Santorum calls GOP front-runners 'Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee'

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rick Santorum warned conservative activists not to “nominate Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee” at a rally Thursday just hours before the final South Carolina presidential debate.

The former Pennsylvania senator, flanked by more than a dozen Citadel cadets, told attendees at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference that votes for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich would be a compromise of their values.

“Two of them supported the [healthcare law's] individual mandate … both of them supported the Wall Street bailouts. … How are we going to differentiate ourselves on the key issues of the day if we nominate Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee?” Santorum said.

Santorum went on to compare his unlikely candidacy to that of Ronald Reagan, arguing that voters should take a “leap of faith” as they did in the 1980s.

“Don’t compromise, vote for the values you believe in,” Santorum urged the scattered crowd at the TD Arena in downtown Charleston. The draw for the former senator’s speech was light, as many attendees had struck out in search of dinner before the 8 p.m. debate across town.

“We bring to the table someone who is going to rally the base of our party,” he added.

Santorum went on to herald the late certification of his win in Iowa, overturning the preliminary results that showed Mitt Romney with a narrow lead.

“We have one state under our belt, and now we have an opportunity to surprise again,” Santorum said.

Santorum also pushed his Rust Belt credentials as a reason for conservative voters to coalesce around his candidacy.

“We’re going to win or lose this race based on 10 states where there are what are called Reagan Democrats … and I happen to be from one of those states,” Santorum said.

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