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Blogs / CAMPAIGN 2012

How a Key Iowa Endorsement Was Won

Republican presidential hopeful former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's Ronald Reagan Dinner on Friday, Nov. 4.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

November 7, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the hardest working man in (Iowa) show business, has landed a big endorsement: Chuck Laudner, the former executive director of the state Republican party and a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Steve King.

Laudner hinted at his support for Santorum when he described to me last week how Santorum was the only candidate at King's Defenders of Freedom dinner in Sioux City one week earlier.
"There were 300 rock-ribbed conservatives in the room and only Santorum was there,'' he said. "I kept looking for some kid wearing another candidate's sticker on their lapel and holding a clipboard who was working the room. Stupidity! If I was a candidate, I would have fired my staff if I found out we didn't have anyone working Steve King's event in Sioux City. What else are you doing on a Saturday night two months before the caucus?''

Laudner said Santorum was suffering from a "chicken and egg syndrome'' in Iowa. More people would support him if he moved up in the polls, but he can't move up in the polls until more people support him.

By the way: The last candidate to leave the room after the Iowa Republican Party's Reagan dinner in Des Moines on Friday night? Rick Santorum.

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