Santorum downplays NH results, promises to continue on to SC

Rick Santorum, who took about 10 percent of the vote in New Hampshire's primary Tuesday, downplayed the state's impact on his presidential campaign while promising to continue on to South Carolina.

Santorum brushed off his second-tier finish in his speech, reminding the crowd he only had about a week to build a campaign organization in the state. Santorum focused almost exclusively on Iowa up until the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.

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"We built this campaign here in New Hampshire in just a very short period of time. We didn't spend a lot of money, but we put a lot of effort into this," Santorum said. "We ran against folks who spent a lot of time here, a lot of money, we knew it would be tough."

Recent polls showed Santorum and Newt Gingrich both circling around 10 percent support from likely voters. At the time Santorum spoke, the two were battling it out for fourth place in New Hampshire with about 10 percent each in the results.

Although Romney won the Iowa caucuses, Santorum was a surprise last-minute contender, jumping to the front of the race in the last week and losing to Romney by only eight votes. The New Hampshire voters took a second look at Santorum, but his focus on social conservative issues did not appeal as strongly in the state as it did in Iowa. 

"We delivered a message, not just for New Hampshire but for America, that we have a campaign that has a message and a messenger that can deliver what we need," Santorum said.

Santorum said he called Mitt Romney to congratulate him on his victory and say that he's looking forward to engaging him on the issues as the campaign continues to South Carolina. 

South Carolina is set to vote on Jan. 21.