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Rick Santorum Not Worried By Focus On Social Issues

First Posted: 01/07/2012 4:55 pm Updated: 01/07/2012 5:03 pm

HOLLIS, N.H. -- Rick Santorum arrived at a town hall meeting here Saturday afternoon to see at least a hundred people milling around outside the red Lawrence Barn, unable to get inside.

Santorum was mobbed by cameras as he got out of his vehicle, and after a few minutes made his way to a small rock that allowed him to stand about two feet above the rest of the crowd.

"I feel bad for him. It's out of freaking control," one woman said as she watched him move slowly across the yard outside the barn while surrounded by a crush of media and spectators trying to get close.

While standing on the rock, the former Pennsylvania senator thanked the crowd for coming, and then apologized that he couldn't hold the event outside.

"I'm so sorry that you're not able to get inside. I really feel bad about that. I'd do it outside but to be very honest with you, I just did an event and my voice is a little strained right now from doing an outside event without a mic," Santorum said. "I do have a debate tonight that I have to talk in."

The crowd laughed, and then Santorum took a few questions. Someone asked about electability, and he spent a good three minutes arguing -- in detail -- why he is more electable than Mitt Romney.

Of his double-digit loss in 2006 that tossed him from the Senate, Santorum said: "It was a very bad year."

That much is true. But then Santorum claimed the media were working against him.

"And the preoccupation with the media on this," he said of his 2006 loss, "my opinion, they don't want a conservative to be the nominee of this party. That's the bottom line, okay?"

As Santorum stepped off the rock, I was right in front of him, and I asked him, "Have you been taken off message with the questions about gay marriage instead of focusing on the economy?"

He answered: "Look, I answer the questions. I mean I do that on all of it. I think people are always looking for someone who's willing to answer the questions truthfully."

A young boy had managed to successfully dart in amid the adults and get Santorum to sign a football. As he walked off with his mother, he saw three young men holding large Romney signs outside the event.

"They shouldn't do that," the boy said of the sign holders. "He's not gonna win."

His mom replied: "That's the beautiful thing, they can."

The boy kept it up: "He's not going to win."

His mother paused, then said of Romney, "Actually he probably is."

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