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Santorum Promises SC Primary Victory

The former Pennsylvania senator made two stops in the Upstate Sunday.

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Surging GOP candidate Rick Santorum went before a crowd of at least 200 people at Chiefs Wings and Firewater on Congaree Road in Greenville on Sunday afternoon.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who came within an eyelash of winning the Iowa Caucuses, told the crowd that a lot of people have been asking him, despite that Iowa success, when they were going to get their win.

"Just wait until Jan. 21, and you'll find out where we're gonna get our win," Santorum said.

Santorum said he's devoted to running a positive campaign, but said that he's encouraged that he's "starting to make necessary contrasts" with the rest of the field. Former frontrunner Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, has vowed to go ugly if he has to to keep keep former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney from earning the nomination.

Santorum specifically said that there are "bigger issues facing this nation" than simply the economy, such as ensuring national security and reestablishing America's values.

Campaigning in the socially conservative Upstate, Santorum took the opportunity to once again clarify his stance on birth control.

"It's been clarified about oh, 150,000 times, so I'll clarify 150,001," Santorum said. "I've never said I wanted to ban birth control. I wouldn't vote for it. This is sort of the sad part that comes in, with folks who have an agenda aren't really interested in the truth."

But he said the Supreme Court should not have overturned local laws concerning birth control, and he said he is firmly against federal subsidies that provide contraception.

"The Supreme Court in a variety of different cases, Roe V. Wade being principal one most people know, has created rights in the constitution that don't exist, and has no basis."

Michael Fedor, a Santorum supporter from Greenville, agreed.

"I agree with that point of view that it should be a states' rights issue, rather than a federal government issue," he said.

Phil Manley of Anderson said it wasn't a huge issue, becuase he didn't see any state wanting to ban it.

"It's kind of like Mitt Romney (at NH debate) said. I don't think there are any states that want to ban contraceptives," he said. "For that reason, I don't really think the question was — it's like a made-up question.

"I don't think public funding for contraceptives is a good idea."

Former South Carolina congressman Gresham Barrett, the state chairman for the Santorum campaign. said Santorum's campaign is to "let the states deal with it."

"I will say this about Sen. Santorum; I don't care what anybody else may say, there's nobody up on that stage that is more pro-life than Rick Santorum," Barrett said.

Santorum's views on birth control have been complicated by campaigning with the Duggar family, an Arkansas family with 19 children who have been made famous through several reality TV shows. The Duggar family does not believe in birth control.

"I think his stand on birth control is obviously a personal thing, and he'd never impose it on anyone else," said Jill Duggar, 20, one of the family's children.

"As far as his stand on abortion, he believes life is there and he actually was the author of the ban on partial birth abortion that Bush signed into law."

Jinger Duggar, 18, said her family, which helped campaign for Santorum
in Iowa, would assist his campaign in South Carolina and Florida.

Jinger, Jill, Jessa and John Duggar were all at the event at Chiefs.

Later, at a scheduled stop at the Stax restaurant on Woodruff Road, Santorum painted a picture of what an Obama vs. Santorum general election matchup would look like.

Evoking David vs. Goliath imagery, Santorum said it would pit a "$1 billion machine" against "The guy out there going to town hall meetings, taking every question."

Amid a packed house at Stax, Santorum urged Upstate voters to coalesce the social conservative vote, and to "pull together."

"That's what your charge is," he said.

South Carolina, which has correctly predicted the GOP presidential candidate for the last 30 years, has become high stakes once again for the Republican field. Rick Perry, whose campaign is forging ahead after the Texas governor reassessed his campaign after a dismal performance in Iowa, was in Spartanburg at the Beacon to assert himself in the Palmetto State at the same time Santorum was in Greenville. 

Barrett said Santorum will return to New Hampshire for the primaries there and be in South Carolina by Jan. 11, staying there to criss-cross the state through the state's Jan. 21 primary. 

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