Santorum promises to 'tell Americans the truth' during Naples visit

David Albers/Staff
- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to a crowd gathered at First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla. during a campaign stop on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012.

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David Albers/Staff - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to a crowd gathered at First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla. during a campaign stop on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012.

Video from NBC-2

Rick Santorum knows everyone may not agree with him.

But the former Pennsylvania senator and Republican presidential hopeful told Southwest Floridians they can count on one thing: He’ll always be honest with them.

“You may not like what I say and you may not like how I say it, but you can always know I will tell Americans the truth,” Santorum told a crowd of more than 1,000 people at First Baptist Church in North Naples. “That’s what leadership is about.”

Santorum spoke for about an hour Wednesday — less than 24 hours after a private fundraising event at Naples resident Jack Donhaue’s Port Royal home — and used the time to blast big government and take several potshots at President Barack Obama.

“What is this president doing?” he asked the crowd. “This is the most important election of a lifetime. We can talk about a whole host of issues.”

Those issues include the need to boost the economy, something Santorum said needs to be done in part through more manufacturing jobs. That’s something Obama highlighted during the State of the Union on Tuesday. Santorum delighted in the fact the president was pushing an agenda he had already been touting.

“I was very excited by the president’s speech last night,” he said. “I really was, because the president made a case for Rick Santorum to be the nominee for the Republican party.”

Santorum said his plan to boost the economy includes more manufacturing jobs, as well as across the board tax rate cuts and repealing Obama’s health care laws.

But Santorum didn’t just use his stump speech to rail against the current administration. He also used his time as a rally for family values, something he feels is lacking in the country.

“If we look at the state of the family today, it’s not a healthy state,” Santorum said. “If the American family doesn’t get healthy ... then government is going to stay big and get bigger.”

Santorum said if elected he would increase the deduction families get for having children in an attempt to make it less expensive to have children. He’d also promote ways to “build families and help keep them together.”

That’s a message that resonated with supporters at the event, many of whom said they supported him because of his strong faith and values.

“He’s a true believer in his faith and how important his family is,” Naples resident Kelly Kremkau said.

Kremkau said she wanted to bring her children, who she home-schools, to hear Santorum because she wanted them to get a feel for the political process. She said she planned to support Santorum come election day.

She wasn’t alone. Many people said they were already supporters, and believed Santorum was the only viable option to Obama come November.

“I want him,” Naples resident Rhonda Hinchey said. “I want him. I think he’s young, has great ideas and sticks to the facts.”

North Fort Myers resident Anne Doherty took it one step further. Doherty told Santorum during the question-and-answer portion of the event that she knew he would be elected.

“I’m proud to be your spokesman and I know you’re going to be president,” she said. “And maybe that is a prophecy.”

Connect with Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jenna-buzzacco

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

26yearsonmarco writes:

Rick Santorum will get my vote in the Primary because I think he represents the type of American Family Man that helped found this Nation, along with my Ancestors, that were here before the Revolution.
I most likely will not get the chance to vote for him in the General Election because the “Party” does not think telling just the Truth will enable him to defeat Obama.
The “Party” would rather to let “Ramme” and the “Gink” continue to debate and make fools of each other, and wait to see which one will end up the “Master Debater”.
Also, after a lifelong member of the Republican Party, I will be changing to an Independent.

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