Pro-Santorum group makes pit stop in Macon on eve of Super Tuesday vote

mstucka@macon.comMarch 6, 2012 

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A bus tour that supports Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum stopped Monday in Macon, drawing a handful of people.

Marilyn Musgrave, a former congresswoman from Colorado, said the Susan B. Anthony List’s bus tour and endorsement of Santorum is the organization’s first for a Republican presidential primary. Santorum received the group’s endorsement because of his work on pro-life issues and his pledge to continue them if he becomes president, Musgrave said.

“People are excited about someone they can trust,” said Musgrave, vice president for government affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List.

The big blue bus is part of an independent expenditure and legally cannot coordinate with Santorum’s campaign. It stopped at Macon’s Rotary Park on the way from Savannah to Atlanta.

Musgrave said when she was in the House of Representatives, Santorum was a U.S. senator working on the same issues, including partial-birth abortion and parental notice.

Celeste Queen, of Macon, came out with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter to see what it was all about. She hasn’t figured out whether Santorum or someone else will get her vote Tuesday.

“I love his pro-life stance,” said Queen, a former chairwoman of Bibb County Republican Women. “I was all in favor of (Newt) Gingrich for a while. I’ve got a lot of praying to do.”

Steve Marlow of Macon said groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List can actually sabotage Santorum’s chances. Marlow said Santorum wants to use his religious experience as a way to bring justice to the world, but other people are misquoting Santorum to suggest that he could wield his religious doctrine against others.

Marlow said that raises a tough question in the minds of voters: “Is this really liberty for everyone?”

In brief remarks beside the bus, Musgrave said it was important to know that Santorum tried to defund Planned Parenthood and would advance “fetal pain” legislation. She said Santorum also spoke out for doctors and pharmacists who were conflicted over abortion when he was in the Senate.

Musgrave said Santorum presents a stark alternative to President Barack Obama.

“Right now, we know we have the most pro-abortion president ever,” she said.

The bus tour planned another stop in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Tuesday, then is scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., after about two weeks on the road. Other states it visited included Michigan and Ohio.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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