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Daily Santorum: Making his move

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Last night's last debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses got blah reviews -- it was "like the primary race itself: no dominant figure but with something for Republicans to like in each of the candidates," wrote John Dickerson at Slate -- but at least now Rick Santorum can get back to the old-school retail politics that he'd rather have the race be about.

From his chief cheerleader Jennifer Rubin at the WashPost:

A state party operative calls Santorum’s ground game “real, but it’s quiet.” He pegs Santorum’s support in the “low to mid-teens.” Well, if that is the case he could move up into the top few spots, becoming the “surprise” story that really wasn’t a surprise.

The good news for Santorum is that, unlike Newt Gingrich in Iowa or Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, he doesn’t have to win to “win.” If he tops other contenders and gets close to the front-runners there’s every reason to think he can continue on, aiming for a strong showing in South Carolina.

Of course he has other women in his corner, most notably daughter Elizabeth, a junior at the University of Dallas. She writes on why her dad should be president:

As I sit here at 12:30 in the morning writing this post, I’m reflecting on the long day I’ve had.Elizabeth Santorum After driving my dad around all day, I’m now faced with the fact that I’ve got to get up in four hours and do this all over again.   I sometimes ask myself “why am I doing this?” I was looking forward to being a junior at the University of Dallas this year and instead I find myself being a field staffer/phone banker/chauffeur/surrogate speaker for my dad. And quite honestly, I couldn’t be happier or more blessed.

I have been to almost every Pizza Ranch, every Casey’s General Store, and all the HyVees in between.  From Sioux City to Des Moines to Cedar Rapids to Waterloo, I have taken the grand tour of America’s heartland. There are times when I wonder why I’m not sitting in the coffee shop on campus with my friends, lightheartedly discussing SNL videos, how bad the cafeteria is, what our plans are for Friday night or how absolutely swamped we are with school work. But this is where God wanted me.

Santorum is trying his best to seize momentum with fellow flannel-decade vet Gingrich faltering in the polls. A day after a PAC paid for his first TV ad in the Hawkeye state, his campaign is up with its first ad too (above). Here's the transcript:

"He's Rick Santorum. A loving husband, a devoted father, homeschooler and a man of deep faith. He wrote the law that banned partial birth abortions.Overhauled America's welfare system. And no one has done more to protect America from Iran's growing threat than Rick Santorum. It's no wonder Palin, Beck and Huckabee are singing his praises. Now it's your turn to join the fight."

The campaign also rounded up all his comments from the Sioux City debate, in full below:

On Winning Iowa:

"I am counting on the people of Iowa to help my campaign catch fire. Our plan from day-one was to go to all 99 counties. We've had 350 town hall meetings. We have a clear message and we present a clear contrast that no one else does. I have been a strong, conviction conservative. I've been there and we've done it. We've led. When you had an issue, you came to Rick Santorum. I had conservatives knocking down my door because I was the effective advocate for the principles they believed in. I was the guy fighting for conservative causes. Contrast that with Speaker Gingrich who had a conservative revolution against him."

On Inspiring The American People:

"You need to do what leaders do - you remind the American people who we are. In 2008, people wanted a President they could believe in, but today they are looking for a President who believes in them."

On Revitalizing Manufacturing:

"I've proposed my "Made in the USA" Plan, bring that money back from overseas at a 5.5% rate, but put in place a special rate of 0% if reinvested in plant & equipment here in America. I've traveled to Iowa towns like Sidney and Hamburg and Newton who have lost manufacturing jobs because we are not competitive. Businesses need capital and we need to cut the corporate tax to 0% for manufacturers. There is a 20% cost differential between the U.S. and our top 9 trading partnerships. And I promise to repeal every Obamacare regulation and every Obama Administration regulation that costs businesses more than $100 million. I cannot repeal laws, but as President I can repeal regulations to get business back in America."

On The Supreme Court and Favorite Justices:

We have a lot of people talking about taking on the court, but I've actually done it. I was the only one on this stage to come and campaign against the judges in Iowa who redefined marriage. When the Partial Birth Abortion ban was struck down, we went back and passed another bill and told the court why they were wrong. We can talk about reform or you can actually go out and make it happen... And my favorite justice is Thomas.

On Iran:

Iran is continually looking to attack us. Just recently they tried to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador on U.S. soil. Iran has been at war with us since 1979... Mutually assured destruction will not work (with Iran). Mutually assured destruction would not be any kind of prevention; it would be an inducement to war. Iran's object is to create a calamity. It is what their theology teaches. They don't hate us because of our policies; they hate us because of who we are. We should be working with Israel, doing covert activities, and planning a strike. If Iran won't shut down their nuclear facilities, we'll shut them down for them."

On Fast and Furious and Dealing With Central & South America:

"I would fire him (Attorney General Holder), I wouldn't ask him to resign - I'd fire him. He shouldn't have started it (Fast & Furious) in the first place. I have said this for many years, we need to pay more attention to our own hemisphere. There are flights from Caracas to Tehran transporting Jihadists. There are Jihadist training camps in Central and South America planning assaults on the United States. The President has ignored this threat - he has embraced Chavez and Ortega in Central and South America. We need an initiative in that region that will promote our interests."

On Marriage and Governor Romney:

"Governor Romney was faced with a Supreme Court decision that said traditional marriage was unconstitutional. In that decision the court said they did not have the authority to change the marriage laws, only the governor and legislature could change the definition of marriage. Governor Romney sided with the court and changed the definition of marriage, and he took it one step further and issued gay marriage licenses. I have had a strong consistent track record and I too had a non-discrimination policy. But we are not talking about non-discrimination policies, we are talking about the basic building block of society."

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