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Santorum: ‘We are Sam’s Club and Costco folks’



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Nashua, N.H. — After spending Sunday in South Carolina, looking ahead to the next primary battleground, Rick Santorum returned to the Granite State. The former Pennsylvania senator began the morning outside, where he stormed the soccer field at Rivier College, a small Catholic college in Nashua. Maybe it was the chilly weather, or maybe it was the early time, but the crowd was smaller than the usual Santorum showing this week, with clumps of supporters huddled together, not a rousing crowd. Occupy protesters, who have followed him around New Hampshire, did not attend.

A few minutes after 9 a.m., Santorum, who was clad in cowboy boots, jeans, and a red sweater vest under a blue jacket, arrived in a black sport-utility vehicle with tinted windows, then strode across the bright-green AstroTurf with his family. As he made his way, he shook hands with shivering volunteers and curious locals, and briefly answered a few of the shouted questions from reporters.

“Oh, absolutely!” Santorum replied when one regional-television anchor asked him if he was prepared for a long, drawn-out race. “I mean, come on, we are the strong conservative alternative to Governor Romney, and we are going to run everywhere else.”

Up on the low-rise dais, Santorum put his left hand in his pocket. With his light coat, he was probably colder than the attendees. He opened with a friendly introduction of his wife, and segued into how he is connected to middle-income Americans. “I know how much six gallons of milk costs,” he chuckled, alluding to his large brood. “We buy in bulk. We are Sam’s Club and Costco folks.”

Before turning to his usual stump speech, which focuses on how he hopes to revive American manufacturing, Santorum softened expectations for Tuesday night, noting that he has run an “efficient” campaign, but one that had only “five days” to launch a revamped strategy following his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses.

“If you’re looking for someone who can put together ideas, and motivate people and get things done, and do it on a shoestring, well, you have evidence in this campaign that ideas matter,” Santorum said. “What happened? Ideas and hard work can have a huge impact, even in today’s day, when people think it’s just big money, big endorsements.”

“We proved that wrong in Iowa,” he said. “We’re running a grassroots effort here and we expect to do very well here and surprise folks at the finish. But we are going to continue to work hard through New Hampshire and beyond.”

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.



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