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Politics

Santorum “In It To Win”

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(Source: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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SOMERSET (KDKA) — An enthusiastic crowd of local western Pennsylvanians welcomed Rick Santorum and his family as he announced his candidacy for President in Somerset.

“This is where it started for the Santorum family. This is where my dad and my grandfather lived and planted the flag,” he said. “It’s an honor to be back in this county, in this region.”

The former Pennsylvania Senator said Americans have learned after four years of President Obama, they need a different kind of leader.

“I believe now that Americans are not looking for someone they can believe in. They are looking for a president who believes in them.”

Santorum invoked an old campaign theme that he has used in earlier campaigns — “Join the Fight.”

“I’m ready to do what has to be done for the next generation with courage to fight for freedom, with the courage to fight for America. That’s why I’m announcing today I’m running for President of the United States,” he said. “Join the fight! Join the fight!”

The former Pennsylvania Senator wasted little time before attacking President Obama.

“President Obama took that faith that the American public gave him and wrecked our economy, and centralized power in Washington DC, and robbed people of their freedom.”

He criticized President Obama for deficit spending.

“Who are you, Mr. President, to say that you and your administration should take 40 cents out of every dollar and borrow it from future generations to prop you up?”

And he accused the President of creating personal dependency on government through national health reform.

“Every single American now will be hooked to the government with an IV.”

But his strongest words appealed to his base of social conservatives, saying President Obama had devalued America.

“He’s not just devalued our currency, he’s devalued our culture, through our marriage, not standing up for the Defense of Marriage Act, for federal funding of abortions.”

It was the kind of tough talk his supporters love.

“What brings me here is Rick Santorum’s courage,” said Chuck Horvat of Harrison City. “That he’s willing to drive the forces of America to stay back in America. That’s what I’m looking for.”

“I like the fact that he walks the talk,” said West Deer Township’s Vince Mercuri, who was in attendance with his family. “Rick says what he believes and he walks those beliefs.”

KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano asked Santorum assessed his chances, he responded, “A lot of enthusiasm. Feel good.”

But in a race with better known names than his, can enthusiasm give Santorum the Republican nomination?

“He’s got to go out in the country, get better known,” said a long-time senior Santorum advisor John Brabender. “Let families know him, one family at a time, but share his whole resume with people.”

Brabender says Santorum must do well in those early contests next February.

“He has been to the early states more than any other candidate. And, look, he’s not going to have the money Mitt Romney is going to have,” he said. “But I really feel he’ll have the energy and passion that none of the other candidates have, and I think that will come through.”

Pennsylvania doesn’t really play in those early primaries, which is why Senator Santorum left for Iowa shortly after his speech. Then he’s on to New Hampshire on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hours before making his formal announcement, Santorum talked with KDKA Radio’s Larry Richert and John Shumway about why he wants to be the next president of the United States.

RELATED LINKS:
Santorum To Announce Run For President (5/27)
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KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano

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