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Remarks in Lafayette, Louisiana Following the Alabama and Mississippi Primaries

March 13, 2012

Thank you.

We did it again. Thank you all very much.

First and foremost, as we continue this campaign and continue to work hard, I just want to thank everybody. I want to thank everybody. I get this question all the time: what do people say to you when you get around and you meet all of the people we have been meeting as we crisscross the country?

And the most common thing I hear from people -- and I know I'm not alone -- is people come up and say, "I'm praying for you." And I just want to thank you for that. I want to thank God for giving us the strength every day to go out there and be clear in our vision and message for this country. And that's what this race has been about.

People have said, you know, "You're being outspent," and you know, everybody is talking about all the math and all the -- all the things that this race is inevitable.

Well, for someone who thinks this race is inevitable, he's spending a whole lot of money against me for being inevitable.

This is a grassroots campaign for president. Who would have ever thought, in the age of media that we have in this country today, that ordinary folks from across this country can defy the odds, day in, day out?

I want to thank the people of Kansas over the weekend. We would not be here today -- I said when I was in Wichita, and I know I did really well in Wichita, because my wife Karen spoke at that caucus, but -- the first couple times I got this from some reporters who were doing interviews with me and Karen, it was funny. Now it's becoming a little bit annoying. They keep telling me after the interview, you know, "You should speak less and let Karen speak more. You'd do better."

She -- she has been an amazing asset to this campaign. But more importantly, she is an amazing gift to me and to these children, John, Daniel, Sarah, Maria, Peter, and Patrick, who are here behind me. They -- this team up here on this stage has just delivered time and time again for me in my life, and I just want to thank them again publicly for all that they're doing for us. God bless you.

My daughter Elizabeth is in Hawaii. Tough duty, I know. But she's in Hawaii, and so we're counting on Elizabeth to surprise them all out there with the results tonight when you wake up in the morning, and we'll see how well my daughter did. Thank you, sweetie, for the sacrifice.

And of course, I always have to say hello to my little sweetheart. I know she's watching me at home, my little 3-1/2-year- old little Bella. Thank you, sweetie. Bless you. I love you. This campaign is about ordinary folks doing extraordinary things. Sort of like America. Sort of like America, going out there and exceeding expectations. Going out there and defying the odds, because we believe in something that's bigger than ourselves.

That's what America has always been about. It's not been about self. It's been about serving. It's been about giving and trying to do something for someone who needs help more than you do yourself.

And I looked around and at the crowds we had in Alabama and Mississippi, and I just have to tell you, I was so encouraged. All the polls were showing us trailing, and they kept coming out, and they kept saying, "We believe in you. We're going to go out. We're going to work hard. We're going to make the difference."

So I just want to say first to the people of Alabama, you made a great difference tonight. Thank you very, very much for your support.

I don't think there was a single poll that had me anywhere close to winning Mississippi. Not one, and yet I knew when I was traveling around on whether it was all the way up in Tupelo or all the way down in Gulfport, the folks that I met and the passion in their heart, they understood how important this race is for themselves and their families and for the future of our country.

And I end all my speeches by talking about the Declaration of Independence and how we have to pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, our sacred honor. Every generation does, in order to maintain the great freedom, the great torch that has been given to every generation of Americans.

And -- and the people of this country, the folks who were out there who are affected when gas prices go up, the quality of their life is affected with a government that is irresponsible and irresponsive to the needs of average people, particularly when it comes to gas prices in this country.

I'm here in Lafayette, Louisiana, tonight. And I wanted to be here because of them. This is the heart of the oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast. And this administration almost put this town under with the moratoriums, the delays in permitting that are getting worse and worse and worse. And as a result, the ability for the men and women who go out and drill these wells and service these wells to go out and earn an income and more importantly for them to get that oil and gas into the shore so we can use it here in this country.

We're seeing gas prices at what are projected to be historic highs. And yet this president almost put this whole region out of business. By -- because of the extreme environmental policies of this administration. And we wanted to be here in Lafayette to say to average folks who are struggling right now because of those energy prices, we will put this town and this region back to work so you can go back to work and have a better quality of life.

I finally just want to say to the people of Mississippi, I just can't thank you enough. I don't know, we've been out here a few minutes. I don't know whether the race is called or not, but I can tell you this. What the folks down there did, in spite of all the odds, all the money being spent, all of the establishment -- all of the establishment being on the other side of this race, you stood with a guy who comes from the grandson of a coal miner from a steel town in western Pennsylvania, but you knew, shared your values, and was going to go out and work for you to make sure that this country was free and safe and prosperous, based on believing in free people and free markets and free economy, and of course, the integrity of the family and the centrality of faith in our lives. Bless you.

Now -- now, Missouri is next. We did well in the primary. We hope to do even better in the caucuses this weekend. And of course, next week, next week, we'll come back here, and we expect a huge win here in Cajun country. We will compete everywhere. We will compete everywhere.

The time is now for conservatives to pull together. The time is now to make sure, to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election. And the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama, who can take him on on every issue.

If Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, and yes, Puerto Rico, which we are headed to tonight, I might add. And we're going to spend two days campaigning in Puerto Rico, because we want to make sure that everybody knows we're campaigning everywhere there are delegates, because we are going to win this nomination before that convention. Those states do their part, starting right here in Louisiana. If you folks do your part and you help us like the folks in Alabama and hopefully the folks in Mississippi did -- we did?

You do your job -- you do your job next week, we will nominate a conservative. And if we nominate a conservative, we will defeat Barack Obama and set this country back on the right track.

Thank you. God bless.

Rick Santorum, Remarks in Lafayette, Louisiana Following the Alabama and Mississippi Primaries Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/299861

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