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Santorum Takes on Piracy, Family Value Issues

The candidate gained two big endorsements on Jan. 5

Rick Santorum is both a family man and a religious man.

That he has made clear throughout his visits to 99 Iowa counties and what he said Thursday night has been all 10 counties in New Hampshire.

That includes Coos County, by the way, which he made sure everyone in the auditorium knew he could pronounce.

But he also went as far as to say that America "always needs a Jesus candidate," quoting a statement to a Boston radio interviewer during a town hall event at Windham High School.

During that interview earlier in the day, the man questioning him told him the country needs an "economic candidate."

But Santorum pushed those in attendance to consider faith and family, and if they really mean it when they say "God Bless America" or if they do not.

"We need somebody who believes in something more than themseleves," said Santorum to the packed audience of over 600 people at Windham High School.

"We don't need to focus and talk about the importance of a family," said Santorum. "I'm not saying the federal government has to do something, but a president can still do something by engaging America in a conversation."

The applauding crowd wasn't unusual for Windham, which came out strong for a

Two of those clapping audience members were District 12 Sen. Jim Luther and Cornerstone Chair Shannon McGinley.

While Luther said that Cornerstone wasn't endorsing Santorum as an organization, both high profile political figures announced their personal endorsements before introducing him to the public.

Luther acknowledged that he was one of only two state senators who hadn't endorsed a candidate officially.

Both said how they agreed with Santorum's economic outlook and his contrast to Obama.

Santorum segued into a discussion on the economy using his message of family values.

He offered those in attendance three items that have proven to keep 98 percent of people out of poverty.

"One of them is obvious: work," said Santorum. Second, graduate from high school. Third, if you're a man get married, (and) if you're a woman get married before you have a child."

While not often, Santorum did go after Barack Obama, attacking his vision for the country.

"You want to see America after the Obama administration is through," said Santorum," just read up on Greece. Read up on Portugal. Read up on France. That's what he believes we should be like. That's better. Why? Because everyone is sort of fair. Government is really controlling everything."

Santorum said that he's "clean when it comes to the contrast" on that issue.

"Not government health-care, not bailouts, not cap-and-trade," said Santorum. "Not these big things where government takes over sectors of the economy."

However Santorum took the Mitt Romney approach from Tuesday night, choosing to barely go after his fellow Republican candidates and instead stick to Obama.

The majority of the program featured a slate of prepared questions from individuals on stage. Unlike the 9-12 Project's previous Gingrich event, the stage was much less cluttered.

Those asking questions ranged from a high school student to a 66-year-old Merrimack man.

That man was Gary Gahan, who has been following the Santorum campaign around for the last 15 to 16 months, long before he gained a spike in popularity from his Iowa finish.

Gahan said before the event that he thinks Santorum can close the New Hampshire gap with his appearances over the next couple of days, but he’s going to have to change his approach up a bit.

"Iowa may be a very religious serious state where New Hampshire may be not as much," said Gahan. "(He needs to focus on) how he's going to turn the economy around." 

Santorum also fielded a couple of questions related to online policy, which he admitted were difficult to answer.

"I freely admit that I don't have the answer to everything but I'll give you the best shot I have," said Santorum.

A student named Issac, who also posed a question about childhood obesity to Gingrich when he was in town, offered one of those piracy questions saying he didn't like where Internet regulation was going as an "avid Youtuber."

Santorum agreed that he didn't like where the "Stop Online Piracy Act" is headed.

"I'm worried about where this act is going," said Santorum. "There are a lot of poeple that believe that everything on the Internet should be free."

Earlier in his address, he told the audience that the Internet is a "powerful source for good" and a "powerful source for bad" in this country and alluded to the fact that there should still be some regulation.

"The idea that we should be hands-off, I don't know of any other zone in America where that's the case," Santorum said.

Tom Bragg, a Santorum supporter with a large display board full of buttons supporting his candidate and bashing Obama, said he was attending his third event of the day.

While he wasn’t at the Concord event earlier in the afternoon where Santorum was booed by some audience members due to his answer to a gay marriage question, he brushed off the incident.

“There was one protester but they got squashed pretty quickly,” said Bragg.

Ron Paul supporters were out in full strength, staying outside of the high school until over half an hour after the event was through.

The Southern N.H. 9-12 Project, which sponsored both events, has a knack for timing. They caught Gingrich at the peak of a wave of Granite State support then, and for this event they scooped Santorum coming off the high of a strong performance in the Iowa caucus.

A few of the randomly selected audience members asking questions even congratulated the former Pennsylvania governor on his performance, telling him that it was the reason that brought them to the auditorium.

It was a far cry from the energy of last week, when the Santorum campaign announced it would suspend its operations with a poor Hawkeye State finish. That would have cancelled the Windham event and all of his other 30-plus appearances this week in New Hampshire.

Liberty 603 January 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM
If you are considering supporting Rick Santorum, take the time to read this article written by a Pennsylvania reporter: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/The-Santorum-that-America-doesnt-know.html I don't think it's a coincidence that Santorum was defeated for re-election by the largest margin of any Republican incumbent in the history of Pennsylvania.
Cathy Mclaurin January 06, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Sanitarium needs to find out about Jesus teachings.... and then try using them in his campaign...
Citizen January 06, 2012 at 05:20 PM
When the right-wing screwballs get off their fears of brown people and stop demonizing "illegal" aliens, America will get a Jesus president. OK, it could be Jose or Hidalgo or maybe even Maria, but you get the point. Until then, no Jesus in the White House. These lily-white frauds wouldn't know Christ if He bit them on their overpampered, racist, use-it-for-a-brain-storage-area asses.
Len Ygan January 06, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I swear this man alternates between being hilarious and terrifying. If there's one consolation its that should he win the nomination he'd almost certainly get defeated by Obama in a landslide. Obama may not be the golden boy that everyone thought he was back in 2008... but at least he has a goddamn brain.
X January 07, 2012 at 05:56 AM
"Santorum segued into a discussion on the economy using his message of family values." Santorum doesn't have a message of family values. Nothing about his social beliefs represent family values. Seeking to deny a couple the right to visit each other in the hospital isn't family values. Trapping kids in foster care because you won't allow gay people to adopt isn't family values. Blocking two people from forming a loving relationship with legal protections isn't family values. Reporters need to stop using the phrase "family values" when referring to Santorum.

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