DES MOINES, Iowa — Rick Santorum was feeling “nostalgic” Saturday as he returned to the state whose caucuses he surprisingly won in 2012.
Delivering a speech to activists at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Santorum repeatedly made reference to the time he spent campaigning in the Hawkeye State during the last Republican presidential race.
“I am obviously nostalgic here,” Santorum told the audience, noting how he won the state “on a very wild and crazy caucus night” after “you got to know me and Karen and the kids.”
The former Pennsylvania senator, who received a standing ovation from the crowd, spoke of how it was on the same stage at the Hoyt Sherman Place during the 2012 race where he first wore his trademark sweater vests. He also spoke of his many campaign stops at Pizza Ranch restaurants in Iowa and how he visited all 99 counties of the state before the caucuses.
Much of his remarks were on how Republicans need to better appeal to American workers, calling for an immigration policy that “puts the American worker first.”
“We need to be the party of the worker,” Santorum said. “Why? It’s good politics.”
“What percentage of American workers own their own business?” Santorum went on. “Less than 10.”
He faulted Republicans for talking often about “entrepreneurs and businesses” instead of workers.
“We’re talking to 10 percent of the public,” Santorum said. “And then we wonder why we don’t win. We don’t win because too many people don’t think we care about them.”