Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to local residents during a campaign stop at USA Furniture and Bedding, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, in Dubuque, Iowa.

CORALVILLE, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says the party needs to offer a sharp, clear contrast with President Barack Obama if it hopes to reclaim the White House next November.

Santorum urged activists in Iowa on Thursday to ignore the pundits and vote for the Republican candidate who can make the clearest break with policies put in place by Obama. He held himself out as that candidate.

Santorum also dismissed his higher-rivals who are flooding Iowa's airwaves with commercials, saying money won't decide who wins the caucuses on Tuesday night.

The former Pennsylvania senator opened his campaign day with a town-hall meeting in Coralville, in eastern Iowa. He's held nearly 360 such meetings in the state.