Rick Santorum makes last-minute pitch to Oklahomans

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: March 4, 2012
Advertisement
;

Republican presidential nomination candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday he has the best plan as well as the leadership to revive the nation's economy and get Americans working, aiming some of his comments at protesters who tried unsuccessfully to spoil a rally at the Oklahoma Capitol.

In a nearly 40-minute speech, the former two-term U.S. senator from Pennsylvania also said he would repeal the nation's health care bill and would open up offshore drilling and drilling for oil and natural gas on federal lands, drawing cheers from about 300 who showed up for the rally, which was announced less than 24 hours earlier.

Santorum appealed to Republicans in the crowd to vote for him Tuesday in Oklahoma's presidential preferential primary. Voters in nine other states also will be going to the polls on what's called Super Tuesday.

“You are the conservative lodestar here,” he said. “You go out and give us a win, and I guarantee you we will go on past Super Tuesday. ... and this race will turn around and we will be the nominee.”

After the rally, Santorum, said he likes his chances of winning Oklahoma and that he has a good chance to win Ohio.

“We feel like we have a strong base of support here,” he said.

Asked how many states he might win, Santorum said: “Three would be terrific; four would be super. ... We have an excellent chance at finishing second in most of the states we're not going to finish first in.”

About a dozen protesters began screaming and chanting shortly after Santorum began speaking. The protesters tore up Santorum signs and continued their chanting for about 20 minutes. “Women's rights!” they chanted, along with “Rick is a trick!” and “Get your hate out of my state!”