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Santorum: 'Town Hall crowds are getting a little bigger'

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(Photo)
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is in Iowa campaigning for president in the days leading up to the Jan. 3 precinct caucuses. Santorum, a Republican, spoke to about 30 people at 4 Brothers Bar & Grill in Le Mars Monday.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be in Iowa for all but three days between now and the Jan. 3 precinct caucuses.

Speaking in Le Mars Monday, the former Pennsylvania senator asked how many of the 30 people listening to him had been to all of Iowa's 99 counties.

"I have," Santorum quickly answered.

He is counting on a good showing on caucus day, he said.

"Our crowds are getting a little bit bigger, so we're pretty excited about that," he said.

He also said the November 2012 election will be the most important in the country's history.

"We've been losing our way," Santorum said. "Government has gotten bigger and bigger and people have gotten smaller and smaller."

He said government, especially the federal government, is involved in almost every aspect of people's lives from what light bulb they can buy to health insurance.

"I think the tipping point was the passage of Obamacare where now every single American is gong to be dependent upon the federal government for their health," Santorum said.

If he is elected president, repealing the health care reform law would be a priority for Santorum during the first 90 days he'd be in office, he told the Le Mars group.

Five trillion dollars in cuts over the next five years would be No. 2 on his agenda for the first 90 days in office, Santorum said.

Those cuts would include everything from entitlement program reform to spending cuts on domestic spending, he explained.

Entitlement programs are government programs providing payments to those who meet requirements which means they are entitled to the benefits.

"I will freeze defense spending, but I will not cut defense spending, which is the highest and most important priority of the federal government," Santorum said.

About 20 percent of the federal budget is for national security compared to 60 percent 50 years ago, he said.

Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.

"If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?" Santorum asked.

The possibility of a nuclear weapon in Iran was also the focus of Santorum's Plymouth County town hall meeting.

He said he's make the Iranian nuclear issue a priority as president.

"We need to go out and fund, actively support anybody in or outside of Iran who wants to overthrow that government," Santorum said.

If he is elected, Santorum said he'd use every means necessary to stop a nuclear program for Iran from developing.

A four-point plan he outlined to deal with Iran also includes sanctions on the country's oil revenues.

"I will not be concerned about the economic impact of that because the economic impact of a nuclear Iran purveying terror and having terrorist attacks on a regular basis in the U.S. will do more to shoot up the price of oil than any sanction on Iranian oil would ever hope to," Santorum said.

He also proposes to dismantle Iran's nuclear capacity through air strikes unless Iran agrees to allow in nuclear weapons inspectors from the U.S.

When an audience member asked about illegal immigration, Santorum said he takes the same position as Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron).

"I believe that the law needs to be enforced and that's the law to build the fence to secure the border," Santorum said.

He also backed enforcement of immigration laws related to employment.

Six Republicans remain in the race for the Republican nomination for president and a recent Des Moines Register newspaper poll put Santorum in sixth place in the state.

With about four weeks remaining before caucuses, Santorum said a lot of Iowans are very much up in the air as to what they're going to do.

"I feel confident they're going to support the most consistent conservative across the board who has been able to win tough elections against Democrats," Santorum said of his candidacy.

Santorum repeatedly said he has a track record showing he won't be "sucked into the Republican or Washington establishment."

"I was part of the gang of seven that blew the lid off the House Bank scandal, I instituted term limits when I came to the U.S. Senate, I called for the resignation of the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a Republican, because he voted against the balanced budget amendment that cost us the amendment," Santorum said.

He told the audience he was running a grassroots campaign where their help means the most in the upcoming caucuses.

"Put Rick Santorum at the top of this list (of candidates) and you will fundamentally change the election -- you will put forward the most consistent conservative candidate in this race," he said.


Comments
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Great story on Rick Santorum! I saw him today at his meeting in Storm Lake. He is a champion of freedom and a strong leader. He has my vote!

-- Posted by GodBlessUSA on Tue, Dec 6, 2011, at 1:32 PM

Why doesn't the majority of the GOP like him? I too think he's one of the best in the bunch but am trying to figure out why no one likes him or Mitt.

-- Posted by jack'sworld on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 8:07 AM

"Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program,"

Yep, cut what helps the poor. Not to mention many military families are on this program.

