October 31, 2014

Santorum “thank you tour” hits eastern Iowa Tuesday (AUDIO)

 

Rick Santorum on Caucus night 2012.

The winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses is coming back to Iowa this week, for what he’s calling a “thank you” tour.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rich Santorum spoke with Radio Iowa by phone this afternoon and he described the trip as a kind of “catch-all” — with fundraisers for Republican candidates, an appearance at a non-profit he supports in Coralville and meals with some of his key Iowa supporters.

“It’s sort of a strange situation. You spend months and months and months with people and, you know, we had a great night back in January and then you sort of disappear,” Santorum said. “I do feel an obligation to get back and reacquaint myself with the folks who gave this campaign a lift.”

AUDIO of 10-minute Santorum interview.

Santorum laughed at the idea this trip is the kick-off of his next presidential campaign. He also sought to dampen any speculation that Mitt Romney might choose him as a running mate.

“I haven’t been in touch with the Romney campaign, so I suspect that (I’m) not under active consideration at this point, but we want to do whatever we can to be helpful to Governor Romney,” Santorum said. “This is — as I said many times traveling around the state of Iowa — this is the most important election in my lifetime, maybe in the history of the country.”

Santorum said he wants to be “helpful where he can be” in places like Iowa, his home state of Pennsylvania, and a handful of other states he won this past winter. As for the current state of the campaign, Santorum believes the Romney-versus-Obama match-up hasn’t captured the public’s attention.

“There’s right now just a barrage of back-and-forth that I’m not too sure a whole lot of people are paying a whole lot of attention to at this point,” Santorum said. “I think the race has yet to take shape.”

Romney was declared the victor of Iowa’s Caucuses on January 3 — by an eight-vote margin, but after the “certified” results were collected, Santorum wound up the winner — by 34 votes.

“Obviously I’m biased in this regard, but I think if you look at the fact that we went on and won 10 other states with very little resources and not a whole lot of national attention, maybe this Iowa Caucus has something to it after all,” Santorum said.

Santorum will have lunch with supporters in the Iowa City area Tuesday, then headline fundraisers for second district congressional candidate John Archer and first district congressional candidate Ben Lange. He’ll be here Wednesday, too, for events in Coralville, Marshalltown and Windsor Heights.