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Hundreds Turn Out to See Rick Santorum in St. Charles County

Auditorium fills to capacity and many are left outside.

Put on short notice, hundreds of area residents clamored the halls of to hear presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speak Monday.

More than anything, most just wanted a chance to learn a bit more about the presidential hopeful, who up until a few weeks ago was relatively unknown amongst area voters.

“Up until this weekend, I had no favorite (for the Republican presidential nominee),” Leo Lada, a St. Peters resident said while waiting in line. “The only thing I have against Santorum is he is not well known. I didn’t even know anything about him until the last the debate.”

Lada said he was using Santorum’s campaign stop to narrow his choices. He said he was between Santorum and Mitt Romney but could be swayed depending on what Santorum said.

“He is good on abortion and things like that, but maybe more than anything I’d like to see where he stands with labor,” said Lada, who worked 35 years in a union job with McDonnell Douglas. “I really feel like the country is too much Republican for Wall Street and Main Street. You have to have top company people and unions get together and not cutting each others throat.”

Dozens came out in support for Santorum, who they thought was the strongest anti-abortion candidate.

Anne Scherer, a longtime St. Charles resident, said abortion is her No. 1 campaign issue and appreciated Santorum’s view on the topic.

“We don’t have many voices and he is one of them,” she said. “The more I hear from him the more I like him on a variety of issues.”

Jim Wedick, of Ballwin, calls himself a Santorum man, but conceded he doesn’t think he’ll win the nomination.

“(Santorum) is kind of unique,” said Wedick, 60. “He’s very socially conservative. When it comes to economics he’s pretty pro-worker. That appeals to me, he’s not straight establishment. He’s the right combination.

Still, other than at nationally televised debates, not many know exactly what to think of Santorum.

“He’s been very strong in debates but I’d like to see what else he has to say,” said Kim Benz, of Florissant. “I’d like to hear more about where he stands on foreign policy and stuff like that.”

The auditorum in the St. Charles Community College reached capacity at 275 people by 2 p.m. leaving hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in. Santorum met briefly with the group outside after his speech ended.

John Saxton, of St. Louis, stood outside during the speech holding a Mitt Romney sign. Saxton, 60, said he supports Romney because of his business experience and the fact that he’s reasonable. But he said he was interested in hearing Santorum.

“I wanted to hear a Republican candidate in the Republican race,” he said. “Although I don’t think Santorum has much of a chance at all.”

Molly King, of Belleville, IL, brought her six children to the event, although they weren’t able to get inside.  King said she’s been a big supporter since Santorum became a state senator.

“I wanted the kids to know what it was like to be in the political process,” she said.

King said she thinks government should not have such a large role in how people live their lives.

Steve and Kathy Lanes drove down from Hannibal, MO, but were among the crowd that didn’t get seats inside. The Lanes are members of their local tea party group and said Santorum shares their values.

“I think the best way to find out is to be there, see what they have to say and to fact check,” Kathy Lanes said. “We want somebody who isn’t Obama-lite.”

Autonomy4ALL January 31, 2012 at 09:38 PM
The Truth About Rick Santorum: Will so-called Conservatives ever get it?! http://teapartyorg.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-truth-about-rick-santorum-will-so-called-conservatives-ever?xg_source=activity

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