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January 10. 2012 2:33PM

Rick Santorum uses last day to make pitch to NH voters


Rick Santorum, Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator, addresses a crowd of media on Monday at Rivier College in Nashua. (Kimberly Houghton Photo)

NASHUA - Joined by his wife on Monday, Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum took his last opportunity to sway undecided voters before today's primary election.

Speaking to a crowd of frigid media and New Hampshire citizens at Rivier College's outdoor athletic field, Santorum invited people to keep their hands in their pockets rather than applauding Monday morning.

Santorum maintained that he has run an efficient campaign through the past several months.

“If you are 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,” he said.

Some individuals believe that big money and big endorsements are necessary, but Santorum said his grassroots campaign has proved that notion wrong in Iowa and here in New Hampshire.

Outlining his economic plan and vision for the country if elected, Santorum said he will work hard to make sure the economy and the nation grows with lower tax rates and tax simplification.

America needs to support the basic elements of society and focus on the corporate side to get businesses growing in a competitive marketplace, according to the senator. Throughout the past several decades, the manufacturing sector of the economy — which he called the key to economic growth in America — has been lost, said Santorum.

“The rest of the world wants our manufacturing jobs … America has made us uncompetitive in the world,” he said.

Manufacturing isn't successful because of government policies, claimed Santorum, explaining that his plan would eliminate the corporate tax rate for manufacturing companies and restructure the tax code to bring jobs back to the United States.

Attacking President Barack Obama, Santorum said the President's theory that everyone should attend college is “intellectual snobbery.” Santorum argued that productive jobs can be attained through training and skilled work, and that this type of employment will greatly contribute to the economy.

“This president has done more to put more cost regulations on businesses than any president in history” said Santorum, adding that last year alone, Obama instituted 150 regulations.

Lost in a frenzy of media representatives, Jill Spencer of Nashua said she was still undecided with just a few remaining hours to figure out who she will support in today's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

“There are too many candidates to choose from,” said Spencer, a stay at home mom who wanted to learn more about Santorum's general philosophies and economic plan.

While she likes some characteristics of certain Republican presidential candidates, there are others with the same values that she feels are important. If she could mix and match a few of the candidates to create “the perfect, ideal president,” that would be her desire, said Spencer.

Another Nashua native, Joshua Bernstein, 25, said that although he will be voting for Obama on Tuesday, he still wanted to hear what Santorum had to say.

“He is too conservative for me, but his comments are always interesting,” Bernstein said of Santorum. “I have a lot of solid opinions on many social issues, so I am supporting Obama again.”

Santorum told the quiet crowd that he is looking forward to returning to New Hampshire for the general election.


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