Rick Santorum: ‘We Always Need a Jesus Candidate’

Jan 5, 2012 10:13pm

WINDHAM, N.H. – Rick Santorum addressed his largest crowd ever Thursday evening while speaking at an event set up by a tea party group, the 9/12 project.

Santorum addressed the crowd and and took questions for almost two hours, as more than 600 people packed into the auditorium at Windham High School and more occupied an overflow room.

Santorum told the crowd that although people say Iowa is “more conservative” than New Hampshire, it was Ronald Reagan who won New Hampshire and George H.W. Bush who won Iowa in 1980.

As Santorum neared the two-hour mark, a moderator informed him he was out of time.

Santorum replied, “I’ll do five more minutes … two more questions!”

The next questioner was a veteran and asked him about the Veterans’ Affairs system.

Before answering, Santorum told the audience about a radio interview out of Boston he did earlier today.

According to Santorum, the interviewer said, “We don’t need a Jesus candidate, we need an economic candidate.”

“My answer to that,” Santorum added, ”was we always need a Jesus candidate.

“We need someone who believes in something more than themselves and not just the economy,” he added. “When we say, ‘God bless America,’ do we mean it or do we just say it?”

He didn’t mention his rivals by name nor contrast their records, but when asked about TARP he mentioned a “governor from Massachusetts” and a “congressman from Georgia” that supported the legislation.

Santorum was also endorsed on stage tonight by Christian conservative leader Shannon McGinley, who chairs the Cornerstone organization, and State Sen. Jim Luther.

Earlier in the event, Santorum was asked if believes states have the right to nullify a law they believe to be unconstitutional under the 10th amendment.

“We had a war about nullification. There was a war about nullification. The Civil War was about nullification, and I’m not sure I want to go there,” Santorum said. “If the state doesn’t like what the federal government is doing and they believe it’s unconstitutional, they can go to a federal court and they can take it up in a federal court. There is a process by which states can litigate.”

Although audience members started streaming out once the moderator informed the former Pennsylvania senator of the time constraints, they seemed to enjoy Santorum’s speech.

Ralph Burgess from Hudson, N.H., likes Santorum’s values and his “demeanor and way of handling controversial questions,” and that the candidate admits “when he doesn’t have a position on things.”

Carol Beausoleil, also from Hudson, decided to vote for Santorum after hearing him this evening. She said the two hours flew by.

“Every single question he answered, he’s a man of integrity, and I believe what he says,” Beausoleil said.

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