Santorum Compares Obama Administration To A ‘Drug Dealer’

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credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSDC/AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum compared the Obama administration to a “drug dealer” while speaking before several hundred people at the Grace Church in Broken Arrow.

“That’s how they see you, as people, to get hooked like a drug dealer, someone to become dependent on them and once that happens, they got you,” Santorum said Sunday night, according to CBS News. “America is changed forever. No country that has socialized medicine has ever gone back the other way, no country that has lost its freedom has ever regained it.”

This isn’t the first time Santorum has made comments like this. According to Buzzfeed, he compared Obama, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to drug dealers during a speech at the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee dinner in 2010.

Santorum has been holding a double-digit lead in Oklahoma leading up to Super Tuesday.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the state on Tuesday, and election officials say turnout has been steady over three days of early voting.

The Sooner state has just 40 of the 419 delegates up for grabs Tuesday, but Santorum calls Oklahoma the “ground zero of the conservative movement.” He paid his second visit to Oklahoma over the weekend as he tried to nail down support from Christian conservatives, a critical segment of Oklahoma Republican voters.

“A state like Oklahoma is a state, as you hear, that fits me well,” Santorum told The Associated Press after a speech on Sunday that drew about 1,300 supporters at a suburban Tulsa church.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also paid a recent visit to Oklahoma, as did U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came to Oklahoma in October, but he picked up a key endorsement over the weekend from Oklahoma’s popular U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who is among the most conservative members of the Senate.

Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in this state with populist roots, voters here are traditionally conservative and have not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in a general election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Four years ago, Oklahoma was the only state in which President Barack Obama failed to win a single one of its 77 counties.

And while most of the attention has been focused on the GOP side of the ticket, Democrats also will select a nominee in Tuesday’s primary. Appearing on the Democratic primary ballot with Obama are Bob Ely of Illinois, Darcy Richardson of Florida, Jim Rogers of Midwest City and Randall Terry of West Virginia.

Some Oklahoma political pundits predict it’s possible that Oklahoma could be the first state where someone other than Obama picks up a Democratic delegate. Under Democratic Party rules, any candidate can win a share of delegates who receives 15 percent of the vote either statewide or in any one of Oklahoma’s five congressional districts.

Tuesday’s election is the first statewide election in which voters are required to show proof of identification before voting under a new law approved by voters in 2010, but Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax says the new requirement has posed few problems in recent special elections. Voters without proof of identification may cast a provisional ballot and sign an affidavit.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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