Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum spoke in Tucson Wednesday, as he and his fellow Republicans prepared for the Wednesday night debate in Mesa.
Santorum is working to position himself as the true conservative in the race, and the candidate who will never bend his belief of what's right to appeal to what's popular.
Wednesday he spoke to a group that puts a high value on that sort of stand---the Tucson Tea Party.
Before 104.1 the Truth's radio host Jon Justice introduced Rich Santorum, he asked the audience a revealing question.
"Who's made a decision on who they're gonna vote for on primary day?"
Only a few people raised their hands.
Justice said, "I'm surprised there's that many."
The audience gave a warm welcome to Santorum's message of smaller government, fewer regulations for business, and more incentives to bring manufacturing back to the U-S from overseas.
Santorum wants to encourage companies to move manufacturing back from overseas by exempting them from taxes on plants moved back to the U-S.
Santorum often talks of his religious faith. He accuses Barack Obama of trying to crush Judeo Christian principles.
Santorum told the audience, "People say, well we're concerned about guys who are very deeply committed to their faith trying to impose their ideology on them. America is a deeply, faith-filled country and was from the beginning. And it's because of that, because we understand how important faith is in our lives that we respect other people's faith, and we tolerate it."
On Border issues, Santorum wants to stop smuggling, stop illegal immigrants, and favor immigrants who follow legal channels to earn legal residence.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Santorum about his claim that only 42 percent of the U-S Mexico border is secured.
"When you talked about large sections unfenced. A lot of those are very difficult because they're very mountainous, what sort of alternatives could you offer in those spots?"
Santorum: "We'll work with the local authorities in the states to make sure we have the security that is needed to make sure the Border is 100 percent secure. That's the optimum."
Molly Steffens already chose Santorum with her early ballot.
"I could see his honesty. I guess his integrity, would probably be the most important thing."
Santorum impressed undecided voter Charles Hamilton, but he still has questions about Santorum's history.
"The way he voted in the past for raising the debt limit and stuff like that. Of course, realize, all politicians want more money to spend because they buy our votes with our money."