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Santorum Comes out Swinging

By Jared Edgerton and Keegan Gibson

At a gathering of supporters yesterday on the Somerset County courthouse steps, Santorum announced that he is “ready to lead,” officially launching his campaign for the presidency.

Santorum delivered a fifteen minute speech, during which he criticized President Obama for taking the, “faith that the American public gave him and wrecking the economy and centralizing power in Washington, D.C.”

Santorum went on to tell the crowd the Obama administration does not, “want to free you,” or “give you an opportunity [to choose for yourself].” Calling himself a candidate that believes in the people.

The speech also covered social issues, accusing President Obama of devaluing America’s “moral currency,” by not defending the Defense of Marriage Act and allowing taxpayer dollars to go to abortions.

The perfect weather and patriotic fanfare – described by a few staffers as a “Norman Rockwell” scene – fit well into the Senator’s theme of going back to basic American values.

The only hitch in the event came during Santorum’s remarks on Medicare, when an older woman fainted in the mid-morning heat. She was tended briefly by Santorum’s wife, a nurse, and Santorum himself came down to offer her water. She taken inside where she reportedly recovered.

Santorum’s announcement came the day after winning the New Hampshire Conservative Future PAC’s presidential straw poll. Santorum attributed his win in the straw poll to voters wanting, “a candidate who will work hard for the nomination.

Over the past few months Santorum has frequently traveled to the early primary states, stopping in New Hampshire 15 times. Santorum has used his trips to try and boost his name recognition, currently fewer than half of voters who lean Republican have heard of him, and to position himself as a true social conservative, by touting his record in the Senate.

Santorum is hoping to appeal to the Republican’s social conservative base, which has yet to line up behind a candidate.

Santorum is also working to try and capture Tea Party support, in the past calling himself one of two candidates that represent the interests of the Tea Party.

During the speech he tapped into some of the Tea Party rhetoric by criticizing the Obama administration for digging us into a debt hole and for embracing Congressman Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.

Despite Santorum’s Tea Party friendly platform and a strong social conservative voting record he is still considered a dark horse candidate. In 2006 Santorum lost to Senator Bob Casey by 18 percentage points and will have to overcome the “loser” stigma to receive the nomination.

Santorum will participate in the Republican Presidential Debate on June 13th.

One Response

  1. Santorum has as much chance of being the GOP Presidential nominee as Anthony Weiner.

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