Both Presidential hopeful Santorum and Cafe Diem regulars received a little more than they bargained for.
Santorum's 8 a.m. town hall meeting attracted national media attention something Santorum said he wasn't used to. And a few who came in for their morning coffee didn't realize Santorum would be there and sat down and listened anyway.
The former U.S. Senator of Pennsylvania told a group of about 30 people having coffee that he's an underdog but that he might be the only GOP candidate who could unseat an incumbent Democrat because he's done it before. He said of the Republicans who will line up for the debate on Thursday that, “no one on that stage has defeated a Democrat incumbent except me.”
Santorum spent most of his 30 minute speech talking about why he could win, what he did as a U.S. Congressman and the overbearing judiciary.
The 53-year-old Pennsylvania attorney unseated a seven time incumbent, Dough Walgreen, in a race for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and in 1994 he unseated incumbent Harris Wofford taking the U.S. Senate seat.
Santorum said he did it by meeting people wherever they would meet him, as he is now.
“What did I campaign about? It was about conservative governments and I ran almost the entire race on Clinton care, on healthcare, on government run healthcare.”
In Iowa, Santorum said he's met people on the campaign trail who are upset about Iowa's judges approving same sex marriage. They ask what presidential cnadidates will do about the U.S. Supreme Court, Santorum said, and most candidates answer that they will appoint good judges, but that's not enough, he said.
He said Supreme Court judges see themselves as having a role above Congress and the President.
“I will fight back,” Santorum said.
Santorum said while he was in Congress that the Supreme Court knocked down a provision on partial birth abortion but he worked to change the law and eventually the court ruled in his favor. If he was elected president Santorum said he would abolish the 9th Circuit Court and replace it.
Santorum said when he was in Congress he was able to surround himself with good folks and as president would appoint competent people and stop oppressive promulgated regulations.
“The core decision we have to make as Americans is whether we believe in an America where the government is limited and believes in free people and gives them the power to be able to go out and solve problems from the bottom up,” Santorum said, “Or do we believe in a country that is frankly more like the country we left than the country we founded.”
Ronald Stenstrom, Ames, said he agreed with Santorum's message but said that the former Senator doesn't have the notoriety to win.
Paul Fell, Ames, a Santorum supporter who followed the candidate outside as he was interviewed by reporters, said it was his sixth time seeing Santorum speak. Santorum is someone people need to see in person, he said.
“I came to get my fix,” Fell said.
by Jessica Miller