Republican White House candidate Rick Santorum was roundly jeered as he spoke at a campaign event in Belmont Hall.
By
AFP

Source
AFP
7 Jan 2012 - 2:19 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 9:20 AM

Republican White House candidate Rick Santorum was roundly jeered Friday as he spoke at a campaign event in a parking lot outside a room that was too small for the crowd.

An estimated 300 people, including supporters, passers-by and journalists gathered to hear the 53-year-old ultraconservative who scored a surprising second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

The former senator made his comments outdoors after firefighters said the crowd could not fit in Belmont Hall, with a capacity of 100.

The crowd included some anti-Wall Street protesters and gay rights activists upset with Santorum's conservative positions.

Santorum was unfazed, and carried on with his comments about President Barack Obama, whom he called "a president who refuses to lead." He avoided comments about gay marriage after getting booed a day earlier for comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy.

Santorum faces a tough battle in New Hampshire, where support for frontrunner Mitt Romney runs high and where he will have to convince more moderate voters that he can defeat President Barack Obama in the November presidential election.

Santorum has argued that the state-by-state battle to choose the Republican nominee who will face off against Obama has just begun, with the next round in New Hampshire on January 10.

One poll showed Santorum with eight percent of the vote in New Hampshire to 44 percent for Romney.