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Santorum Pitches Electability Two Weeks Before Iowa Caucuses

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(INDIANOLA, Iowa) -- With the caucuses two weeks away, Rick Santorum is pitching himself to the still undecided voters of Iowa after spending months talking to them about his social, economic and foreign policies.

Trying to build momentum and convince voters that he can not only win in Iowa on Jan. 3, but he can also beat President Obama next year, Santorum told voters at the Warren County GOP Dinner Monday night not to listen to polls and pundits urging them, “Don’t defer.  Lead.”

“Send a message to the man, send a message to the folks in New York and Washington who are trying to tell you who to vote for,” Santorum passionately told the crowd.  “Lead, lead this country.  Give us this clear contrast that Ronald Reagan gave us in 1980 against Jimmy Carter, don’t give us a bowl of mush.”

As the campaigning process comes down to the final county dinners, bus tours and coffee shops, voters are making up their minds and knowing that their candidate of choice can win in Iowa is clearly on both voters and the candidate’s mind.  The former Pennsylvania Senator consistently talks about being able to win the swing state in the past and how he can bring Pennsylvania to his side if he’s the nominee.

“If you give me the opportunity to get out there on that stage I will not let you down,” Santorum told the crowd.  “I will work hard to deliver that message, to defeat Barack Obama, to get this country back.”

Although the crowd of about seventy people were a mix of undecided voters, Santorum supporters and even a strong Ron Paul contingent, the members of the audience leapt to their feet to give the candidate a standing ovation upon hearing that message.

He told those gathered that “the media and Obama” are going to make whoever the Republican nominee is look like “the most conservative person ever to run for president.”

“And that person if they are not the right person is going to duck and dodge and try to say, ‘No I’m not like that,’ just like our other nominee did four years ago,” Santorum said referring to John McCain.  “Why don’t we put someone out there who says, ‘Yeah I do believe that and here’s why,’ and presents a contrast, remind people who we are.  Remind us that our greatness is in freedom.”

Santorum received two high profile endorsements on Monday as well -- from Sioux City talk-show host Sam Clovis and bestselling thriller author Brad Thor -- which the candidate says is more evidence that there is growing momentum for his candidacy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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