PICKET: Santorum looks to leverage latest conservative support to pull up numbers in SC

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Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a GOP presidential candidate, is no longer grabbing headlines for defending his views on same sex marriage and abortion like he was in multiple venues in New Hampshire. Instead, he is receiving support from top conservative leaders who will likely charge up their member organizations to help Mr. Santorum’s campaign in anyway possible.

Following a Faith and Freedom breakfast at the Myrte Beach Convention Center on Sunday, Senator Santorum spoke to reporters who asked how he plans to work with the social conservative evangelical support he was recently given from a gathering of over 150 social conservative leaders who met in Texas to discuss policy and the GOP primary. 

All these leaders have folks that they’re in constant communication with and people that as leaders of organizations have influence, and by their assessment, as to who they believe is  the best candidate—The candidate that reflects the values of our country and that has the best chance of winning,” said Senator Santorum.  

Sen. Santorum won overwhelmingly in the third ballot of of voting at the Texas meeting of conservative.  Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins, in a statement on behalf of the meeting’s organizers said:

“From the outset, the stated goal of the meeting was to attempt to arrive at a consensus or a clear majority of support for a single conservative candidate. That goal was achieved. While a supermajority of those attending the meeting stated support for Rick Santorum as their preference in the Republican primary.”

“The fact that they went through that process…a difficult one at that, and they were able to form some kind of consensus—in some respects… a very loud statement that there is a growing consensus,” Senator Santorum said. “I think that consensus will be shared by people not just in South Carolina but across the country.”

Mr. Santorum is looking for a last minute push by evangelicals to help him surge in South Carolina and states thereafter. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is leading in various South Carolina polls, including an Ipsos/Reuters poll showing the Massachusetts Republican with a 21 point lead ahead of both Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, who are both tied for second. 

“I’ve been there before,” Sen. Santorum told me on Sunday when I asked him about these polls in South Carolina.

“In every case, we’ve got the momentum at our back. In Iowa, I think we’ve got the momentum back here in South Carolina. We feel very comfortable that grassroots effort we’ll have that is building among conservatives in South Carolina will ultimately be the winning formula for us,” he said.  

“We don’t have to win South Carolina. We have to do well. We have to finish strongly and we intend to do so.”

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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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