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Santorum, Snyder Emphasize Importance of Michigan in 2012 Elections

The message was clear at the Oakland County Republicans dinner Thursday night: Michigan has an important role in the election.

More than 1,400 people turned out at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi Thursday night for what became the Oakland County Republicans' largest Lincoln Day Dinner in history. Attendees heard speeches from Gov. Rick Snyder, GOP candidate Rick Santorum and Ann Romney, wife of GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

The event quickly sold out this week after Santorum won three recent state primaries, giving Michigan’s Feb. 28 primary more importance in helping the GOP pick a presidential candidate. Romney has also been a favorite in Michigan and was endorsed by Snyder Thursday afternoon.  

All three headline speakers said that Oakland County and Michigan now play important roles in the primaries and the November elections. 

“We’re a role model for Washington,” Snyder said. “If you look at the challenges in Washington, they don’t have a budget – they have a budget deficit. They’re holding back the rest of the United States.  We’ve shown them the way. We have balanced our budget. We’ve gotten rid of a billion-and-a-half dollar deficit.”

As Ann Romney spoke at the event to draw support for her husband, Mitt, who is a Michigan native, she said she has seen friends and other people struggling with job loss in Michigan and is grateful for Snyder.

“He is absolutely right. We’ve got to take the lessons we’ve learned in this state and apply them to the country,” she said.

Santorum also emphasized the importance of Michigan voters in his speech.

“We live in a time of great consequence, and Michigan, Michigan is in the center of it. You have an opportunity to be a game-changer in this primary, you have an opportunity to be a game-changer in the general election,” he said.

Snyder said that Michigan serves as example of how a government can rebuild. 

“We’re reforming everything in sight to say it’s about a new and better way of doing things in our state,” Snyder said to applause. “So as we look toward the future, let’s continue the path here in Michigan with the House, with the Supreme Court, with the great leadership we already have in place, and let’s continue that tradition in Washington.”

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