Santorum hopes big endorsement will ignite 'spark' in Iowa
December 20th, 2011
09:46 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum hopes big endorsement will ignite 'spark' in Iowa

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (CNN) – Republican hopeful Rick Santorum must have been at least a little confused Tuesday morning around the time he received the endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats of the influential conservative group The Family Leader.

He was first told by someone at an event that Rick Perry would be getting the nod.

In the middle of his reaction to that alleged news, he said, he was told no one was getting it. Soon enough, someone informed him that The Family Leader itself would not be endorsing, but that Vander Plaats was personally throwing his support behind Santorum.

Once he got the right information, he was able to give a proper reaction.

“I'm very excited about it. I think it shows that our campaign is the one that has the momentum,” Santorum said.

That’s momentum he could sure use. The candidate who’s hit all 99 counties-some of them “two or three times” he says-is still registering in the single digits in the latest polls. But this may be just the ticket he needs.

He said he’s confident a recent string of endorsements, including Tuesday’s announcement, could give him the boost he needs come caucus night on January 3.

Asked whether he thinks this will give him the proverbial “bump” that virtually all the other candidates have seen in one form or another this cycle, Santorum said he hoped the endorsement would “help” Iowans make up their minds.

“People say, ‘When are you going to get your spark?’ It’s going to be January 3rd,” he said. “We'll get moving from then on.”

Caucus-goer Bill Scandridge decided Tuesday that Santorum would likely be getting his vote.

“I was originally on the fence…between Newt [Gingrich] and Rick [Santorum],” Scandridge said, adding that he had coincidentally just come from a Gingrich event. “Newt happened to be at the Hy-Vee [Grocery Store] today…and he didn’t put out a lot of things that I didn’t already hear form him before.”

“[Santorum] sealed the deal for me,” he added.

He also won the heart of another Iowan, though not exactly a caucus-goer.

“I really liked hearing you speak,” a girl of elementary school age told Santorum as he signed a few autographs. “You were more interesting than the last guy I got to listen to.”??

“Who was the last guy you got to listen to?” Santorum asked with a grin.

“What was his name?” she said out loud to herself. After a moment of thinking she cried out, “Newt Gingrich!”

Santorum reacted with a laugh, then said, “From the mouths of babes.”

Also see:

Bachmann: I'm not a politician, don't even know how to be one

Romney, on Letterman show, jokes about hair, Newt Gingrich

Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'


Filed under: 2012 • Bob Vander Plaats • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. roscoe

    That should provide a huge explosion in voter support. He will probably double his current polling levels from 1% to 2%.

    December 20, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. Joshua Ludd

    Do you really want a spark anywhere near about 150 pounds of Santorum?

    December 20, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Frank

    Sorry, Rick. Not going to happen, no matter how many "faith leaders" endorse you. Your views are way too far right of even the evangelicals in Iowa.

    December 20, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  4. Nevis Mn

    This is not a big endorsement. It probably does more harm to an already dead campaign. Vander Platts can't even sway his own organization. He and Hurley are yesterday's news.

    December 20, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. GOP = Greed Over People

    A spark? Captain "christian" will need a burning bush!

    December 20, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  6. jms58

    It is obvious that the GOP wants to turn this country into something very close to the form of government enjoyed by the Iranians. That is exactly what your are asking for with all these religious organizations calling the shots.

    December 20, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. Midwestmatt

    Those of us in the Midwest can assure the rest of the country that despite a handful of diehard supporters keeping Santorum and Bachmann alive, neither will not amount to anything more than a single digit showing, maybe 10% at the most. This "endorsement" by Vander Plaats amounts to nothing more than one lunatic patting the back of another complete lunatic (but not in a gay way...). The upper Midwest is far more pragmatic than the rest of the country could imagine and I've lived across America. The lunatic candidates will all fair very poorly come caucus time and drop out very shortly thereafter.

    December 20, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. SteveInPA

    Go away Rick...just go away. You could not get votes if you were running for dog catcher.

    December 20, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Yes this will put him over the edge... The edge for Santorum is getting into double digits! He won't get close.

    December 20, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  10. Terry Gloege

    Amen brother Rick, please pass the peas.

    December 20, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Santorum hopes big endorsement will ignite 'spark' in Iowa◄
    The only spark this endorsement is going to "try" to ignite is a DUD!! Give it up Santorum, you don't have the "Look and Feel" of a President – You are too irritating and whiny, just like Bachmann!! Take a "chill pill" and relax and campaign for someone else.

    Obama 2012

    December 20, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  12. Reuben Andreessen

    This endorsement will add to Senator Santorum's growing momentum. Perhaps Rick Santorum is the most viable conservative alternative to the more moderate Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican nomination.

    December 21, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  13. Newly Unemployed

    Thought to myself, hmm, who is this Santorum guy...sounds interesting...Googled him from work....now I'm one of the 8.6% unemployed. :)

    December 21, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. Dixie AZ

    Whoopie doo!! An endorsement from Bob Vander Plaats. How lucky can a guy get? Must you sign a pledge to have Bachman as your VP?

    December 21, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  15. Texas Doc

    Have you googled this guy's name? Eww! Why would someone name their son after that?

    December 21, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  16. boz33333

    scary man. lucky for the US he'll never come close to the white house.

    December 21, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  17. Logic in LA

    Zealot backs Uber Conservative- big news here-LOL

    December 21, 2011 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  18. Donkey Party

    Zero chance, he just doesn't have the frothy masses he needs.

    December 21, 2011 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  19. IAResident

    I am personaly ashamed of chuck and bob, I personaly know alot of the folks in this group. Them not backing Ron Paul shows their hypocrisy, and will fracture their orginization.

    December 21, 2011 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  20. Thomas

    Republican hopeful Rick Santorum thinks he could be a VP choice , in his dreams.

    With all those kids to feed , he needs a job.

    December 21, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Does this overpopulator idiot realize that a snowball has a better chance in he!! than he does?
    Sad, so sad.

    December 21, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  22. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Rick is toast,they've moved on to flavor of this week Ron Paul. He wasted his time and money.

    December 21, 2011 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  23. johnmenacherjr

    WOW a self saved catholic licking the boot heels of a self proclaimed protestant fanatic! I guess the times really HAVE changed!

    December 21, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  24. Indy

    Isn't the big news here that The Family Leader did NOT find a candidate they could endorse ?

    December 21, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |