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“Santorum’s Texas Visit”

Texans Pick Rick Santorum

By Donna Garner

According to the Associated Press (2.8.12), Rick Santorum is in second place in the delegate race; and as of this last Tuesday night, he has won 4 of the 8 nominating contests while Romney has won 3 and Gingrich 1.

Coming off such an exciting but exhausting Tuesday night, how would Santorum do when he came to Texas yesterday?

It was my privilege to be there for three public appearances and to evaluate Santorum personally.  Because I was a Presidential appointee of Reagan’s and  testified in the halls of Congress numerous times, I know politics and have seen many politicians up close; but I have never observed anyone quite like Santorum was yesterday. 

When Rick came into the small room at the Courtyard Marriott in Allen, Texas, where about 50 conservative leaders from our state were gathered, there was not the usual sense of his campaign staffers first entering the room to hush the crowd to get them ready to “worship” their dark-haired leader. They and Rick entered in a quiet and unassuming manner, smiling, excited to be there, and eager to interact with the participants.  

Rick had gotten behind with his previous appearance in Dallas and was late in arriving at our meeting.  At one point, we feared that he might have to cancel his meeting with us because he also had a scheduled appearance with the Collin County Republicans right after ours. Instead, he came into the room, promised us 30 minutes; and without any notes or teleprompter, he began in an unhurried and unflustered way to address the four questions that had been submitted previously by participants. (I have posted the YouTube of his answers further on down the page.)

As Rush Limbaugh has so aptly said, “We conservatives don’t need to make notes about what we believe.”  Neither did Santorum —   

Next, Rick took questions from the audience and patiently answered them, looking the person right in the eyes as he spoke.  His honest answers, transparent exchanges with the questioners, fresh look, twinkling eyes, tousled semi-curly dark hair, and ruddy cheeks all created the impression of a humble person who is secure in his own skin but totally sure of his mission in life.  We saw a man of integrity whose word could be trusted. 

I saw no guile, no ego, no self-focused absorption. Rick was humble and genuine. He did not mind admitting when he had been wrong about a particular issue, and he did not feel compelled to blame someone else. 

At the end of the small-group meeting, we went with him to the next public appearance with the Collin County Republicans. This was a bit more formal with a big crowd and a podium, yet Rick’s statements were clear and direct without the usual politically pleasing remarks that are solely geared to raise campaign donations. His speech was interrupted with loud applause numerous times, particularly when he emphasized the importance of the family structure in our society and our Constitutional right to worship as we please even though Obama is trying to destroy that right.     

Leaving Allen, we drove as quickly as possible to Fairview Farms in Plano. This is a huge country/western barn restaurant that normally holds upwards of 400 people. The place was packed out; and therefore, two of the barn doors had been raised so that people could stand outside the restaurant to be able to hear Rick. 

When we drove up, the parking lots were full with people streaming to the event; many  were going back to their cars because they could not get inside the restaurant. 

We stood outside in the cold weather (probably 38 degrees or so) for almost an hour.  I am not good at estimating crowds, but someone from the area said that well over 2,000 must have been present. Of course, many people left when they found they could not get inside to hear Rick speak.  

What thrilled me was to see how many young families came, bringing their children with them. One young father had no coat. He held his three-year old daughter in his arms the entire time, keeping her snuggly by wrapping his coat around her.  He listened intently and stayed for the entire speech, and I have to believe that he was there because he cares about that daughter and knows that this coming election will determine her future life.  

We who stood outside could not even hear all of what Rick said; but the part that we could hear energized us; and we loudly applauded as we heard him say that it is God who gives us rights and not the government.  

Now comes the most impressive part of the night. After Rick spoke, the emcee announced that Rick had to go right to a taping for the Sean Hannity Show.  Many of the people inside the barn left; but because we had not been able to get inside during the event, a number of us went in to look around and to locate friends. 

Various candidates were inside mixing with the crowd; but in about 30 minutes, Rick Santorum came back unannounced into the restaurant and spent another 45 minutes with the crowd.   

Here was a man who had probably stayed up until the wee hours Tuesday night tracking his three-state victories, had flown to Dallas, had arisen early on Wednesday to attend an early-morning prayer rally with pastors, had done a Q&A with the press, had driven to Dallas to a fund-raiser luncheon, had driven back to Allen for the two back-to-back Courtyard Marriott rallies, had given a campaign speech at the barn restaurant, and had done an interview with Sean; however, Santorum still took the time to come back and meet and greet the public. Amazing! 

Rick never rushed anyone through. He gave autographs, engaged with people, allowed myriads of photos to be taken, and genuinely acted as if he was glad to be there.  His staffers did not form a barrier to “protect him from the crowd” nor did they try to force him into glad-handing.  He took his time, focused his attention on the person with whom he was talking, and did not continually pan the room for possible notables. 

After being a part of the events yesterday, I can honestly say that Rick Santorum is the kind of person who has one thing on his mind; he genuinely cares about America, recognizes the potential and human worth of each individual, and is committed to rescuing our country from the Obama administration. 

I did not have access to paper/pen at the time, but here is a summary of some of Rick Santorum’s main points that sent chills down our spines: 

Let’s try to imagine what another term under Obama would be like — when he is not having to worry about re-election.  

Think what he would do to ObamaCare.  

Think what type of appointments he would make to all federal benches.  

Think how he would force our country into redistribution of wealth.  

Think what would happen to our oil and gas supplies without the Keystone pipeline and without increased oil production from Alaska. What would it be like in America for every one of us if we had to depend on OPEC for all of our gas and oil?   

Think what would happen if Obama were able to take away deductions for all charitable donations. It is these organizations that stand between us citizens and the government.  It is these organizations that see to the needs of people in our society. It is these churches, synagogues, organizations, and groups that help the poor and minister to hurting people.  

Think what another term under Obama would do to freedom of religion.  

Think how many more babies would be aborted.  

We must rise up and take back our country from Obama and his ruthless administration. Santorum is the person who presents the sharpest contrast to Obama.  Santorum is the only real conservative in the race, and he is a man of integrity and courage. He will not have to test the polls before taking action because he has a moral compass that is attuned to the Source of all wisdom and knowledge.   

 

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