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Santorum: Second Place 'Would be Beyond Our Dreams' Santorum: Second Place 'Would be Beyond Our Dreams'

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Santorum: Second Place 'Would be Beyond Our Dreams'

photo of Sophie Quinton
January 10, 2012

Rick Santorum isn’t aiming for a top-tier finish in the New Hampshire primary, he said on FOX News' Fox and Friends on Tuesday. Having risen in the polls to the middle of the pack, just maintaining that position would give him momentum, the former Pennsylvania Senator said.

When asked if he was aiming for a second-place finish in the Granite state, Santorum said "oh my gosh, just the mention of that would be beyond our dreams, to be very honest with you."

"We're hopeful to finish in the three, four, five—Gingrich, myself and Huntsman are sort of grouped together there and if we can finish in that pack somewhere that's great,” Santorum said. Later, he added, I'm not saying we won’t do a little better than the pack, but it would be a shocker if we did."

 

Santorum said he hopes to do better in South Carolina, where he has a stronger base of support and better grassroots organization.

Santorum also defended Mitt Romney for saying on Monday that he likes "being able to fire people," as a way to show his support of giving consumers choices when it comes to health insurance companies. Santorum said that Romney’s statement was inarticulate, but that "it’s pretty clear what he meant."

Santorum also argued on MSNBC's Morning Joe that his conservative credentials and blue-collar roots make him a more electable candidate than the former Massachusettes governor.

"Mitt Romney has no record of running as a conservative and winning anything. I do," Santorum said. Later, he added, "It's not just the record, it's how you relate to people."

Santorum also pushed back against the idea that he isn't a true fiscal conservative. "No one has fought harder on spending limits and cutting spending," Santorum said. 

On foreign policy, Santorum said he'd consider a tactical strike against Iran's nuclear sites in order to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon.

"Everybody has said, Democrats and Republicans, that Iran can't get a nuclear weapon. We either mean it or we don't," Santorum said.

"I think a nuclear Iran is the worst nightmare for Western civilization. It will be a reign of terror—and I mean real terror—on the West," Santorum said.

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