Rick Santorum Draws Tiny Crowd at Iowa Campaign Stop June 10, 2015

Rick Santorum Draws Tiny Crowd at Iowa Campaign Stop

If the Rings of Power were running for office, they’d get a better showing than Rick Santorum did at a recent campaign stop — because the One Ring would at least guarantee the presence of both Sméagol and Gollum. Santorum, by contrast, showed up to find himself greeted by the head of the Audubon County Republican Party.

Just the head of the local party, as it happens.

Peggy Toft, group chair, was the only one waiting for Santorum at the campaign stop in Hamlin, Iowa. (Which, if you’re looking for a silver lining, is still far from the most embarrassing thing that shows up when you Google Santorum’s name.)

And even Toft wouldn’t say she wanted Santorum to get the GOP nod, telling Politico she was still undecided about who would earn her support in the caucus.

Things started to look up for the candidate after he ordered lunch, as his total climbed all the way up to four attendees (take that, Rings of Power!). Which was fortunate, as a question from one of the newly-arrived listeners gave him the opportunity to address the pressing issue of the day that’s worrying us all: the threat of same-sex marriage:

One newcomer, Glen Meyers, a minister from nearby Exira, asked Santorum for his thoughts on same-sex marriage. Santorum called it a threat not just to family but religious liberty.

“This is where the left is saying, ‘Here is what your belief system should be, and anyone who does not toe the line, you’re a hater, you’re a bigot, you’re intolerant and you will not be tolerated,'” Santorum said.

The pastor seemed pleased with the response: “That was pretty good.”

As I’ve noted before, a change in public opinion and legal status for same-sex couples does not endanger the liberty of those who oppose it, just as recognizing the civil rights of other minority groups has not prevented the free exercise of bigoted forms of religion.

As for public opinion, if you’re really worried about being perceived as a bigot who opposes rights for same-sex couples, there’s an easy solution for that, Senator: you can stop being a bigot who opposes rights for gay couples. You might be unhappy with people calling out your behavior for what it is, but that’s not an argument against equality

Despite the low turnout.

[Santorum] called the event a success.

“People don’t understand. One guy in there said, ‘I’ll speak for you at the caucus,'” Santorum said. “That’s maybe eight votes that you wouldn’t otherwise get. Eight votes can make a big difference, as I know.”

And Santorum seems be having a lot of these “successes” lately. Earlier in the day, he had drawn a full ten listeners in Panora.

At a later stop that same day, he brought together

… three of his own staffers, two Democratic campaign trackers, a waitress, a reporter, and just two diners.

Which brings me to the pop quiz: Guess what Rick Santorum’s presidential aspirations and the Rings of Power have in common?

They’re both based entirely in fantasy.

(Image via Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)

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