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Santorum Stumps in Tupelo

By Sandra Knispel | Published 08 Mar 2012 01:08am | comments
Owners Bryan and Brenda Hawkins show Republican hopeful Rick Santorum their sheet metal production facility in Tupelo where Santorum stomped on Wednesday evening before flying to Jackson for another appearance.

With several Republican primaries in the South next week, Alabama and Mississippi are now taking center stage. Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are all to stump in the Magnolia state. MPB’s Sandra Knispel has more on Santorum’s campaign stop in Tupelo last night.

“Thank you so much for coming out here today and making me feel very, very welcome here in the state of Mississippi. I appreciate that." [applause]

Santorum was the first one to touch down in Mississippi, where he campaigned at Hawkeye Industries in Tupelo yesterday evening.

“We’re gonna win in Mississippi on Tuesday," Santorum told a cheering crowd.

Wearing his trademark -- a vest – the former senator from Pennsylvania told some 250 supporters that he knew already what he’d do first in the White House:

“Aside from signing an order to build the Keystone pipeline.. that’s one thing I’d do on day one. Another thing we can do on day one is actually repeal every single one of those high-cost regulations on day one," Santorum said. "That will send a very clear signal to the business community in this country and to people around the world who are looking to invest. Where do you want to invest to grow and create jobs? Come here to America!”

Apart from the need to do away with many government regulations, Santorum’s speech revolved around the themes of energy independence, repealing the health reform act, lowing corporate taxes, replacing the tax code with something – quote “easy and simple” – and family values. Acknowledging that the Republican primary has been dragging on longer than usual he had a clear message for his audience:

"You deliver a victory for us on Tuesday. [Then] you will make this a two-person race. And once it’s a two-person race the conservative will be the nominee. You can change it all Mississippi! Thank you and God bless you!" [applause]

Listening in the audience was Dennis Kelly who sells mobile homes for a living.

"I would certainly prefer him to win over Mitt Romney," Kelly said. "[We] certainly need gas prices to go down, we need to be more energy independent. And I certainly like his family values. I think he’s the best candidate for family values.”

Mississippi’s primary is next Tuesday and political pundits predict that both Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have a good chance of picking up delegates here. In order to take all 40 one candidate needs to get 50 percent of the primary vote plus one, otherwise they will be doled out proportionally.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Tupelo

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Owners Bryan and Brenda Hawkins show Republican hopeful Rick Santorum their sheet metal production facility in Tupelo where Santorum stomped on Wednesday evening before flying to Jackson for another appearance.


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