• Fri 92°F / 53°F

Rick Santorum Gets Sentimental in Ohio, Says Romney Misleads

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio) -- Rick Santorum gave his final pitch to Ohioans before Super Tuesday Monday evening by trying to, in part, appeal to their sentimental sides.

The former Pennsylvania senator became nostalgic about the early days of the campaign in Iowa,  when he wasn’t even breaking double digits in the polls and he wasn’t yet battling with Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination, instead just trying to stay in the race, driving to all 99 counties of Iowa in a volunteer-driven pickup truck.

“People have stepped up when all the money, all the big endorsements, all the party chieftains have lined up behind the guy next in line with the most money and the people of America saw a guy from a little steel town in Southwest Pennsylvania go out and take his message on the road in Iowa, driving around in the Chuck Truck, a Dodge Ram pickup with about 200 and some thousand miles on it and we drove around in it,” Santorum said to several hundred people, with more waiting out in the cold. “No one would pay much attention to us, but we went out and delivered a strong clear message that we needed a conviction conservative.”

The polls are tight in the Buckeye State, but Monday’s Quinnipiac poll in Ohio, which will deliver the second-largest delegate bounty of the Super Tuesday states, showed Romney with 34 percent, leading Santorum, who had 31 percent.

Without explicitly mentioning his rival, he asked Ohioans for their vote by talking about his Rust Belt youth and why voters here are like the people he grew up with, trying to draw a veiled contrast with the former Massachusetts governor.

“(Voters need) someone who had a record and a vision not just that you could run on, but a candidate who is someone who understood the plights of everyday Americans in America, someone who grew up in neighborhoods, well, like most people who grew up in America, and was able to go out and articulate the vision that we weren’t just concerned with the 99 percent, not just 95 percent, but 100 percent of Americans,” Santorum said, clearly fighting a head cold, at the Pavilion at Falls River Square.

He told the crowd just hours before the polls open in 10 states: “It’s gut-check time. Who wants it the most? What do you say?

“We have been hammered here on the media -- $12 million, $12 million in the last few weeks, 12 to one is the ratio that we have been outspent,” Santorum said, referring to the amount of money he says his campaign has spent here vs. what both Romney and his super PAC spent on advertising in this state. “It’s really remarkable, and yet four or five polls out today -- average the five polls, (we are) dead even.”

Santorum tried to define Romney as someone who is not just out of touch with average Americans, but a candidate who isn’t honest, telling the crowd: “We know that Gov. Romney for the course of this campaign” has “told the people of the country something that wasn’t true.”

“Now it’s one thing to take back -- to have bad policy.  It’s another thing to mislead the American public,” Santorum said. “The governor does this on a variety of subjects where he says, ‘Oh no, you just don’t understand. You don’t understand, we didn’t impose the morning-after pill on Catholic hospitals, no you didn’t understand,’ until we found out, ‘Oh well yeah, he did.’”

He again railed on his rival for both an op-ed he published in 2009 and a Meet the Press appearance in 2007 when Romney touted his signature health care plan and said it could be used in parts as a plan for the nation.

“He will be the weakest candidate we can possibly put forward on the most important issue of the day,” Santorum said, referring to Romney’s health care plan and the similarities to President Obama’s signature health care plan.

Santorum spent much of his address talking about his manufacturing and energy plans, telling the crowd that when it comes to energy the president just believes in “no,” going back and forth with the crowd on several energy policies including “offshore drilling,” “Alaska,” and the “Keystone Pipeline” with the audience excitedly yelling “no” back.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we need a president to say yes,” Santorum said to cheers.

He ended the rally by telling the stories of the people who may have little but are still giving to his campaign. He said despite the $9 million haul they brought in last month, two-thirds of donations were less than $200.

“A young woman came up she was dressed in a…uniform she handed me $13, she said that’s the tips I made being a pet groomer today,” Santorum said. "Another little girl at an event here in Ohio handed me $20 from her babysitting money. Story after story of people stepping up. Last night in Oklahoma I thanked a young man who made over 2,500 calls, 2,500 calls in the state of Oklahoma who was sitting in a wheelchair with spinabifida.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Advertise With Us

Would you like to advertise on East Idaho News? Fill out this form to contact a representative.
  • Full and Last
  • The name of your company, business or brand.