The PJ Tatler

Santorum: If Obama Isn't Defeated, the America We Know Will Be Gone

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum rallied with supporters at Jillians in Manchester, NH Monday night. The former senator from Pennsylvania, wearing his now trademark sweater vest, seemed buoyed by the energy he is seeing on the campaign trail, and was joined by his family at the event. Here daughter Elizabeth and son Daniel greet supporters shortly before the candidate appeared.

The candidate himself appeared about 20 minutes past showtime, walked through the audience toward the back of the audience shaking hands along the way, and then…disappeared. For close to an hour. It turned out that he was making phone calls to other supporters while a business full of them awaited him there at Jillians. The optics of that were a bit odd and may have pushed some reporters past deadline. Meanwhile outside, the occupiers showed up and decided it was a good idea to shove signs saying “Get money out of politics” into the windows. Santorum’s campaign staff taped campaign signs up in the windows to block the occupy signs and that was that.

The crowd around me, near the stage, never grew restless during the wait though it did press forward toward the stage as the time wore on. John, a New Hampshire resident standing next to me, said he was deciding on Santorum as the candidate best carrying the family values mantle. I pointed out that Rick Perry is also a family man (as are most of the remaining candidates), and John acknowledged that, saying that he wanted to support Perry first but the debates and other problems sent him looking elsewhere. I’ve heard similar things all day, actually, and last week in Iowa as well.

When he reappeared, Santorum went through the usual “I’d like to thank my campaign” rounds of political introductions before getting to his speech, which was a full bore blast at President Obama. Santorum exhorted his supporters to prove their state’s “Live free or die” motto by working hard over the primary’s final day and by casting their votes for him.

“We need a president who believes in America,” Santorum said, “and we need an American people who believe in themselves. Who believes in freedom. Who believes in our founding principles. This is your moment. If Barack Obama is re-elected, then America as we know it…as we know it…will be gone. We will be a statist country.”

While the former senator was speaking inside, a sort of leftist zoo sprouted up outside, including this fellow sporting what we in Texas might call a 20 gallon hat.

The occupiers and their pointless protest.

As the senator and his family left, the occupiers above tried to create a little chaos for them outside the venue. Because being politically active apparently means harassing an innocent man and his wife and children because you disagree with them. Supposing that the occupiers even bothered to listen to a word he had to say.

After the event, as I was wandering out, I ran into Robert Stacy McCain. Following that and a trip to radio row over at the Radisson, we ran into Andrew Breitbart, and following that, Mickey Kaus and Da Tech Guy and E. J. Dionne and Neal Boortz’s producer and on and on. Such are things on the eve of the first official primary of 2012.