Iowa Freedom Summit  ...Next >
January 24, 2015--Former Sen. Rick Santorum continued his approach of presenting "a vision forward that can unite us" rather than taking the opportunity "to beat up on the other side for the damage they've done to this country, and it's been substantial."  Santorum largely repeated themes of his speeches in the past year.  Specifically, he continued to argue that the Republican Party needs to speak to "blue collar conservatives."  "We need to be pro-growth, but we also need to be pro-worker," he stated.  Santorum largely eschewed  and instead focused on   He declared, "We need to restore and rebuild the American family," and he asserted "that the biggest reason for income inequality is the breakdown of the family."  Santorum delved into the immigration issue in far greater detail than any of the other speakers, addressing both legal and illegal immigration and comparing the situation now with what happened after the great wave of immigration peaked in 1920.  "We need to stand for an immigration policy that puts Americans first and American workers first," he declared.  Santorum also made a very strong  case for his foreign policy expertise, noting that he had served on the Senate Armed Services Committee for eight years, and citing a couple of examples of where he had stood up to the Bush administration.  Santorum opened his speech with reminders of his 2012 campaign, including an allusion to the sweater vest, remarks about his daughter Bella and the book he and his wife have coming out about her, and recollections of Caucus Night January 2012.  He concluded with a brief paen to the Iowa caucuses and the 99-county experience.  [transcript]
In lieu of a sweater vest, which he noted originated in an event held at Hoyt Sherman Place during the 2011-12 Iowa caucus campaign, Santorum wore a dark jacket and light blue shirt with no tie.

For Santorum, his appearance at the Iowa Freedom Summit was part of a five-day Iowa tour.  In addition to Polk County, he made stops in Cherokee, Woodbury, Harrison, Scott and Iowa Counties.  Santorum looks like he is ready to repeat his 2011-12 feat of visiting all 99 counties.
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Santorum does an interview before his speech.