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Santorum: GOP needs to focus on middle class

AP - Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. Republican presidential hopefuls are hoping to impress conservative voters at the conference organized by an influential Christian group. The daylong event will be one of many candidate cattle calls in the grueling run-up to the 2016 presidential election. None of the potential contenders appearing Saturday has declared candidacy. Conservative voters could be key to a 2016 victory in Iowa's caucuses, the nation's first presidential nominating event. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday Aug. 10, 2013.  Republican presidential hopefuls are hoping to impress conservative voters at the conference organized by an influential Christian group.    The daylong event will be one of many candidate cattle calls in the grueling run-up to the 2016 presidential election. None of the potential contenders appearing Saturday has declared candidacy.  Conservative voters could be key to a 2016 victory in Iowa's caucuses, the nation's first presidential nominating event.   (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
AP - Former Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. Republican presidential hopefuls are hoping to impress conservative voters at the conference organized by an influential Christian group. The daylong event will be one of many candidate cattle calls in the grueling run-up to the 2016 presidential election. None of the potential contenders appearing Saturday has declared candidacy. Conservative voters could be key to a 2016 victory in Iowa's caucuses, the nation's first presidential nominating event. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Former Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. Republican presidential hopefuls are hoping to impress conservative voters at the conference organized by an influential Christian group. The daylong event will be one of many candidate cattle calls in the grueling run-up to the 2016 presidential election. None of the potential contenders appearing Saturday has declared candidacy. Conservative voters could be key to a 2016 victory in Iowa's caucuses, the nation's first presidential nominating event.  (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, 9:36 p.m.
 

AMES, Iowa — The Republican Party must to do a better job of reaching out to working-class voters, former senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Saturday.

The Iowa caucus winner said that by focusing on business owners in the last presidential election, the GOP failed to connect with “job holders” and “marginalized” a group of voters.

“We need to reject this idea that if we build the economy, all boats will rise. We need to talk about people who have holes in their boats, because we all do,” Santorum said at the Family Leadership Summit, a conference of conservative Christians.

After his remarks, Santorum said he was open to another presidential run in 2016 but has made no decision.

Other speakers at the summit include Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and billionaire reality show star Donald Trump. The daylong event will be one of many cattle calls for potential candidates in the grueling runup to the 2016 presidential election.

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