‘Survivor’ Santorum Says ‘Just Keep Me on the Island’

Jan 10, 2012 2:56pm

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Rick Santorum has raised almost $3 million since his virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses last week. The campaign had raised $2 million between the caucuses Jan. 3 and Jan. 5.

Santorum greeted Granite State primary day voters this morning at an elementary school here and spoke to reporters on his way in to try and win their votes. Outside Northwest Elementary School, he said a long drawn-out primary is good for his candidacy, likening it to not being voted off the island. “I feel like I’m on an episode of ‘Survivor,’” Santorum told reporters. “Just keep me on the island, we will be fine.”

There was low turnout at the polling location, but the candidate was able to shake a few hands and kiss at least one baby. Newt Gingrich stopped by the same school later in the day.

A few elderly women got a, “Hi, young lady”  from Santorum, while an older man shook Santorum’s hand and the former Pennsylvania senator asked him for his vote. The man replied, “I’m a Democrat.”

Santorum quipped, “It’s still nice to meet you.”

Outside the school, Ron Paul supporters and Santorum sign-wavers stood next to each other, also greeting voters. Santorum has kept his campaign less combative than his rivals, declining to name Mitt Romney on most inferences to him Monday. He said he’s keeping the tone fairly positive, but there are “lots of contests” ahead.

“The idea that New Hampshire and South Carolina or even Iowa and New Hampshire are going to decide this race is just simply not true,” Santorum said. “They are going to have their say and they’ve certainly had an important role to play and they will have an important role to play today. This is going to be a long primary system, this is no winner takes all early on. There are going to be lots of opportunities for candidates to rise and fall.”

Santorum said his campaign just “need[s] to stay on message, stay focused on winning votes and if people want to go out there and attack on what happens every day, we are going to stay focused on the issues, we are going to stay focused on the issues people care about,” stressing he will continue to do that as the campaign moves to South Carolina.

He did say the contrasts will become “sharper and sharper” as the campaign continues. “I’ve certainly contrasted myself with the other people,” Santorum said. “We tried to do it respectfully and make sure we keep it on the issues and that’s what we will continue to do.”

The candidate will address supporters this evening at the Derryfield Restaurant in Manchester before traveling to South Carolina to start campaigning for their primary 11 days from now.

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