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Santorum Rides Momentum Into Sooner State

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Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum shakes hands at an appearance in Oklahoma City Thursday morning. Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum shakes hands at an appearance in Oklahoma City Thursday morning.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Fresh off a three-state sweep on Tuesday night, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum rolls into the Sooner State to drum up support among conservative voters.

"We're the truth party," Santorum said to a cheers.

About 2,000 people packed into the Magnuson Hotel convention center in Oklahoma City as Santorum's campaign for president picked up steam.

2/9/2012 Related Story: Rick Santorum Brings Presidential Campaign To OKC

"I want him to stay just like he is and not trying to pick up other people," said Linda Slater, who was at the event with her husband. "He is what he is."

"We watched him surge in the campaign and not only that, he started his campaign on a shoestring and pickup truck and that appeals to me," said Roger Northcutt.

Santorum took his recent momentum from three wins in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota and went on the offensive Thursday morning. He ripped apart his Republican rivals for their support of the bank bailouts and their belief in man-made global warming. He also connected both Romney and Gingrich to health care and said they support big government.

"The health care sector, the energy and manufacturing sector being controlled by the government, [is] where these candidates agree with President Obama," said Santorum.

His major push to voters was that he contrasts with President Obama best, including his stance on energy, which resonated well with the crowd.

"The oil and gas industry in Oklahoma and Texas are important to the country, period," said Santorum. "I don't segment the country into industry and interest groups."

He said the energy industry is one of the most important to the country. He said he wanted to reduce the nation's dependency on OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil by increasing domestic production and partnering with Canada. He briefly touched on his support for the Keystone pipeline.

Santorum's campaign has not shied away from social issues either. He recently tore into the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for declaring Proposition 8 in California unconstitutional and brought up a woman's right to choose.

"Women's rights trump religious rights," he said to boos in the crowd."Maybe we need to look at that First Amendment again.

Santorum took out a pocket-size Constitution and said the nation must be governed within the set of laws that protect what America was founded on.

A recent CNN poll, conducted before Santorum's wins in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota, shows him trailing Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in Oklahoma, but Thursday, he predicted a change in the poll numbers soon. He also said he was in the race for the long-haul.

After the campaign stop in Oklahoma City, Santorum continued to Tulsa to hold a Town Hall meeting Thursday afternoon.

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