News Column

Rick Santorum Boosted by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck

December 5, 2011

Salena Zito

Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania Senator, is getting some love from conservative luminaries Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck as he struggles to win the hearts of voters in Iowa weeks before the presidential caucuses there.

"If voters start shifting gears and deciding they want ideological consistency, then they're going to start paying attention to say, Rick Santorum," the former Alaska governor said as a guest on Fox News Thursday evening. Palin continued with praise for his "hard-line" positions on cutting taxes, dealing with Iran and abortion.

Santorum, understanding the implications of her remarks, immediately tweeted his appreciation. "Thank you @SarahPalinUSA for the kind words ..." he wrote.

"Palin's statement certainly helps with giving Santorum the conservative street credentials he needs with evangelicals in Iowa," said Catherine Wilson, an expert on religious voters impact on politics at Villanova University.

Palin's near endorsement follows a boost last week from conservative firebrand Glenn Beck, who was included in a Santorum fundraising e-mail plea for donations.

Beck said that he does not endorse candidates or get involved with politics, but when people ask him who to support he said, "If there is one guy out there that is the next George Washington, the only guy that I could think of is Rick Santorum. I would ask that you would take a look at him."

Of the eight candidates who are running in the Republican primary, Santorum, along with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, are tied for last with an average of 2.3 percentage points in RealClearPolitics aggregate polling.

Santorum, from Penn Hills, said that between now and caucus day he will spend every day but four in the Hawkeye State.

Source: (c) 2011 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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