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Tired and broke, Santorum heads home to do taxes

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) — Rick Santorum is tired, almost broke — and going home.

The former Pennsylvania senator is taking a pause from Florida campaigning just days before the Tuesday primary that even he expects to deal him a third consecutive loss.

Santorum says he would rather spend his Saturday sitting at his kitchen table doing his taxes than campaigning in a state where the race for the Republican presidential nomination has become a two-man fight between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

The cash-strapped candidate acknowledges that he simply can't keep up with the GOP front-runners in Florida.

"We're going to talk about the Constitution and talk about being a strong conservative," Santorum said at an event here this week. "And that's all we can do."

Outside advisers are urging him to pack up in Florida completely and not spend another minute in a state where he is cruising toward a loss. But Santorum insisted on Friday that he would return once he has readied his taxes for public release.

"I'm coming back within 24 hours, and I'm here through up to election day," Santorum told Fox News. "I've spent every minute here in Florida, and I'm going to work in Florida."

Santorum has yet to announce his schedule for Florida's primary day. He says it was a mistake for him to remain in South Carolina on its voting day.

"We can't let grass grow," he told reporters Thursday. "South Carolina Election Day was sort of a wasted day for us."

He pledged to continue his campaign regardless of the Florida outcome.

It's a grim period for Santorum, who just three weeks ago was riding high on a strong finish in the Iowa caucuses; after first saying the result was a virtual tie with Romney, the Iowa GOP ultimately declared Santorum the winner. The victory was short-lived. He lost big in both New Hampshire and South Carolina.

He faced an uphill battle even before the race turned to Florida. He doesn't have the money to spend on television ads in Florida's expensive media markets. He couldn't compete with the thousands-strong crowds his rivals have been drawing. And he wasn't able to find a moment here that crystalized the rationale for his candidacy.

"Other candidates tell you they need your help," Santorum told Florida Republicans this week, almost pleading. "They're lying. I really need your help."

But help didn't come — at least in this state — for a candidate who is visibly exhausted and running on, at most, four hours of sleep each night.

So Santorum is going home to Pennsylvania, which he represented in the Senate, and Virginia, where he lives with his wife and seven children, to get some rest and, he says, prepare his own taxes. He also plans fundraisers in both states as he works to rebuild his campaign account to pay for upcoming contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

Santorum also is looking at Arizona and Michigan, states that vote at the end of February — if he makes it that far.

His inner circle of advisers is looking at the campaign checkbook. They say they can keep a lean campaign rolling in case Gingrich or Romney implode.

"This race is just starting. It's a three-man race," Santorum insists. "We're going to be in this race for the long term."

For now, at least, polls show Santorum dramatically trailing in Florida, the largest and most diverse state in the early nominating schedule. And he seems to be coming up short as he tries to win over voters with his everyman persona.

"I wish he had a little more passion in the belly," said Don Waldt, a Punta Gorda retiree who attended a Santorum rally at dusk this week. "He is conservative and authentic. But he isn't on top and doesn't seem to have a clear path to the top."

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Toast.

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So Santorum wants to talk

So Santorum wants to talk about the Constitution? Has he come out against the Patriot Act, the NDAA, or the TSA? I don't think so. So far as I can tell Ron Paul is the only politician in Washington, D.C. who has actually read the Constitution.

Good that he is wasting time and resources.

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ecorob's picture

this bastard is only there to...

smirk and disagree with Dr. Paul!

sanitomb! your a PUPPET!

a PUPPET, I say! you are 30 years to late to be hanging around having your strings pulled

you are NO plastic man like chris dodd or barney frank or bob dole or bill clinton, or newt romney...

we don't need any more stinking puppets, sanitomb

go HOME, puppet sanitomb!

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

Reality

The only reason Santorum is still in this race is because the powers-that-be used him to torpedo a Ron Paul win in Iowa.

Without that corporatist-media-created "Santorum Surge", he would have placed a distant 3rd or 4th in every race and would be out by now.

_________________________________

Freedom - Peace - Prosperity

If He Places 4th in Florida...

We need to assault the media (email TV, call-in to radio shows, social media like Facebook, etc.) to call for him to drop out. Paul's #1 priority should be to get him out of the race so that he gets more talking time in the debates. With Santorum out, he'll get more delegates too. I fear the longer Santorum stays in the more delegates he'll rack up and hand over to Gingrich.

You got a local FAUX channel?

Get on Facebook..Twitter...Nail them..The one here for NC & SC is FAUX CAROLINA News....

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

This article is dangerous...here's why:

This is the new media narrative:

To pretend that Ron Paul doesn't exist and that Santorum is the constitutionally sound candidate. They're trying to hide Ron, and bombard the uninformed masses with Santorum sound-bytes, so that if someone's looking to reject corruption and big government (in other words, they want someone, anyone, other than Gingrich or Romney), they'll gravitate towards Santorum, simply because they don't know about Paul.

Ignoring Paul this way makes is much easier to do voter fraud by siphoning off Paul's votes and giving them to Santorum. Then the uninformed believe the doctored results and never stop to question them. If the media mentioned Paul in proportion to his popularity, everyone--not just us--would be questioning the voting results.

Please, please say something politely pro-Paul in the comments of the the original Yahoo article, because someone reading it, who's just begun to be interested in the race, will never know there's a real statesman running.

An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any man.

Ron Paul 2012; Elect a statesman, not a politician.

Yahoo is very anti-Paul.

I wonder who owns them? Oh, silly me ... The FED directly controls the world's most profitable 1318 corporations.

At what point will the

At what point will the 'always fair and balanced' media decide Santorum has no real support and stop allowing him to the debates?

Simple.

The day that they stop being *ehem* "Fair and Balanced"

Ol' Santy will quit before the media decide to stop trumping him up. We all knew that he couldn't keep pace, and he might very well come in fourth to Dr. Paul, who isn't even focusing on the state at all. Let the pieces fall where they may. He isn't important enough to worry about in the long haul.

PA didn't want Slick Rick either...they tossed him out

of office by a wide margin. He endorsed the odious Arlen Spector so his "conservative" credentials are fake. A three-man race is right, Rick, only you ain't one of the three. And those "thousands-strong crowds" - are RP people! Not Newt's or Mitt's!