PICKET: Santorum picks up endorsement from IA Secretary of State

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GOP presidential primary candidate Rick Santorum picked up a key Iowa GOP endorsement on Friday. Announcing in Urbandale he predicts a his campaign will surge in the caucuses next month, Mr. Santorum also received the endorsement of Matt Schultz Iowa’s Secretary of State. Mr. Schultz is the first Iowa statewide elected official to endorse a 2012 GOP primary candidate.  In 2008, Schultz endorsed Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for President.

Santorum reacted to the endorsementsaying:

“I am honored to receive Secretary of State Schultz’s endorsement today.  Matt is a rising conservative star, not just in Iowa but for the entire nation.  Matt built his own campaign for Secretary of State through grassroots campaigning and exciting activists – not through TV ads and occasional rallies in Des Moines.  Matt went door-to-door, coffee shop to coffee shop and won over the people of Iowa.  I learned from Matt Schultz how Iowa campaigns are run, and I am thrilled to have his vote of confidence today.  I am excited to work with Matt over the next month as we execute our plan to win the Iowa caucuses.”

Mr. Santorum has campaigned in all of Iowa’s 99 counties, but has yet to catch voters’ eyes according to polls. According to CNN, Santorum responds to his poll numbers saying:

“People have asked me, ‘Why haven’t you started to catch on?’” Santorum said. “I say you haven’t been in Iowa for the last week or so, because we are definitely picking up momentum here in the state of Iowa and frankly across this country.”

CNN also spoke with Mr. Schultz about his decision to endorse Santorum:

Schultz agreed that Santorum shouldn’t pay too much attention to his flagging poll numbers.
“I tend to like the underdog, and slow and steady wins the race,” Schultz said of the contest in his state. “Sen. Santorum is a strong conservative and that’s what really brings me to want be here and be beside him.”

When asked why he decided to endorse Santorum this year after endorsing Mitt Romney during the 2008 GOP primary, Schultz said that he’d only come to his decision after having conversations with all of the other candidates.

“These are different times, different candidates and different issues,” Schultz said. “And to be honest with you, this is really not a reflection on any other candidate in the race. This is a reflection on who Rick Santorum is. Like I said before, there are things I like about every candidate. I’ve evaluated them each individually just like I did in 2008 and I’ve come to the conclusion that Rick Santorum should be our president.”

The Pennsylvania Republican told me on Wednesday that he expects to surprise many people with his performance at the Iowa Caucuses on January 3. In the meantime, he has three debates in Iowa to contend with. Two of these debates will be fully attended by all the Republican candidates starting this Saturday.

Mr. Santorum will also be debating Newt Gingrich on December 27 at the much hyped Newsmax sponsored debate that will be moderated by New York real estate mogul Donald Trump.

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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