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Santorum's Social Values Big Draw for Attendees at Alamo Fundraiser

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum held a fundraiser in Alamo on Thursday.

Someone from inside the massive home where GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum was at Thursday came to the front porch to announce that he had started speaking. Reporters outside couldn't hear his voice, but cheers and claps were coming from inside.

Santorum was at the Alamo home of Ubokia.com CEO Mark Pine and his wife Becky for a private fundraiser. Admission ranged from $125 to $2,500. Organizers were expecting a couple hundred people and said later that evening that turnout was better than expected. Attendees added that the room where he spoke was packed.

Members of the media, however, were .

Some of the attendees Patch spoke with were confident Santorum would not only pull out the nomination, but also the presidency. Some said he'd need a miracle but still stood by him. Others were willing to pay the price of admission to get a feel for the candidate and hear what he had to say.

"Romney is a robot," said Livermore resident Dave Fliehr. "I'm here to see if this guy has anything to say. Don't know who I'm going to vote for yet."

Fliehr described himself as somewhat of a Tea Party guy who values fiscal responsibility. He's pro-military and defense (he grew up in the military and was in the Air Force himself).

"He'll need God and a miracle from on high to win the nomination," said Harold Hervey, chairman of the Conservative Party USA. Hervey said the Conservative Party, which was established as its own party in 2009, has supported Santorum from the beginning and will continue to support him.

Uphill climb for Santorum

The socially conservative Santorum has quite a bit of work ahead of him to get the GOP's nomination. He's trailing leading GOP candidate Mitt Romney (who is perceived to be a more moderate candidate by Santorum supporters) by nearly 300 delegates, 273 to 568. The first candidate to 1,144 gets the nomination. (Newt Gingrich has 135, and Ron Paul has 50.)

In addition to trailing Romney in delegates, a recent USC/Los Angeles Times poll has Santorum nearly 20 points behind Romney in California.

Earlier in the day, , at the Jelly Belly factory (which may have been a tip of the hat to the Gipper, Ronald Reagan). It was reported that several hundred people came out for the event, where Santorum stuck to lambasting Romney and Obama. He discussed how California could still be in play June 5, helping pave his way to the presidency.

San Francisco Chronicle, March 30:

"California doesn't get a chance very much to play in presidential politics, but you will in this presidential primary. So I'm asking all of you to do whatever you can to help.... Conservatives all across this country have not given up the fight," he told the audience the Chron reported.

There are 172 delegates at stake in California. But, the winner doesn't get them all. California's delegates go to whoever wins the 53 districts (three delegates per district). For the remaining 13 delegates, 10 go to the candidate with the most cumulative votes and the last three go to the party leaders and remain unpledged.

Not getting out, and hanging out in Alamo

Santorum hammered home in Fairfield that he had no intention of getting out of the race, a sentiment he carried over to his Alamo fundraiser, attendees said.

According to attendees, Santorum kicked off the fundraiser with a prayer. He touched on subjects such as Syria and Iran, defense, and family values.

"He's a very inspirational republican," attendee Roger Canfield said. "He believes what he says and he says what he believes. He has real conviction. He's worked very hard and is a good contrast with (President Barack) Obama."

A lifelong conservative, Canfield said he spent 20 years working in the state capitol. He attended the rally in Fairfield, making the trek from Sacramento.

Social and moral are Santorum's bread and butter

Nearly all of the attendees we spoke with were drawn to Santorum because of his strong stance on socially conservative issues.

"I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for yet. All of the candidates have something I like," said Mary Jo Bedayn, one of the hosts of the event. "I'd like a composite of all four candidates. But what draws me to Santorum are his social and moral values."

Hervey puts it more bluntly.

"Santorum doesn't shy away from these social issues," he said. "He has no problem saying women should not have on demand abortion. Gays should not serve openly in the military. Illegal immigrants should not be working in the United States. He's a true conservative."

"He's the whole package," Canfield added. "He's strong on a wide range of issues. Especially social issues. He's a winning package."

If he's the winning package for republicans and conservatives, why is he not in the lead?

"Republicans are not conservative anymore," Hervey said. "Romney is a moderate, and the party is run by Rhinos. There is no place for Santorum in the Republican Party. ... True conservatives are not valued in the Republican Party."

Fliehr said social and moral issues, which appear to be Santorum's bread and butter with this lot, are important, but he just wants someone to shoot straight with him.

"Don't just sell me a bill of goods," he said. "I want someone who can think quick on their feet and is reputable and genuine. Not like now and past presidents, but a reputable person."

Supporting whoever can beat Obama

Though there was passionate support for Santorum at the fundraiser, there appeared to be even more support for removing Obama from office, and an air of confidence that, no matter who wins the nomination, a victory was at hand.

"You could be the GOP nominee and beat Obama," Hervey said, referring to this reporter.

"See that potted plant? That potted plant could be the nominee and beat Obama," Canfield said, with a laugh. Canfield said that was a joke. "I'm confident that whoever gets the nomination will win."

The support for Santorum was strong at the fundraiser but, on several occasions, guests said that if Romney wins the nomination, they'll support him.

"We'll support Romney when he wins," Hervey said. "We don't want to split the conservative vote."

"If (Romney) gets the nomination, I'll throw my favor toward him," Canfield said.

California's primary is June 5.

Read a roundup of media from the Fairfield event .

DanglingParticiple March 31, 2012 at 12:06 AM
The most immoral candidate we've had in quite awhile.
Terry Parris Jr. March 31, 2012 at 12:20 AM
No much pink to report from Thursday night, Dangling.
Kari Hulac (Editor) March 31, 2012 at 12:41 AM
That is quite a nice porch. It's nicer than my whole house. (p.s. this is Kari Hulac, not Terry!)
Beau Hunk March 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Let's quote Jeremiah Wright if you want REAL immorality.
Trader Lu March 31, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Thank you for a well-balanced report of the event.
Terry Parris Jr. March 31, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Jeremiah Wright isn't a candidate.
DanglingParticiple April 01, 2012 at 07:49 AM
Beau - Why go to another source when we can stick with Rick as someone who disparages and vilifies people who don't fit his version of acceptability?
Ron April 10, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Makes me cringe to know people support this religious nitwit. This so-called fund raiser was merely a way of getting attention for the owners who have the home listed for $14MM. Fools and their money....

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