Santorum, referring to rivals, asks: “Can they be trusted?”

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum was the last of six candidates to speak this evening at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition banquet in Des Moines.  “Are you numb yet?” Santorum asked when he got behind the microphone. “…”This is my 5433 trip to Iowa – just a little exaggeration.”

Santorum noted he has visited 78 of Iowa’s 99 counties and soon suggested this is the choice for Iowa Republicans who are evaluating the candidates: “Can they be trusted?”

Santorum suggested “a lot of policy prescriptions” had been offered by the five other candidates this evening, but Santorum asked: “Did they fight those fights when they had the opportunity?”

“…If our battle in this election…is whether we’re going to cut taxes for high-income people or not, we’re not going to unite this country,” Santorum cautioned.

At 9 p.m. (when the event was scheduled to be over), Santorum joked about his “000 plan because zero is better than 9,” a reference to his call to cut business taxes.

Santorum asked the crowd if traditional marriage and abortion are “lost” issues in America. The crowd responded: “No,” and Santorum offered them this: “We need to have a leader who understands in their heart, that will go out and fight for those (issues).”

Abortion is “a passion in my life,” Santorum said, recounting in hushed tones the death of his baby boy, saying Gabriel had been a ‘great warrior for God.”

“You want to know why I’m pro-life?” Santorum asked as he concluded his speech. “….Because God showed me that if you are faithful, he will be faithful.  Ladie & G we need people in this country who believe that…and if we stand and we are faithful and fear not, then this country could again have a rebirth of freedom.”

Santorum, when asked the “abortion on demand” and “traditional marriage” question of the event’s sponsor, said the true test of the candidates was whether the politician would “go to the states and fight it where th fight is.”

Santorum warned that “one-by-one, these liberal states” will allow same-sex marriage and the issue will wind up in the federal courts.  Santorum also addressed a state debate over a “fetal pain’ bill. “Are the folks who are trying to do these incremental measures committed to scoring a touchdown, or are they trying to pad their stats?” Santorum asked.  Santorum called himself an “offensive coordinator” on the issue. “We will take this few yards, but we are coming back,” he said, referring again to the partial-birth debate in the US Senate.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.

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