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Santorum says nation wants commander in chief

By Mike Glover

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 2 2012 11:25 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at the Rising Sun Cafe, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Polk City, Iowa.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

POLK CITY, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is dismissing Mitt Romney's business experience and says the nation is looking for inspirational leaders instead.

Romney often points to his experience as governor as Massachusetts as preparing him for the White House. But Santorum told Iowa supporters Monday that the nation is hungry for leadership.

Santorum warned them against choosing a candidate only because they think that person can win. He compared the presidential election to 1980 when Ronald Reagan inspired Republicans and led the party to victory.

Santorum says that's his model for challenging more conventional rivals.

The former Pennsylvania senator also says he's become the target of increased criticism because his poll numbers have risen. He was spending the day before Iowa's caucuses campaigning in central Iowa.

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