"We need to go out and fund, actively support anybody in or outside of Iran who wants to overthrow that government,"

Exactly how we got Bin Laden funded and Saddam Hussein funded. Look how well that worked out.

"He also proposes to dismantle Iran's nuclear capacity through air strikes unless Iran agrees to allow in nuclear weapons inspectors from the U.S."

Great, another war. Just what we need. And if he is freezing or cutting the budget, how will he pay for it?

"I believe that the law needs to be enforced and that's the law to build the fence to secure the border," Santorum said."

Fence won't do a thing. They will just go under or over. The correct thing he said is you have to hit the employment. No jobs, they will not come over.

Maybe that is why mainstream GOP are not giving him a second look.

-- Posted by Forest on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 9:30 AM

Earth to Rick Santorum: Thanks to Obamacare, my 24 year old daughter was allowed to stay on our family insurance plan, for which we pay dearly ($1576.00 per month). And thank God. She fell from a barn loft last year, and the helicopter air lift alone cost $21,000.00. Then came the ICU bills. Thankfully, she has survived and recovered her injuries, but this year she was told she was denied her own health insurance plan. Obama care, which Santorum promises to end, will make it so that insurance companies can't deny coverage to people like my daughter (and maybe you).

As for cutting food stamps, the way to do that is to cut poverty. I think Rick Santorum should get a couple of part time jobs -- one say at Wal-mart and another at a fast food joint. Then let's see him eat well on less-than-a-living wage.

I want to cut food stamps too. I want to get people out of poverty, and that means providing a basic level of health care, a living wage, affordable housing and quality food. How about if we stop allowing food stamps to purchase soda, and double their value at farmers' markets. Good food is the first step to good health.

-- Posted by FoodSleuth on Thu, Dec 8, 2011, at 10:48 AM

Amusingly, Moody's and the rest of the reputable economic analysts point out that food stamps and unemployment insurance have the single biggest stimulating effect on the economy of any other government expenditure (including tax cuts).

http://static01.mediaite.com/med/wp-cont...

Also, repealing "Obama Care" will ADD to the deficit.

Fiscal responsibility at its finest.

-- Posted by TJ Templeton on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 1:22 PM

The way the TV news runs there are only 2 candidates now. The rest of them are o yea someone did mention there were others. News push who they want and to heck with the others. I am surprised if they even invite them to debates.

I for one do not care for the ones the news push. They seem to be career politicions and that I do not like. The only time they get out of Washington is to campaign or get paid to give a speech. Let them live on minimum wage for a year and see how they make out.

-- Posted by giblem on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 2:21 PM

Well said, Giblem. And it's that way with both parties.

-- Posted by TJ Templeton on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 7:36 PM

T. J. SAID ------ "Amusingly, Moody's and the rest of the reputable economic analysts point out that food stamps and unemployment insurance have the single biggest stimulating effect on the economy of any other government expenditure (including tax cuts)."

First, a tax cut is not an expenditure. Next, the role of the Feds should not be to collect taxes (and the Dems wanting more)with the purpose of "stimulating" the economy. Finally, saying that "food stamps and unemployment insurance have the single biggest stimulating effect....." while true, it simply compares two seriously flawed programs, akin to saying that speeding 30 MPH over the limit is worse than speeding 29 MPH over.

-- Posted by donpaulin on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 2:22 PM

Well Don, in terms of the budget deficit and the treasury, anything which reduces the amount of money in the treasury or adds to our debt is commonly referred to as an "expenditure" even though it is a decrease in income rather than actual spending. It's similar to referring to having a deduction from your paycheck referred to as an "expenditure". Your point is simply semantics, but it's pretty common in discussions to refer to any government action that increase our debt as an expenditure.

Your comment that the role of the Feds should not be to collect taxes with the purpose of "stimulating" the economy is pretty much why we are in the economic boat that we are in now. I would argue that it's the government's role to do what it takes to stave off a depression - particularly raising taxes on those who's quality of life is insulated from effects of the economic downturn.

-- Posted by TJ Templeton on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 6:24 PM

"Also, repealing "Obama Care" will ADD to the deficit."

I'm dying to hear YOUR explanation of this, T.J.!

-- Posted by jwduke01 on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 8:12 PM

I'm sure you would, but you can Google it yourself.

-- Posted by TJ Templeton on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 5:01 PM


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