Paul, Santorum look past Nevada GOP caucuses

Posted Saturday, Feb. 04, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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MONTROSE, Colo. -- Rick Santorum said Saturday that he wants to "endanger" rival Newt Gingrich, while presidential rival Ron Paul said "the American people are waking up," as both Republican hopefuls peered past Nevada as that state began its GOP caucuses.

Santorum and Paul campaigned outside of Nevada and instead eyed upcoming contests, signaling that neither was likely to change his strategy in a race that seemed to have become a two-man contest between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Gingrich, the former House speaker.

With intense rhetoric, both Santorum and Paul assailed Washington in hopes that the topsy-turvy contest for the nomination would yield yet another reshuffling.

"If you're a swing voter, who are you going to believe?" Santorum, a former Pennsylvania U.S. senator, asked a crowd in a hotel ballroom on Colorado's Western Slope. "America is not looking for well-oiled weather vanes. They are looking for leaders."

"The one thing that is on our side is the American people are waking up," countered Ron Paul in a separate speech frequently interrupted by applause and standing ovations from hundreds in a school auditorium in Rochester, Minn.

The Texas congressman didn't mention President Barack Obama or any of his GOP competitors by name, diving instead into a lecture about a need to protect personal liberties, revive the gold standard, abolish the Federal Reserve and shift to a less-interventionist foreign policy.

"Our problems are a lot longer than three years old. They've been going on for a long time," Paul said, aiming his barbs at President Woodrow Wilson instead of Obama.

Paul is building off a decent base of support in Minnesota, where he drew nearly 16 percent of the 2008 vote. Organizers were holding "practice caucuses" in Minnesota. He's banking on help from anti-war Republicans and Tea Party members.

Santorum, meanwhile, planned to visit Minnesota late Saturday and planned a full day today, including a stop at the factory that produces the sweater vests his campaign sells for $100 each to raise funds.

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