STEUBENVILLE - Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum extended a swing through Ohio one extra day and found a warm welcome Monday morning at a rally that included a large number of students, staff and faculty from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
The Santorum campaign estimated 500 people filled the museum banquet room at Froehlich's Classic Corner to hear the former Pennsylvania senator focus his comments on President Obama and not mention his Republican opponents.
He repeated comments he made Sunday in Georgia claiming Obama views mankind, "as just one species on Earth and he wants to elevate the Earth above man."
Republican primary presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared for a campaign rally in downtown St
Santorum was accompanied by his wife and three of his seven children during his one hour stop in the city.
He also attended noon Mass at the Christ the King Chapel on the Franciscan University of Steubenville Monday.
Santorum referred often to his grandfather who moved to Pennsylvania to work in the coal mines.
GREETING HIS SUPPORTERS — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum greeted audience members Monday morning at Froehlich’s Classic Corner restaurant that brought approximately 500 supporters to an hour long rally. - Dave Gossett
"They wanted their children to have the opportunity to better themselves. And maybe someday someone in their family would run for president," declared Santorum.
"This area is rich in energy and tradition. But the radical environmentalists refer to an ideology where they elevate the Earth. Man has the responsibility of stewardship of the Earth. The radical environmentalists say we shouldn't touch anything because the Earth will take care of its own," said Santorum.
"At one time some people came to Pittsburgh and saw the sky was black. They said to abandon the city. But the community came together and passed clean air regulation. We must be good stewards of the environment but lets use our intellect to manage. We need an energy policy that will develop our resources," Santorum said.
Santorum predicted Alaska will stop producing oil within the next five to 10-years because it will be too expensive to ship it.
"Mexico will stop being an exporter of oil to an importer within the next five to 10-years. And the president of the United States says we should build a pipeline and send our oil to China. We are just beginning to see a recovery. The economy is starting to come back. But we are now beginning to see an increase in gasoline prices that forced us into a recession earlier," noted Santorum.
"We need someone who comes from the coal fields or the steel mills who understands what it means to work to provide for their family," continued Santorum.
Santorum also referred to the recent Obama Administration decision to require all employers to offer insurance that includes birth control as, "forcing the Catholic Church to do something against its religious convictions."
"I give credit to the Catholic bishops and other religious leaders who now say everyone are Catholics in this fight. Lets see who wins this fight," Santorum said to a standing ovation.
"This race is about freedom. Economic freedom and the freedom to believe in what you want to believe in. The presidents wants to talk about freedom of worship not the freedom of religion," stated Santorum.
"This is the most important election of your life. Ohio can have a huge say in this election. There are people who are trying to change this country. My grandfather didn't come to this country to get benefits except one and that was freedom," said Santorum.
A new Gallup poll shows Santorum is now leading Mitt Romney by an 8-point margin nationwide.
A Quinnipiac survey in Ohio last week has Santorum edging ahead of Romney 36 to 29 percent.
The Ohio Republican presidential primary is set for March 6 and a Quinnipiac survey in the Buckeye State last week has Santorum edging ahead of Romney 36 to 29 percent.