Could Rick Santorum do better than expected?
Running last in the GOP race, the social conservative maintains a positive attitude
Could social, political and economic conservative Rick Santorum, running last in the GOP presidential election race take the world by surprise and wind up doing better than expected? With 45 percent of Iowa Republican voters undecided and a halt this coming Tuesday with the GOP caucuses, it may be Rick Santorum's turn to take his final ascent.
Receiving key endorsements from well-known social conservatives in the state, Rick Santorum has had solid performances at each of the debates. He's running an old-school style campaign that Iowa voters expect in the retail-style politics of the Hawkeye State.
Receiving key endorsements from well-known social conservatives in the state, Santorum has had solid performances at each of the debates. He's running an old-school style campaign that Iowa voters expect in the retail-style politics of the Hawkeye State.
Santorum says he is taking nothing for granted but has nothing to lose. "My feeling is when you're sitting last, if you can do better than that, that's good," he told Fox News.
Santorum says he's banking on a divide and conquer strategy. "There's really three primaries going on here," Santorum said. "Ron Paul has his own primary, the libertarian primary. And (Newt) Gingrich and (Mitt) Romney are sort of the establishment primary. And I think there are three who are vying for the conservative mantle to go up against the Gingrich-Romney duo. And I think that I'm going to be the one coming out Iowa with that mantle.
"And if we can do that, then we're off to the races here, and conservatives around the country, just like they're doing here in Iowa, are going to start rallying around our campaign," he said.
Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are also taking last-ditch efforts to appeal to the state's social conservatives. Both are working vigorously to get supporters to show up at the caucuses next Tuesday night.
Bachmann also won a coveted show of support from Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the conservative Eagle Forum, who said Bachmann "has the courage to be a leader among her peers."
"She is a real champion in speaking up for values we care about. Michele is a woman of faith and the mother of a beautiful family. She has a 100 percent pro-life record and is a strong supporter of traditional marriage," Schlafly said in a statement to reporters.
Bachmann is trying to follow in Santorum's footsteps, hitting all 99 counties in one week, saying she will hit gas stations and diners. By nightfall, she was slated to have visited another 10 counties.
Rick Perry also argued that a vote for him is a vote for a Washington outsider. Taking a dig at libertarian candidate Ron Paul, he said voters don't have to pick a candidate who would allow Iran to wipe Israel off the earth.
"You don't have to stand for that," he said. "I have all the respect in the world for the frontrunners," he added.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, conservative, Iowa
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