I didn't get a chance to post this before I drove back to my hotel, but a good get Sunday evening for Rick Santorum: Christian conservative activist Gary Bauer gave his endorsement, comparing Santorum's fiscal and philosophical stances to those of President Ronald Reagan.
“The senator knows, and you know, that our liberty comes from God,” said Mr. Bauer, himself a former GOP presidential contender.
“The senator believes that if you’re going to have a strong America, you’ve got to have strong families and strong values, and that you have to welcome all of our children into the world and protect them.”
Mr. Bauer’s announcement is the first of what is expected to be several endorsements for Mr. Santorum as attention shifts from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary to the country’s first southern contest.
Campaign aides said the support shows a trend of national conservative leaders joining the Santorum camp, pointing back to Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats offering his backing. Keeping conservative voters from splintering among several candidates could be key for any candidate aiming to topple former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
I also got to meet a 38-year-old home-schooling Christian mother named Shawna Kelly, who said Rick Santorum is the first politician who has excited her. She and her family were so struck by him that they held a "prayer bomb" for him two days before the Iowa caucuses. (Santorum requested that his Greenville crowd pray for him and his family as they continue to slog long days on the campaign trail.)
"He's standing for the things that God would want all of us to stand for, like family and for the religious freedom that's being taken away" said Ms. Kelly, also of Greenville. "I've been telling people, you don't have to compromise for Mitt Romney -- [Santorum] can win."