Rick Santorum Draws Crowds, Raises Nearly $1 Million After Tuesday Trifecta

Feb 9, 2012 2:06am

PLANO, Texas — Standing in front of a massive crowd at a rally in Plano, Texas, Rick Santorum unleashed criticism of Barack Obama and threw out some campaign red meat to supporters hungry for it, telling them the president has an “overt hostility to faith.”

“(He’s) trying to weaken them, churches, trying to say that anybody who believes in the values of the Judeo Christian policies,” Santorum said to about 2,000 people in a converted barn, one of his largest audiences of the campaign.

He told the audience at the raucous rally that Obama is restricting religious freedoms in this country, and even that a situation like the French Revolution could happen in America. As he spoke supporters yelled, “We want Rick!” and “We want you!” throughout the speech.

“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 and an audience member offered, “Communism!”

“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.”

Wednesday’s trip to Texas after winning the states of Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri turned into a victory lap when the former Pennsylvania senator was greeted by a frenzied crowd. Later his campaign announced they had raised “almost one million dollars” since his speech in Missouri.

The crowd hung on his every word, exploding when he told them, “Now is the time for America to rise up and say enough!”

It wasn’t just religious freedom Santorum cited as dwindling because of the Obama administration. He specifically cited the Department of Health and Human Services’ controversial new requirement that mandates all institutions — including Catholic hospitals and universities — provide contraception and emergency contraception.

Santorum also brought up Proposition 8 being overturned in California. This week’s decision by California’s 9th Circuit Court states that the ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional. He said it is “fundamentally un-American” the way the president “looks at our economy.”

Santorum ended his speech by telling the group, which including several hundred outside in this affluent suburb of Dallas, “Folks, this is our moment,” to responsive cries of “Amen!”

It was the most enthusiastic reception since the days in Iowa before he won the caucuses there.

The organizers of the rally gave Santorum a white ten gallon cowboy hat which he immediately put on, while beaming.

Supporters screamed and clamored to get close to Santorum on the rope line, trying to take photos and shake his hand, while a band played on stage.

At this point Texas does not yet have a primary date set. Due to redistricting, it’s unclear when this state will vote, although it will probably be some point in April.

He addressed the topic at an earlier, much more sedate Republican women’s event in Allen.

“And so we’re here, obviously, to talk to folks here in Texas. Now, you guys haven’t quite figured out when your primary’s going to be — I understand that,” Santorum said to laughs. “We’re anxious to get down here and campaign in Texas.”

Santorum campaigns next in Oklahoma, holding events Thursday in Oklahoma City and Tulsa before flying to Washington D.C. to address the Conservative Political Action Committee.

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