Rick Santorum made himself available to reporters in the “spin room” after the debate last Thursday. All the candidates have staff and spokespersons there of course, but Santorum came in and answered questions personally. This practice is in keeping with his approach to the campaign as a whole: You have to make yourself “available” and “let the people see who you are”, he said. He went on to say “You can’t buy Iowa”.

Speaking of his strength as a candidate, Santorum once again mentioned his experience. He doesn’t simply say what he wants to do or is planning to do, he’s actually done it. For this reason, he says, people are taking both a “first and second look” at his candidacy.

He spoke briefly about the lack of opportunities he’s been given in some of the debates. He said that he’d spoken about that particular subject recently with his wife, and that he was resolved to just make the most out of the time that he is given. His goal is to demonstrate to Iowa that he’s “been listening”. He mentioned that he’d been able to contrast himself with Newt Gingrich on this particular night.

He went on to say that Michelle Bachmann was right about Ron Paul, referring to her assertion that Paul’s position on Iran was “dangerous”, and flatly denied that Ron Paul was a conservative. And, having exchanged blows with Mitt Romney during the debate on social issues, he nonetheless made the statement that if Romney “says he’s pro-life he (Santorum) accepts that.”

He contrasted himself with the other candidates, calling himself a “comprehensive” candidate with solid, substantive answers. But Santorum surely knows that if he’s going to get that message out to voters it will in large measure have to come somewhere other than these debates, where he’s getting very limited exposure.

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