Santorum to score big Iowa endorsement
December 8th, 2011
10:26 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum to score big Iowa endorsement

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will receive the backing of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz on Friday, a GOP source familiar with the announcement confirmed to CNN.

Schultz's endorsement is a big boost for the former Pennsylvania senator, who's made Iowa a main focus of his campaign.

Schultz backed fellow Mormon Mitt Romney in 2008 and his decision to now support Santorum is sure to raise eyebrows in the Hawkeye State.

Schultz is viewed as a rising star in the Republican Party. He was elected secretary of state in 2010 after serving for six years on the Council Bluffs City Council.

Schultz made headlines in June when he criticized former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is also Mormon, for not making a serious effort to campaign in Iowa and zeroing in almost entirely on New Hampshire instead.

"Iowa is a bellwether state. We care about families, our faith and our freedom," Schultz said in a statement at the time. "We are not single-issue voters. Hopefully Mr. Huntsman will change his mind and come to Iowa and explain how he plans on fixing the problems facing our country."

Santorum, well known for his social conservative views, touts being the only candidate to travel to all 99 counties in Iowa.

Despite Santorum's efforts, only 5% of GOP caucus goers said they will support him, according to the latest CNN/Time/ORC Poll.

The Iowa caucus, the nation's first Republican nominating contest, is set for Jan. 3.

UPDATE: Schultz made the endorsement official Friday in a statement.

"Senator Santorum is a strong advocate for faith, family, and freedom. He has a solid track record as a social and fiscal conservative from his time serving in the US Senate and House of Representatives," Schultz said. "As a Republican from a blue state, he has the experience to win in tough elections. Senator Santorum shares my core conservative principles and I believe he should be the Republican candidate to take on President Obama. That is why I am supporting Rick Santorum."

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Mark Preston contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. nina

    Oh, yippee! Maybe now his support will double to 8%.

    December 8, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Schultz is viewed as a rising star in the Republican Party. ◄
    But then something happens.....

    Obama 2012

    December 8, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  3. Tim

    It's about time Rick started getting some big endorsements; he deserves it. He is easily the best candidate for the Republicans.

    December 8, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  4. m

    Great, let Santorum win Iowa. He has absolutely no chance of winning anywhere else.

    December 9, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. manhandler1

    Why would it matter who endorses him and why is this "big." He has no chance whatsoever at the nomination. Must be a slow newsday.

    December 9, 2011 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  6. Pedron

    After what he has gone through he deserves it!!

    December 9, 2011 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  7. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The rubes in Iowa are chasing flavor of the month Gingrich now. Rick wasted his money. He's toast.

    December 9, 2011 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  8. Don

    It's about time Rick Santorum got noticed. He's exactly what this GOP really wants. Google it and find out.

    December 9, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  9. Puddin

    Since all the rest of the potential nominees have bitten the dust, now let's hear from the two seemingly sane ones: Santorum and Huntsman.

    December 9, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. sortakinda

    Santorum dreams the impossible dream-everyone else catches the Cain morality bug, and he alone survives as the Republican candidate. That's why he won't sit near Bachmann.

    December 9, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |