Former Sen. Rick Santorum
Primary Night
The Citadel
Charleston, SC
Jan. 21, 2012


[Chants: We Pick Rick!  We Pick Rick!]...Thank you.  Well, three states, three winners: what a great country.

I had the pleasure and it was a pleasure to congratulate my friend Newt Gingrich just a few minutes ago on [inaud.] an amazing victory for him.  He's been up and he's been down, and he never stopped fighting and to Newt Gingrich, let's give him a big round of applause for standing in there and fighting.  Good job, buddy; good job.

Well I just want to also thank somebody else, and, well actually a group of folks who happen to be standing behind me.  I just want to thank first and foremost my wife Karen.  And we have six of our seven children here; our little one Bella is here in South Carolina, but not up with us here on stage.  I want to thank them for all the great hard work [inaud.].  Thank you.  And I always have to start out by thanking my family, because that's where it all starts for me.

I've onlyxxKaren has written two books.  I've only written one.  By the way her books sold more than my one book, butxx  I wrote that book in response to a book written by Hillary Clinton.  She wrote a book called It Takes a Village, and I wrote the rebuttal It Takes a Family.  [Chants: We Pick Rick!  We Pick Rick!] 

This was a family decision.  It was not an easy decision to step forward and step back into the firing line, and this has clearly been a firing line.  But it was a family decision to step forward at a time when we just, like everybody else in Americaxxthe Tea Party people who rose up and delivered that great victory in 2010, who felt this sense that something, something was wrong in America.  There was something that was out of wack, something that they couldn't sit on the sidelines any more and just watch America, the America that they knew and loved, fundamentally changed.  And that's why Karen and I and the kids, we sat around our kitchen table just like well we all sit around our kitchen tables and we talked about our future, we talked about our family and our country, and we decided to step forward and run for president of the United States. 

And we went to this little town in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains, Somerset, Pennsylvania.  And I went there for two reasons.  Because I think what's fundamentally at stake in this country is freedom.  The government taking and robbing every man, women and child, every institution that seeks to do good in our society, they continue to rob it of their freedom and control everything from the top down.

So I went, so our family went to this little town in Somerset, Pennsylvania.  It's not where I was from.  I didn't grow up in Somerset, never lived in Somerset.  Had a couple of friends in Somerset, butxx  But we went to Somerset because of two things that to me represented what was at the core, the threat that this administration was to those fundamental freedoms. 

Number one was, as I mentioned before, it's about a few miles down the road from where my grandfather came to this country and worked in those coal mines.  That's where my grandfather dug his way to freedom for me and my father and through this generation that now follows me.  And so I wanted to stand on the place where freedom was etched for the Santorum family, and just down the road from the place where an airliner crashed upon a September day, five miles away from Somerset in Shanksville, where the first blow for freedom was struck in this war against radical jihadists.  I wanted to stand there on those sites to make a clarion call that this race and this campaign was not going to be about tearing everybody down, was not going to be about negative ads, was not going to be about anything other than painting a bold vision for our country, one that believed in the working class values that my grandfather taught to me.

Workers who believed as, well Barack Obama actually got it right when he made that comment in San Francisco unbeknownst that it was being recorded.  Yes my grandfather and I come from that area of Pennsylvania he was referring to, that holds on tightly to their guns and their Bibles.  Those are the people in America who are being left behind, those are the folks in America whose party, neither party has a voice for. 

Oh, President Obama and the left will tell you, oh they care.  They want to do everything for you from the top down.  They don't believe in you; they believe in their ability to care for you.  That's not America, and that's not what the working people of Western Pennsylvania and the working people of South Carolina and the working people across this country want.  They don't want someone or some government that's going to care for them; they want someone who believes in them.

We went out and all across this country, in these three states now, but let me assure you we will go to Florida and then we're going to Arizona and Colorado [inaud. due to applause, then chants: "We Pick Rick!  We Pick Rick!]

We're going to deliver a litte different message than the other folks in this race, and I respect them greatly.  It's great to be up there and shoulder to shoulder with them, taking on every night and every day as we travel across this country taking on the policies of this president.  But I plan to be a little different.  I'm going to go out an talk about how we're going to have a Republican Party, a conservative movement that makes sure that everyone in America has the opportunity to rise, not just those who have maybe advantage, maybe have had a little more opportunity than somebody else, but every person in America wiill have the opportunity to rise in America again.

And it's a pretty simple formula; it's a pretty simple formula.  It's a formula that I talked about the other day at the debate that's a simple formula that we all understand.  It's a formula that values work.  It respects the dignity of all work in America.  It says to anybody for any job that we respect that, but we also want to give you an opportunity to rise in society.  And that's what's missing.

As much as we like to talk about as conservatives that if we just cut taxes and reduce spending everybody will do fine, well that's simply not the case.  That's simply not the case.  We have to create an atmosphere in this country where people can get the education they need.  We have to create an atmosphere in this country where people can get the training they need.  We have to have an attitude in this country that says we want to compete for those blue collar jobs that create the opportunities that in two generations one of their kids can run for president of the United States. 

We also want to say [somebody yells something from the audience], we also want to say that we stand up, we stand up and want to promote the values that made this country great, the values of faith, family and freedom.  Those values that we understand and we all know, because that's what works in America.  I talk often in my speeches about the liberal think tank that says if you do three things that you can almost guarantee to stay out of poverty.  Work, that I just talked about.  Get that education; graduate from high school.  And of course get married before you have children.  Marriage, family.

If we are not the party that stands up for the truth about the importance of marriage, the importance of families, the importance of fatherhood and motherhood, the importance of those values of instilling virtues in the next generation of children with faith, then we are a party that no longer has a heart, and we are not a party that's going to be a majority party in this country.  We have to be the party that speaks to everyone.  Those who know and understand that at the heart of America, that beating sound is that beating pulse of the healthy family.

I want to thank everybody hear in the state of South Carolina, thank you so much.  Here at the Citidel, I want to thank the Citadel for the tremendous hospitality and the wonderful job the cadets have done for us, and I want to particularly thank you for that beautiful muzzle [sp.], muzzle-loading gun I got yesterday. 

And I want to say to all those folks across America who are looking for that candidate, that candidate that can be that good stark contrast, someone who can contrast on all of the issues that are important for America today.  The ones that are going to decide this election.  The ones of experience on national security, the consistency of the conservative principles that made this country great.  I ask you. It's a wide open race.  Join the fight.  Thank you!

# # #

Transcript Copyright © 2012 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.  All rights reserved.