Santorum, Perry Courting Upstate Voters, Candidate Forum Friday Night

Santorum---2-col-front-page“My first big win in this campaign was right here in Greenville at your County Convention,” said Rick Santorum after thanking Gresham Barrett, his campaign chairman and Greenville County GOP Chairman Betty Poe for their “great, wonderful hospitality.’ Santorum won the straw poll at the county GOP convention last year as he was launching his campaign.

Barrett is heading up Santorum’s campaign in South Carolina. The former Third District Congressman introduced former Reagan policy adviser Gary Bauer, who described Santorum as “the Reagan conservative” in this campaign.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum and his wife made two stops in Greenville, Sunday evening. The first well-attended event was at Chief’s Wings and Firewater. The second was a sitdown fundraiser for the Greenville County GOP at Stax on Woodruff Road. That event was attended by almost 200 people.

Gov. Perry was in Spartanburg Sunday and at Stax’s Original at Cherrydale  on Monday evening. Both candidates are shuttling back and forth from New Hampshire.

“You have an opportunity here to speak very loudly. Especially the Upstate will speak out and say we don’t need someone who is just a little better than the incumbent.

“You can send a message.  You are going to be bold. You can make sure that the election in the fall is going to be about Barack Obama and his record.

“We can take one of two paths. The country is in real trouble and we need someone in bold contrast.

Ron Paul supporters or someone with Ron Paul bumper stickers defaced Santorum signs around the restaurant on Wood-ruff Road, Sunday evening. The bumper stickers were pasted across the Santorum signs both on the roadside and on restaurant property while the candidate was speaking inside.

Dr. Paul has been invited to participate in the forum Friday night, but has not responded at press time.

“I believe in a strong national defense. We need to make our military stronger to make us safer,” Santorum said.

“I encourage you to look at my record. It is a Reagan conservative record. If  South Carolina does not stand up and say we want a conservative to represent us, we may not have one.”

Most of the Republican candidates will be participating in a forum at Byrnes High School, Friday Night. BBQ will be included in the price of admission.

The forum will be moderated by Congressmen Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan.

With the New Hampshire primary over and the South Carolina Primary set for Saturday, January 21, 2012, the candidates will be spending a lot of time in the Upstate.

 

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Mike Scruggs