TopLine: Live from Des Moines on Iowa Caucus Day

ABC's Shushannah Walshe says Rick Santorum knew the "boomlet" would happen.
3:00 | 01/03/12

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Transcript for TopLine: Live from Des Moines on Iowa Caucus Day
We're gonna win this thing with all of our passion and strength and do everything we can to get this campaign on the right track to go across the nation. -- to pick up other states and to get the ballots I need the votes I need to become our nominee. That's -- gonna get. That is Mitt Romney brimming with confidence last night and for the first time declaring that is going to win the Iowa Caucuses to him. That's what did he say when Iowa -- -- or did he just say win the nomination. And -- is still trying to piece together the conundrum that is Mitt Romney. -- top line starts right now. Hello and welcome to a very special Iowa caucus edition of ABC news -- what I am Rick Klein at ABC news election headquarters in New York. And I'm Amy Walter -- our election headquarters here yes. In Des Moines, Iowa the Pope county -- we're behind me you see that there are lots of nice signs everything except. Actually Rick nothing that happens here that it all happens at 17100 different caucus sites around the state starting at 7 PM central time. And we are just a couple of hours away from all the fun but we are gonna get right to -- that we have so much. To get to today on politics the Iowa Caucuses voters voting tonight or at least caucusing and -- a very special guest tonight. That's like that's right I do I have somebody who has been in the state longer than almost anybody else. Covering the candidates -- collar. Of this great state of Iowa but also somebody who knew Rick Santorum before he was a rock star take a look. ABC and NBC basically the only thing that was their policy herself away in. -- -- -- not -- accurate time. So. And people -- Chissano was asking me why -- still beyond this you know why is still doing this. All right and joining us now -- the -- -- is. She shot -- Walsh thank you she's also. The author of good morning -- your very last edition came out today in Littleton may be a little sad -- -- bittersweet to say goodbye I'll get right to you have governor Rick Santorum. When there is literally. No other reporters with you may be one or two voters which -- events. Tell us what happened between the time you first went out with him in November and where he is today. Well I first got there was six weeks ago when I got this -- spend the day together and it went from stop to stop here this marathon. Fourteen hour day. End -- there are five people ten people. Left seven people. -- but he was very specific in win at the -- would happen it would happen this week and I remember we spoke about that -- that he really thinks he Kenya and now he seems to be surging doing. And -- -- no one really gave -- much of the chancellor everyone has had their moment. Throughout this campaign what was he doing behind the scenes to make this happen this is not the kind of -- -- -- it was. Maybe it just happens organically but what was he doing overall this time to lay the ground work for this that a lot of us weren't seeing that you work. I think it was hard work as I can take from two part part. -- was in the car with him he really was focused on trying to meet every I -- twice. -- -- -- can't -- and I said -- that definitely -- you working this year niece she met rock easily come here handful of times it can it's also and he said. He said it well we'll work and -- he seems like she's right and what he also said to me -- and in previous conversations and that was about electability once. Americans. And voters I went realized that he could -- that is when that deal would all flock to him and he is right about that -- the -- That's my first interview with him with a year ago and -- nor'easter camping obviously was just -- -- and in the race yet but. -- and -- was specific in that he could do at an -- You know I had my doubts but he really does seem to be surging in a -- he was -- so specifically describe it. Write to -- -- now that he's he's surging at the right moment not just because we're so close to the -- but because it does not give his opponents much time. To start attacking him and putting them in their -- -- fire although Rick Perry of course trying. You mean to call him out on on his work in Washington with earmarks and things like that. What happens to Rick Santorum going forward though can -- how has he handled the questions. About the earmarking about the support for senators Specter about his endorsement of Mitt Romney in 2008. What's interesting and covering his interest in this is actually quite frankly he grabbed him he'll answer the question -- and and you're right that his opponents have and -- attempt to keep up with him he's thought of Ron Paul robo calls I don't know if they're gonna catch up. But what comes next is important answer those questions is important. -- New Hampshire and on the surface it looks like. Well he would -- New Hampshire right issues does have talent but he actually does have a crown in his campaign manager Mike Young it was from there. And he's been working hard -- they have a grassroots effort. -- -- -- -- went up on the air there so he isn't just gonna ask if I'm. Skip -- and if he -- obviously is nothing when it we know that it's really ready and and that's for Mitt Romney. But if he does women -- -- does come -- number two where he -- John Huntsman. What a huge Big -- going in the south -- want. And -- and it's going to be harder as the states go on from there I agree if you review -- good match for South Carolina but. He -- spent so much time in Iowa. -- not a visit all the cited account you can't meet. Every voter South Carolina or Florida or any other state twice you can't even the most of them once or even -- half time. He's not and have the money to reach him on TV screens what kind of infrastructure does he have in -- -- -- put together quickly. To make sure that he isn't Pat Buchanan that he is -- Mike Huckabee. Asked -- yesterday they have deftly brought a lot of money. Over the past few days but. There is no way that can compete financially with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney's own campaign money that -- super pac money and I I asked yesterday if you're the one and the target sites and you know they spent three million dollars here pretty much just attacking Gingrich. How you they deal that he sent to me cant really entries that -- not Newt Gingrich I think that -- -- of ring hollow but didn't really matter here. It was just the intensity and it worked we -- so. At adding that crises is the biggest problem I -- this morning -- -- Stephanopoulos. We -- I would say we did on a shoestring but that's insulting -- -- -- they really pulled off. -- and how do you worry if but they could get they could win tonight and just that with the kind of money is spent is a huge victory and it's unbelievable. And so. We're here a lot about if he does win or even if he comes in and second place and hear a lot -- retail politicking not dead right that the propelled into this. And there are other people who say you know it was great that he's here hundred is but honestly he was just the last guy standing and maybe all that time he spent here. It was really not as important as we're making -- out to be what it would take I think it's and went -- and that cards and you know how how can -- be -- coming. He said it will mean because of Alaska has had that was making Richland I think -- both I think that shaking hands meaning people. Telling them convince -- relentless all important but I mean he was left Nancy and -- All right thank -- so much for all you've done here in Iowa if you haven't read. Good morning what you missed out -- allotment definitely follow -- -- Walsh who can we get one more addition tomorrow shows just wrapping up. If you happen -- this well. I've -- New Hampshire's. On the spot okay regularly -- Wolf thanks for being here. Outlining and she is littered. Walt.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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