March 2, 2012 in City

Santorum makes campaign appearance at Valley church

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Santorum
(Full-size photo)

Ron Paul returns

Today: Congressman Ron Paul returns to Spokane today with a noon town hall gathering at the downtown Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., followed by appearances in Seattle and the Vancouver, Wash., area.

Monday: Paul heads to Sandpoint on Monday for a noon event at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, followed by a 3 p.m. appearance at the Kibbie Dome on the University of Idaho campus.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum appealed to Washingtonians to “reset” the presidential race on Saturday just in time for Super Tuesday.

Santorum cast himself as the underdog “insurgent” candidate in a half-hour speech Thursday to more than 800 people at New Life Assembly Church, which is located in a converted Rosauers grocery store in Spokane Valley.

“We think that we can surprise a lot of people here on Saturday in the state of Washington,” Santorum said.

Washington holds its Republican caucuses starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. They are the last contests before Republicans in 10 states make their presidential picks on Tuesday.

Santorum hit many of the same themes he did during last month’s rally in Coeur d’Alene. But he opened his latest Inland Northwest campaign visit with a condemnation of the U.S. Senate vote blocking a Republican-backed plan to allow employers and insurers to opt out of health care requirements, including contraceptive coverage, that they find objectionable.

He repeated a line about how the belief among most climate scientists that human activity is a significant source of global warming “wasn’t climate science. It was political science.”

He promised to work for the repeal of the national health care law frequently labeled Obamacare.

And he criticized bailouts and the country’s soaring debt.

“I didn’t rush to bail out my friends on Wall Street, in part, because I don’t have any,” he said.

This time, Santorum was more focused on the Republican front-runner, Mitt Romney.

Calling Romney a “moderate,” Santorum compared the former Massachusetts governor to past Republican nominees who lost in the general election, including President Gerald Ford, President George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole and John McCain.

“All the good ol’ boys are supporting the moderate candidate,” he said. “We still have someone in this race who still believes in you.”

He praised President George W. Bush for his willingness to label certain countries “evil.”

“Speak conservatively,” he said. “Will you be with me?”

Santorum flew into Spokane from Georgia, where he held rallies earlier in the day. He started his Spokane rally about an hour late, which he blamed on an interview with Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly.

Jessica Morgan, a stay-at-home mom and Spokane Valley resident, came to the rally with her 3-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son.

“He has a strong economic message, but he’s not afraid to talk about the other stuff that the others seem to be afraid to,” she said.


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