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Here we are in Illinois what are your expectations for tonight's big primary returns.
I've learned not to count the chickens until they -- but I have high expectations I hope we win here Illinois I think we're gonna win here in Illinois block.
Well as I've got across the state over the last several days we're seeing large crowds a lot of enthusiasm.
I'm getting a very clear indication we're getting greater and greater support here I think over the last several days we've seen people come back to me and I get behind our campaign it's a campaign about retaking our economy getting people back to work I -- the economy is the issue.
I think that that high unemployment is a huge problem be that people are suffering in this country and my messages about.
Jobs in the economy.
And that sounds as though you're making reference to what mr.
santorum's suggestion when he.
Said that he didn't worry about the economy and unemployment numbers he was in or interest in freedom and liberty more foundational stuff.
Understandable point of misstep a -- for an unforgivable political mistake.
You know I think that the economy is at the center of what people are concerned about.
I recognize and that the people America do.
What is it that drives a strong economy and and economic freedom as part of that.
And sort of policies which encourage individual launch -- -- to be able to build their businesses low taxes low regulations.
All these things come together it's what I what I know on what I do and I think that's why people recognize that my campaign as the the kind of -- to be able to go up against President Obama and ultimately defeat him.
Over the course this campaign almost all of your rivals at one time or another yourself included it said that -- the Republican panel.
Would all be better presidents than Barack Obama.
And yesterday said or suggested that based upon your record -- the president's folks might as well just vote for the president because your records are basically -- -- Comment on that and what it means to Republican unity to have that sort of change of heart for -- -- about your qualifications.
Senator Santorum was one of my best supporters for years ago.
He he spoke eloquently about the fact that I'm a real conservative.
I forbidding government since then so why haven't changed.
I'm afraid senator santorum's personal.
Political interest have changed and so he's got a different.
-- to -- at this point but my record is a conservative is pretty pretty clear.
Governor Massachusetts balance the budget every year we were in office without raising taxes.
Cut taxes nineteen times.
Established English Immersion -- -- drove our schools also be number one in the nation that was not just me of course a lot of other people did that.
We -- forced illegal immigration laws and our state we did the things conservatives do and I'm proud of the record I have.
santorum's been clamoring for Newt Gingrich to get out of the race so he in his view of the political world can -- conservatives but his own candidacy.
Gingrich and Ron Paul are not competing in Illinois Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum -- what does a victory tonight mean for you mono a mono against -- -- Well there's no question in my mind but that is people take a close look at the various people running in this.
Contest that I get the support necessary to become the nominee.
A decision on the part of speaker Gingrich or others is to stay -- -- -- -- their own decision I'm not gonna push someone out of out of this race but.
But I think that if other people were to get out I think Elena being stronger not weaker the idea that they're all gonna go to Rick Santorum is he would suggest.
But I don't think is is the case I think the demonstrated record over time is that.
We do pretty darn well I want -- to us -- -- -- another and I expect to get the delegates that I need to hear from Illinois and delegates across the country and and become the nominee.
Few weeks ago we had an opportunity to gather with yourself and your rivals mr.
Huckabee had a -- -- a DHL plant in Ohio now.
Steve Hayes today is reporting that you and mr.
Huckabee -- mr.
Gingrich and Santorum all had a conversation.
-- you basically agree.
That come what may in the nominating race the ultimate nominee would be selected from the four panelists.
For -- it's still going on there.
Yourself Gingrich Santorum and Paul.
Can you tell us a little bit about what happened in that conversation that's an accurate accounting of what you discussed with those -- -- -- two of the gentlemen.
Well I don't want to speak at a school.
We had a private jet Shadley we thought this but apparently putted terribly private.
But I think all of us agree that it does make sense to have a candidate.
Who's been vetted.
Through the process who's -- been debating we've had what about twenty debates amongst ourselves.
Who's also built a 88.
Financial operation to be able to raise money if we're gonna go up against Barack Obama.
We're gonna go up against someone who's raised a lot of money -- has a very substantial operation and those of us that are in this campaign process have done that.
Someone who would come in from the outside would not have that that it would how to -- that kind of organization.
I would not have gone to the debate process we've gone through and presumably would not be as prepared as -- as anyone of the four of us.
So for those of us on the fourth -- status as looking for wiggle room those scenarios.
That leaves open the option for you to agree should you fall short of the 1144 for one of the other three to be the nominee even humans have the lead.
Look up I'm planning -- become an -- I think it's very likely that someone other than the four of us would become -- -- possible but I think area likely.
And I think that's probably a good thing to have someone who's been -- who has an organization.
Who's been debating and I hope that happened sooner than later to a question stolen.
Are you -- are you getting tired of look the increasingly personal attacks from Gingrich and Santorum how do you remain patient and tolerant as they continue to.
Come -- you personally.
Well what -- saying desperate polls make desperate Paul's.
You know you you have folks that are in some cases probably going a little too far.
But you know I I remain tolerant despite not looking at one of the people say -- focused on what I'm doing which is going out to people of Illinois and across the country.
And talking about what I'll do to reclaim economic liberty in this country and -- get the economy growing again to get good jobs.
For kids coming out of school to make sure that retirees know they can count on social security and Medicare.
And to rein in the deficits so.
This for me is a campaign about my vision for the country at a campaign about responding to all the you know the attacks that might come from my opposition in the race or for the media that -- Illinois Barack Obama's home state this is symbolically important state the second biggest -- in terms of delegate prize.
What does -- victory mean tonight moving forward.
Well -- victory tonight would that would give us a real boost there's no question about that a lot of delegates at stake we we picked up twenty delegates last weekend in Puerto Rico that was a big plus for us.
We get closer and closer and lot of delegates here.
Would guess that much closer to becoming the nominee would have opium process aspect of it that the demographic and political message that would be sent from the land of Lincoln and state with.
The unemployment rate where it is population is large it is its diversity is here in the heartland.
Well obviously you want to win every -- you can 01 of the demographic messages I think came out of Puerto Rico last weekend.
-- mean we have to get Latino voters.
To vote for Republicans if we're going to be able to maintain our lead in congress and -- -- get the White House.
And -- have what eighty some odd percent of the Puerto Rican support my campaign.
A campaign based upon opportunity and hope growing and economy.
That was very encouraging and obviously a good good send off from Illinois would be a big plus as well.
Regular we'd much appreciate it.
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