Rick Santorum Compares Ohio Voters to the Greatest Generation, the Primary to World War II

Feb 17, 2012 10:29pm

MASON, Ohio – The Republican presidential primary and World War II are two events not often compared to each other on the campaign trail.

Yet Friday evening, while pitching himself to Ohioans, Rick Santorum did just that while revving up the crowd to vote for him here on Super Tuesday.

“We can do this,” he said. “America can do this.

“Why do you think they call the greatest generation the greatest generation?” he asked, referring to the generation who grew up in the United States during the Great Depression and then fought in World War II or helped from the home front. “Do you think it’s because they were better than you, they had more character than you, they love their country more than you? No. they were called the greatest generation because they were called at a time to do great things, to save our country.

“Folks, they didn’t realize it right away,” he said. “The greatest generation got re-called by June of 1940 when France fell. All of Europe was dark. Within months Europe was being bombarded by the Luftwaffe. … Churchill was pleading for America to help and what did we do? Nothing, virtually nothing.”

But Americans, before Pearl Harbor, initially resisted getting involved in World War II, Santorum noted to Republican voters at a Lincoln Day Dinner here.

“Americans are hopeful and optimistic people,” he said. ”We believe everything’s going to be OK.

“So they just believed, ‘Well, this is a bad thing, but it will be OK,’” Santorum said. “But that’s the nature of us: We’re optimistic, forward-looking, positive people. But sometimes, generations have to step forward. Sometimes, freedom is actually at stake.

“Do your duty to be good students and to go out in the next few weeks, fight in this primary, giving clear contrasts between the two leaders who want to lead this country,” Santorum added. “Give America a clear choice and, in so doing, give America the opportunity after the election to have a mandate for the scale of change that will renew freedom and opportunity in this country, that will limit control and cut the size of government. You give us this mandate, here in Ohio, you will be the next greatest generation of America.”

A few hundred Republicans gave Santorum an enthusiastic reception, and he was also joined by new endorser, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a former Mitt Romney supporter.

This isn’t the first time the former Pennsylvania senator has made sweeping historical comparisons. Santorum previously compared the current state of the country to the French Revolution, saying in Texas earlier this month that it could happen in America.

“They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God given rights then what’s left?” Santorum asked.

“The French Revolution,” Santorum answered. “What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we are a long way from that, but if we do follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.”

In Mason, Santorum told voters their participation on March 6 matters more than in other states because of the delegate count and their importance in the general election.

“You here in Ohio, like they said, you are the key state in a primary coming up on Super Tuesday. There is no state that can shout louder. You are the biggest, the biggest state,” Santorum said. “You’ve got the biggest trove of delegates. You can speak louder. You’re the swing state. So goes Ohio. You have an opportunity to speak loudly.”

Santorum will continue to campaign in Ohio Saturday, making stops in Columbus and Akron.

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