Rick Santorum Looks Beyond Iowa: ‘We’ve Got the Campaign That Can Win Everywhere’

Dec 31, 2011 6:52pm

ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe and Michael Falcone report:

OSKALOOSKA, Iowa-Even before Rick Perry announced his plans to head directly to South Carolina after Tuesday’s caucuses, Rick Santorum was already touting his readiness to compete in New Hampshire, stressing that his campaign is already laying the groundwork necessary to compete there.

Upon being informed that the Texas Governor is heading straight to South Carolina, Santorum told ABC News, “If you don’t do well, you skip.”

“I feel that we are going to do very well in New Hampshire,” Santorum said, outside of the Pella Public Library where he was surrounded by a mass of press and about 100 voters on a mild Iowa New Year’s Eve. “I think it just shows that we’ve got the campaign that can win everywhere, not just in certain places.”

With newfound momentum at his back in Iowa, the Santorum campaign is indicating that they intend to compete fully in the next two nominating states.

In Indianola at his first stop of the day outside the public library, he even invited reporters to check out his New Hampshire headquarters in Bedford saying it will be full of volunteers making phone calls.

In Knoxville, after talking to voters at a race car museum, he told reporters he just has “to exceed expectations” in the Granite State.

“We’ve seen if you don’t do well in New Hampshire, it will have an impact on South Carolina. We’ll see if you don’t do well in Iowa it’s going to have an impact on New Hampshire,” Santorum said. “I will be going to New Hampshire. I’m excited to go to New Hampshire. I’ve been there more than anybody except for (Jon) Huntsman.”

When he travels there Wednesday it will be his 13th trip to New Hampshire. He’s made more than 25 to South Carolina.

As ABC News reported earlier Friday, the Santorum campaign will launch an ad in South Carolina next week.

They will also air a commercial on New Hampshire television on Monday.

It’s the first time the campaign has run commercials in either state.

Santorum has been racing from stop to stop on New Year’s Eve making his closing argument to voters.

In Pella, he told the crowd “to step forward, to lead” and “don’t settle for less than the president we need to make this country better.”

It’s something he repeated at a coffee shop in Oskalooska surrounded by about 75 voters when he told them to “elect a Republican, but don’t elect someone who can’t do what is necessary for this country.”

He’s stressing that only a conservative Republican like himself can make the country better and without mentioning Romney by name he’s drawing a distinction between the two, attempting to make the argument that the former Massachusetts governor and President Obama are too similar.

He seemed confident on the stump thanking supporters in Pella and Oskalooska and telling them he was saying goodbye for now, but would see them again in the fall.

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