kdka-sm kdka-am-sm fan-sm pittsburgh-cw-logo

Local

Rick Santorum Campaigns In Carnegie

View Comments
(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
Read More
Election Returns

CARNEGIE (KDKA) — Some folks at Bob’s Diner in Carnegie seemed surprised to learn that Rick Santorum was stopping by on Wednesday.

“No, I was not aware, so it’s very exciting. I look forward to seeing him. Hopefully, we’ll be here when he gets here,” noted Russell Boehm of Rennerdale, as he ate his breakfast.

Others heard a candidate was visiting but, “I thought it was Romney,” added Chuck Martino of McDonald.

But it was Santorum — whose campaign decided at the last minute to use this local establishment to kick off his Pennsylvania primary campaign.

“We got a phone call yesterday, Jon,” owner Bob Marshall told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano. “About 12:15, right in the middle of lunch hour, and we had about 15 minutes to react, make all the phone calls, and here we are a day later, and we’re exciting he’s coming.”

And come he did — Santorum with his 20-year old daughter Elizabeth — pressed the flesh of customers — hoisted a baby or two — and sat down for sausage and eggs with Marshall and his son, J.R.

“As soon as our food arrived, he had us bow our heads and fold our hands. And he said this long unpracticed, unrehearsed, unwritten prayer about how thankful we should be for everything in our lives,” Carlynton senior J.R. Marshall recalled. “And it was really genuine, really nice and we couldn’t respect the senator any more.”

Lots of media was there, too,

While the national media seems focused on the calls of prominent Republicans for Santorum to get out of the race, the locals in Carnegie say, no way, he has a right to run, and he should

“Yeah, I think he should try and see how far he can go,” noted Robert Terpack of Carnegie.

And Santorum brushed off calls for him to quit.

“Everyone’s been asking me since I was traveling out of the Chuck truck in Iowa to get out of the race,” he laughed.

Saying half the delegates are yet to be selected, Santorum says he used to coming from behind and being considered the underdog.

Most diners at Bob’s Diner agreed with Santorum.

“I think Santorum should stay in the race. I think he has a good message,” says Russell Boehm of Rennerdale.

“I’m just as afraid of Romneycare as I am of Obamacare. I think they all wind up in the same place,” notes Pat Knight.

Knight drove from the New Jersey shore get Santorum’s signature, while Bruce Barron got Santorum to sign his childhood etch-a-sketch with broken buttons, “proving that sometimes when you want to re-set you can’t.”

Carlynton senior Joe Uzar told Santorum he was about to enter Catholic seminary.

“He was surprised, got a nice reaction, said he was going to pray for me. It’s always nice having all that kind of support.”

Following the meet and greet at the diner, KDKA’s Jon Delano asked Santorum, “How important is Pennsylvania? Is it a must-win state for you?”

“We have to win here, and we plan on winning here.”

Santorum doesn’t think Mitt Romney’s expected attack ads will work here.

“People in Pennsylvania know me. All of the negative attacks are I think going to fall on a lot of deaf ears here and we’ve got a strong base of support here, and we’re going to work very, very hard.”

But one question is on a lot of people’s minds.

Delano: “Why should Pennsylvanians vote for you this time around when they rejected you in 2006?”

Santorum: “Well, it’s a whole different world this time around. First, I’m running for president, not running for the senate. But it’s a whole different environment. Pennsylvanians have seen the mistakes of what happened when you give control of the hard left in Washington, DC.”

Of course, there’s another big difference.

This race will be fought just among Republicans — Democrats and independents cannot vote in the Republican primary here.

Santorum says once he wins his home state — he feels good about his prospects in another big state — Texas — which holds its primary in May.

RELATED LINKS:
More News on Santorum
More Political News

View Comments
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,103 other followers