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Santorum sees Cain win as sign of GOP dissatisfaction

Rick Santorum said Sunday that the results of a Florida Straw Poll the prior day show that Republicans are deeply dissatisfied with the front-runners in the GOP presidential contest.

Businessman Herman Cain won the contest, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.

“It was really just a statement saying, ‘Quit trying to tell us who to vote for and quit just covering two of the candidates,” Santorum told reporters, before visiting a gun show in Des Moines. “I’m listening to some of these morning shows, it’s the same old thing, oh wow there are only two candidates that can win. That’s just garbage. The bottom line is neither of these candidates have lit anybody on fire. They both have major issues.”

Santorum, who has visited Iowa the most of any presidential candidate but is a second-tier candidate in the polls, added that his “slow and steady” campaign was gaining momentum, notably because of his strong debate performance on Thursday.

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Santorum visited two churches Sunday morning, and planned to headline a GOP fundraiser in Adair County in  the evening. Iowa was key to his campaign’s prospects, the former Pennsylvania senator said.

“I’ve got to do well here and I know that,” he said. “That’s why I’m spending time here. I love the caucuses here because it gives candidates a chance to go out and be heard by the people, to actually see the candidate and kick the tires.”

Voters at the gun show who met Santorum said they were impressed.

Bryce Hope, a 52-year-old snow plow driver, said Iowans would ultimately value a candidate that talks to them and shares their values rather than one who is a media star.

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“Candidates with lots of dollars, flash, but no substance, they’re done,” said the Winterset resident.

But Santorum’s challenges were also evident.

“What are you running for?” asked Bill Hardisty, 65, the GOP chair of Knox Township, as Santorum sought to shake his hand.


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