August 24, 2019

Santorum Says Campaign ‘Hitting Our Stride’ in Iowa

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The Spectacle Blog

Rick Santorum says his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is on pace to exceed expectations in the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3.

“We’re hitting our stride at just the right time,” the former Pennsylvania senator said Friday as he traveled across the Hawkeye State, where he has campaigned relentlessly all year. The news media have repeatedly tried to portray the GOP campaign as a two-man battle between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and a series of “flavor of the month” rivals – the latest being former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – but Santorum said, “again, they are wrong.”

After a campaign stop in Newton, Santorum was en route to Des Moines for an event where he would accept the endorsement of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. Santorum has also been endorsed recently by conservative philanthropist Foster Friess, as well as by key Iowa evangelical leader Pastor Cary Gordon. Santorum declined to predict how well he will place in the Iowa caucuses – now just 25 days away – but said the key is “exceeding expectations.” The most recent Iowa poll, by Time and CNN, showed Santorum sixth.

Describing himself as a “full-spectrum … Reagan Republican,” Santorum said in a conference call with bloggers that he understands he’s typecast as “the social conservative candidate,” but doesn’t hesitate to talk about economic and national security issues. Santorum said he was asked about his effort to ban partial-birth birth abortion while in Newton, where he emphasized economic issues during an appearance in a town hit hard by the recent closure of a Maytag factory. Santorum defended his pro-life stance, saying that life begins at conception: “It’s not a belief, it’s a fact. . . . It’s a human life. . . The science is incontrovertible.”

Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com immediately headlined Santorum’s conference-call criticism of the current GOP front-runner: “Santorum: Newt Gingrich Wasn’t a Strong Pro-Life Leader.” Santorum said Gingrich “was never someone who would go to the well as a member and fight the wars on the pro-life front. As a leader, one of the things he would stress is to work on issues with broad support and bipartisan support.” Santorum said he hopes to go forward with a Dec. 27 debate in Iowa ┬ásponsored by NewsMax and hosted by Donald Trump, even though he and Gingrich are the only candidates who have accepted Trump’s invitation.

As to the praise he got last week from Sarah Palin, Santorum said that during an e-mail exchange with her, the former Alaska governor spoke modestly of the value of her support, prompting him to reply: “You’ve still got it.” Palin’s comments on Fox News last week significantly boosted his fund-raising, Santorum said.

topics:
Presidential Race 2012


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