With a ragtag outfit typical of his campaign and a few high-profile local endorsements ahead of Tuesday’s competitive Illinois primary, the former Pennsylvania senator couched his Illinois effort in old-fashioned political terms: He’s fighting City Hall.
In Santorum’s telling, Mitt Romney is the archetypical establishment pol, backed by the entire state GOP establishment, from the party chairman to three statewide elected officials on down while he is the little guy who just wants a stop sign put on his corner.
“The Illinois party doesn’t deal up a lot of conservatives for statewide office, so you have an opportunity now to sort of fight City Hall, if you will,” he said after greeting supporters at an Italian restaurant here Friday. “All the Republican establishment, as you know, is lined up behind Romney. Hopefully the conservative voices here in the state will say that the best chance for us to beat Barack Obama is to have a clear choice, not, you know, someone who is a little different or not different at all on some of the biggest issues of the day.”