12/21/2011 12:42 pm ET | Updated Feb 20, 2012

Statement From Bob Vander Plaats Announcing His 2012 Presidential Endorsement

Today Bob Vander Plaats, head of conservative Iowa group The Family Leader, announced his endorsement in the 2012 presidential race. Below his his statement.

There's something in the air here in Iowa. A new wind is blowing. There are people who turn their noses up at it, people who tell me, "Bob, I'm not sure if I like the way that smells." Well I have a message for those people: Santorum is here, Santorum is the right choice, and wherever you see Bob Vander Plaats, you can bet you're going to see Santorum.

You see, Santorum has been an important part of my life for a long time. When I am doing what I love the most, I know Santorum will be all over it.

Now I know there are people who will disagree with my endorsement today. There will be people who are disgusted. I've even had people tell me that Santorum stinks. To those people, I say: you can't judge Santorum on your first impression. You've got to get to know Santorum. You've got to get your face right up in Santorum and study every detail.

You need to be willing to get your hands dirty if you want to understand Santorum, and why I think Santorum is the right choice for America. I cannot imagine a world without Santorum. I wouldn't want to live in that world.

I hope Iowa caucus voters will do what I have done so many times in the past and spend some good quality time with Santorum. Trust me when I tell you you will not regret the experience. In all my years as a huge Santorum fan, I never have.

So when someone asks me which of the candidates vying here in Iowa deserves our support, I will tell them to breathe deep and smell that crisp Iowa winter air. I'll tell them that if they pay close attention, they'll catch a whiff of something special. That something is Santorum, and Santorum has my full support.