Santorum to Evangelicals: GOP Needs Nominee Who’ll ‘Take the Bullets’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) -- Just six days before South Carolina voters go to the polls, Rick Santorum addressed an evangelical conference Monday afternoon, trying to pitch himself to the crowd.

At the Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum, he contrasted himself with his opponents, listing Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and himself and said, “only one did not support the Wall Street bailout.”

“Clear lines, sharp contrast,” Santorum said, adding that evangelicals need a nominee who “believes in their heart” in “conservative principals,” not “because they happen to run in a primary” with a conservative electorate, because when they go to Washington, D.C., they will not have to appeal to these same South Carolina voters.

“This is a race, this is an election where we need someone who is not afraid to get shot at,” Santorum said, adding that the GOP needs a nominee who will “take the bullets.”

“As a family, we’re committed to winning in South Carolina this weekend,” Santorum said, with his wife at his side, and accompanied by four of his children.  He got an enthusiastic reception from the crowd, which was packed into the tent in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to listen to the forum’s speakers.

“So I ask the people of South Carolina to give a good, strong hard look at this,” Santorum said.  “You have a tough choice to make between some good candidates.”

Earlier Monday, Santorum sat next to his wife, Karen, at a forum sponsored by an online mother’s group, and his wife got emotional when talking about their special needs daughter, Bella.  It was one of the first times Karen Santorum has spoken at length on the campaign trail.

She told the story of finding out their daughter’s diagnosis four days after her birth and said she was “very angry” and in a “deep, dark hole,” for the first 10 days after Bella’s diagnosis.  She said she didn’t lose her faith because she “love(s) the Lord,” but it was extremely difficult.  Now, she says Bella is “perfect,” and she’s 3 ½ when no one said she would live three hours.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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