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The Gazette KCRG
Posted January 3, 2012
Vander Plaats not surprised by Santorum’s showing

Orlan Love, The Gazette

JOHNSTON — Conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats said Rick Santorum’s excellent showing in the Iowa caucuses should come as no surprise.

The former Pennsylvania senator “played it right” by coming face to face with Iowans in 350 communities, said Vander Plaats, head of The Family Leader, which endorsed Santorum two weeks ago.

Vander Plaats , who arrived at Santorum’s celebration headquarters about 9 p.m., said Santorum’s strong showing demonstrates that the Iowa caucuses’ long-standing formula of retail politics remains valid.

With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Santorum was virtually tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the lead, and the crowd of Santorum supporters at the Stoney Creek Inn were becoming increasingly animated at their candidate’s prospects.

“I always thought he was in the race, even when he was far behind in the polls,” said Donna Robinson of Marengo. “He just kept working, doing what he was supposed to.”

The Family Leader’s endorsement came “at just the right time” to help ignite Santorum’s stretch drive, Vander Plaats said.

Vander Plaats said he thinks it’s time for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry to end their campaigns.

“The last thing Mitt Romney wants to do is go one on one with Santorum,” he said.

By Jon Ericson, Waterloo Courier

CEDAR FALLS – Bob Vander Plaats choose the biggest stage in Iowa to speak on caucus night.

He arrived at the UNI-Dome, home to all of Black Hawk County’s precincts, to speak out in favor of former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, whom he endorsed two weeks ago.

He expects Santorum can do well in Iowa, then begin to pick up steam, particularly in South Carolina. He expects social conservatives can have a big impact on the Republican nomination.

“We really need a candidate to get momentum and one or two to drop out,” Vander Plaats said, noting that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s poll numbers may have her headed in that direction.

Vander Plaats was joined in Cedar Falls by Brian Brown, leader of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the primary funders of the 2010 push to remove three judges from the Iowa Supreme Court.

He said their opposition to gay marriage has gained steam in states across the nation and Iowans would be like other states in banning gay marriage if they had the chance.

“All we’re asking for is the people of Iowa have the same opportunity the people of 31 other states have had, to have a vote on it,” Brown said.

NOM worked with the Family Leader on a pledge signed by all major candidates except U.S. Rep. Ron Paul to support traditional marriage. Brown said caucus goers need to know Paul’s words and actions don’t make him a good candidate for family values.


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