Beltway Insider publication The Hill profiles Rick Santorum today, kicking off a series on possible GOP presidential contenders, noting his penchant for saying eye-grabbing things. Pennslyvania's former two-term senator and Penn Hills resident notes how much of an underdog he was in his first Congresional run (he had a name recognition of 6 percent six months out). He says of Mitt Romney -- whom Santorum endorsed in the 2008 presidential primary -- "I think it’s hard to see a path for him, given the ObamaCare issue," a reference to the health care bill Romney signed in Massachussets that was an early blueprint for the national law that Republicans view as a cyclone of destruction. And Santorum has some less than generous words for immigrants:
"If you want to come here to work and then send your money back home, I don’t want you. If you want to come here and impose sharia law, stay home. If you want to come here to be an American, then I want you."
The sharia law fear has surfaced recently from conservative figures amid rising anti-Muslim sentiment from things like the proposed Muslim cultural center in an old Burlington Coat Factory in lower Manhattan. It's the kind of thing that will play well, too, among Iowa GOP primary voters, whom Santorum is setting his sights on these days. The Hill also notes that Santorum has visited the state more than any other rumored presidential candidate.