Elon in Iowa

Santorum, Bush Canvass Iowa

Posted January 13

— Speaking to very different groups, former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush campaigned in and around the Des Moines area Wednesday.

Bush began his day at the Machine Shed Restaurant, speaking at a meeting of the Westside Conservatives Club over pancakes and coffee, a popular stop for GOP presidential candidates.

“America is better” than Donald Trump, Bush said to a standing-room-only crowd. “Donald Trump is not a conservative. He’s an entertainer."

Bush mentioned how he was one of the only candidates pushing back against Trump, the current Republican front-runner.

“Everybody else is in the witness protection program,” said Bush. “I’m the only guy that wants to defend the conservative cause against a guy who’s not a conservative.”

Bush went on to focus on his conservatism and electability throughout his speech, ignoring a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that put him outside of the top five in Iowa, and fifth in New Hampshire behind Trump, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Across town in downtown Des Moines, Santorum held a lunchtime meet and greet at BrownWinick law firm. More than 40 people packed a conference room to hear Santorum and his daughter, Elizabeth, speak. Most of the audience was students on a class trip from Manchester University in Fort Wayne, Ind.

In a post-event gaggle with members of the media, Rick Santorum says Cruz is “misinforming the public” by saying “natural born” issue is “settled law.” He told ELN the Supreme Court must rule.

Cruz’s eligibility to run for president is raising questions because of differing interpretations of the constitutional requirement that American presidents must be natural born citizens. Cruz was born in Canada to American parents.

Bush and Sen. Santorum are set to attend the Fox Business News Republican debate in in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday. Bush was selected as part of the “main debate,” while Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Santorum make up the secondary debate.

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About this Blog:

Elon University students are in Iowa, covering the presidential campaign and caucuses are part of their coursework.