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rick santorum in south carolina Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum campaigns in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 12. The state holds its primary on January 21. (Photo courtest Zach and Faith Dalzell)

Election 2012: Santorum Brings Campaign to Charleston

The Iowa caucus runner-up campaigns in South Carolina

By Zach Dalzell and Faith Dalzell | January 17 , 2012

Rick Santorum visited Charleston, South Carolina, on Thursday during his grassroots campaign through the state. He explained to a crowd of more than 500 people at the Daniel Island School about his views and what he would do as President.

After speaking about his beliefs and positions on numerous campaign issues, Santorum opened the floor to questions from the crowd.

The former Pennsylvania Senator finished a close second in the Iowa caucus. But in the New Hampshire primary he finished in fifth place. Some people at his Faith, Family, and Freedom Tour event wondered why he's still running.

His answer: because of President Barack Obama's health care reforms.

"[Obamacare] is the straw that breaks the camel's back," he said.

Other questions were tougher. Some voters challenged his views and asked about his stance on the economy.

He answered all of the questions with political astuteness, especially the ones about the economy. He said that he planned to fix the economy by cutting corporate taxes in half to create jobs and triple the tax deduction for a child.

He added we wants to abolish marriage tax penalties throughout the federal tax code and retain charitable giving and healthcare deductions.

Santorum also spoke about the role of military spending in the economy.

Many people in Congress want to slash how much the country spends on social programs and the military. But Santorum said if he's elected President he said he would enact an "emergency contingency plan" to increase military spending by 40 percent.

To support his position, he showed that the country was spending 60 percent of its federal buget on military spending 20 years ago. Today, the nation spends 20 percent of its budget on the military.

These Kid Reporters had a chance to ask Santorum a question after the event. We wondered what he would do about Iran's nuclear weapons program if he's elected President.

"We have to stop them at all costs," he said.

After the question and answer portion of the event, Santorum worked the room and greeted voters. Many people in the crowd were undecided voters. Santorum seemed to connected with the crowd on a personal level and convince some of those undecided voters to support him.

Isabella U., age 10, attended the event with her parents. She enjoyed hearing Santorum speak and getting his autograph.

When asked what she thought the most important issues were for a new President, she said, "To have peace and people in government working together."

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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