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Santorum Speaks on Importance of Education, Small Business at SCC

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum made an unexpected campaign stop to St. Charles Community College on Monday to outline why he should he be the Republican nominee for president.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum returned to the campaign trail on Monday with a visit to in Cottleville, MO. 

The former Pennsylvania Senator packed the house at SCC mere hours after the event was announced. Despite not officially confirming he'd be coming to the college until late Sunday night, Santorum supporters filled the Daniel J. Conoyer Social Sciences Building Auditorium to capacity. A crowd of people who couldn't get into the venue waited outside for Santorum. In total, around 500 people attended the event. 

Santorum had previously canceled three stops in Florida on Sunday to tend to his sick daughter, Bella. Her health rebounded enough that he was able to make the trip to Missouri—becoming the first Republican candidate to make a visit to the Show-Me State in 2012.

"It has been a stressful weekend for the Santorum family," he said. "Thanks for your prayers. She has gotten through it, is doing well."

Santorum, decked out in his signature sweater vest, joked that the unseasonable weather (temperatures reached the 60s on Monday) made him feel like he was in Florida. 

Santorum touched on a variety of subjects during his hourlong speech. While never naming his chief Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, Santorum more than once played up his conservative values. 

"If a strong, principled, conservative Republican is not elected, then I fear that Obamacare will go into effect," he said to loud applause from the crowd.

While he didn't go after his fellow Republicans, he did have words for current President Barack Obama. The auditorium erupted when Santorum said he would approve the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, something Obama has come out against.  

"We need to produce energy in this county," he said. 

Saying he has no ties to the oil companies—he doesn't even own stock in them—Santorum said he was looking to make energy costs cheaper.

"I want small America to be competitive, fuel to be cheaper and plentiful," he said. "... You want to improve the quality of life in America—produce more energy here in America."

Santorum stressed the importance of small businesses. He said too many regulations are hurting the little guys and they're getting "crushed."

"The cost of small business is complying with regulation," he said. "Big government loves big business."

He said he would like to see regulations in place that would make sure anything that impacts big businesses protects small businesses. 

Santorum drew big cheers when talking about how to prevent people from poverty. 

The three basic things necessary to guarantee success, Santorum said, are work, graduating from high school and getting married before you have children. If you can accomplish those, the chance that you will ever be in poverty is two percent.

He closed out the speech by taking on education.

"We have an education system that is failing America," he said. "One-third of kids won't graduate from high school."

Santorum said the system doesn't need fixing, it needs an overhaul. He said the current system is broken and it's always been broken because it's run by the bigger government. 

"Education instead should be handled by states and local government—institutions who know what the needs in the community are," he said. "They know the competition."

Santorum closed his speech by comparing himself to Obama.

"Wouldn't it be great to have a president who talks proudly about America," he said.

He said Obama reads things off a teleprompter that his speech writer thinks he should say. Santorum said he says the words he says because he feels them.

He closed the speech with a call to action.

"[I'm] sick and tired of candidates who think they have to do anything necessary to win the election," he said. "We deserve better than the politics we've been seeing in this race.

"Let your voice be heard. Say not just that we want to win, but we want to win and get back to the principles that made this the best country in the world," he said.

The Missouri primary is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. 

Lake Saint Louis Editor Tamara Duncan contributed to this report.

Autonomy4ALL January 31, 2012 at 09:34 PM
The Truth About Rick Santorum: Will so-called Conservatives ever get it?! http://teapartyorg.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-truth-about-rick-santorum-will-so-called-conservatives-ever?xg_source=activity

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