On Obama’s Home Turf, Santorum Says Illinois Primary Is Key

AFP/Getty Images(ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.) -- In a suburb just outside Chicago, Rick Santorum urged a crowd of over a thousand voters to take Tuesday’s Illinois primary seriously, arguing that he is the only candidate who is capable of beating Barack Obama and that Illinois holds the potential to greatly influence the outcome of the race.

“Everyone says Illinois, Barack Obama’s home state, won’t have any impact on this election. You have a chance on Tuesday. You want to defeat Barack Obama. There’s only one guy in this race who can do it, and you need to make sure he wins Illinois on Tuesday,” said Santorum at a rally in the gymnasium of the Christian Liberty Academy.

“I’m asking you, I’m pleading, that you understand that your honor is on the line. You uphold the honor of the people of Chicago and Illinois, and the great statesmen that have come from here,” said Santorum adding that these statesman were “in the past,” a direct jab at President Obama. “You have a unique duty here in Illinois to correct a wrong.”

Santorum criticized the president for not only underestimating the amount that his health care plan would cost the American taxpayers, but also accused him of masquerading the truth behind eloquent speeches. “I know all of you are shocked at this revelation. I know you all thought that it would come in less and that the president's persuasive speeches about how he was going to save money and premiums would go down and costs would go down,” said Santorum. “The seas would recede. The sun would always shine. All of these great predictions of the president have remarkably not come to pass. I know that shocks you because you here in Illinois have such experience with his truthfulness.”

Santorum took the opportunity to tie Obama’s alleged untruthfulness to Mitt Romney, saying that his Massachusetts healthcare plan demonstrates that he is akin to Obama.

“We already have someone in Washington who doesn’t tell us the truth. We don’t need anybody else there to do the same,” said Santorum.

Aside from hitting Obama and Romney, Santorum’s event focused primarily on social issues, while also delving into foreign relations, specifically Iran.

Two male Occupy protesters interrupted Santorum’s speech with a mic check and kissed each other in the bleachers before they were escorted out as the crowd chanted “USA! USA! USA!”

Santorum campaigned in the St. Louis, Missouri area Saturday morning ahead of the state’s primary and will be traveling throughout southern Illinois for the remainder of the day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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