and how it sets America apart from every other country.

At both events, conservatives heard a “call to arms” from the headliners. Chris Christie and Rick Santorum stressed the need to work hard over the next month and a half to deliver Republican victories in November.

“This is the most consequential election in your lifetime and certainly since the election of 1860,” Santorum said. “The election of 1860 was about whether we were going to have a Union. This election, my friends, is about what kind of union we will have.”

Chris Christie spent several minutes hammering the Democrats’ view that “we all belong to government”, which was part of the voiceover for a DNC convention video. The New Jersey governor also told the lunchtime crowd that if they are looking for the perfect candidate, they should “look in the mirror” because you’re the only person you’ll agree with 100% of the time.

“It’s time to fight for someone who we believe will help change Washington,” Christie said. “Mitt Romney is one of those people, in my opinion. I hope he is in yours. I hope you fight for him here in Iowa. But so is Steve King. He’s been a good, loyal friend to the people of his district and the people of this state. He’s been a loyal servant to our country and he has been a good and loyal friend to me, so that’s the guy I choose to stand with.”

Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com


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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