GOP's Santorum draws tea party ire in Kansas

By John Hanna

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 9 2012 11:10 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hugs a supporter during a rally at Battleship Memorial Park, Friday, March 9, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is in Kansas for two rallies ahead of weekend GOP caucuses that he sees as important to his chances of winning the nomination.

But the former Pennsylvania senator faced some grumbling Friday from tea party members because he's scheduled to speak at an airport in Wichita and not at the large rally they scheduled in an arena in downtown Topeka.

Santorum figures to do well in Saturday's voting, with strong support from abortion opponents, including leaders of Kansans for Life. He's said he sees winning the state as important to overcoming Mitt Romney, the race's front-runner.

A spokesman for Santorum in Kansas said the candidate's schedule didn't have room for a stop at the tea party event.

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