76
      Thursday
      85 / 61
      Friday
      85 / 62
      Saturday
      86 / 62

      Rick Santorum visits Michigan's Upper Peninsula

      On Sunday, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum became the first and only candidate to make his way to the Upper Peninsula this election year.

      After making his rounds on the Sunday talk shows, Santorum paid a visit to Lawry's Pasty Shop in Marquette Township.

      "This is really a two person race here in Michigan between myself and Governor Romney," said a confident Santorum. "I know Governor Romney is making the ploy that he's the home town guy, although he was the governor of Massachusetts, not Michigan."

      Santorum criticized Romney as being tone deaf to the needs of average Americans.

      "Governor Romney has a plan that's all oriented around Wall Street, not 'Main Street' and certainly not Detroit," Santorum said.

      The candidate took a bite into the U.P. experience, enjoying himself a pasty and impressing those who came to see him.

      "I think he's really down to earth, he's got some middle class roots like we all do in the U.P.," said John Korsman, who came out to see the candidate.

      "He's different. From following and reading about him and listening to the debates, he's the real deal," said Mark Waterman, who also saw the former senator at the pasty shop.

      The devout Roman Catholic also headed to Saint Peter Cathedral for mass and met with parishioners. Then it was back to politics with a rally at the Holiday Inn, capping the former Pennsylvania senator's trip.

      On issues ranging from health care to gay marriage, Santorum made his case in front of voters that he is the true conservative ahead of the crucial primary in Michigan.

      While most of the 200 plus crowd applauded Santorum's rhetoric, not everyone in attendance appreciated his staunchly conservative ideology.

      "I don't want us to move backwards as a country, I want us to move forwards," remarked Ryne Menhennick. "Much of what he said, I think, is frightening; some of it was just false, some of it wasn't even true."

      Politics aside, Santorum's unexpected visit begs the question, will he come back to the U.P. if elected president?

      "I keep getting that question everywhere I go," Santorum said. "If I promise to come back to every place I've been, you know, that's going to be hard to get on to new places I haven't been. I probably should come back during the summer time. That'd be a good idea."

      Whether or not he returns as the GOP nominee for president may be decided this Tuesday when voters in Michigan and Arizona head to the polls.