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19 endorsements and counting: Duggar dad supports Santorum, says Romney snubbed him

Chris Moody
The Ticket

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The Duggar Family

BOONE, Iowa -- It's too bad for Rick Santorum that Jim Bob, Michelle, Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer and Jordyn-Grace can't vote in Iowa.

The Arkansas-based Duggar Family, stars of the reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting," have thrown their support behind the former senator from Pennsylvania in the final days before the Iowa caucuses. The Duggar parents are traveling across Iowa with a dozen of their kids to push his message.

"This is the family values candidate," Jim-Bob Duggar, the family patriarch, said during a Santorum town hall here. "This is somebody who we believe in."

The Duggars have transformed their family bus into a "Santorum Express" that will be tearing across Iowa highways for the next two days. The two oldest boys stayed up all night on New Year's Eve, slapping a professional-grade pro-Santorum sign on each side of the bus. Santorum himself--who has been strapped for cash during most of the campaign and has been riding around the state in a volunteer's Dodge Ram--didn't know about the Duggars' plans and was surprised when he saw the bus roll up at his hotel Wednesday morning, an aide said.

"We're trying to get him on the bus," Dugger told Yahoo News. "And then we're trying to get him into Air Force One."

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The (unofficial) Rick Santorum Express

Like many of Santorum's supporters in Iowa, the Duggar clan decided to throw its support behind Santorum in just the past few weeks, pointing to his conservative values and his record in Congress as an opponent of abortion laws. Jim-Bob Duggar said that he considered supporting Mitt Romney four years ago, but felt uncomfortable with the Massachusetts health care law that allowed for $50 abortion co-pays. (Romney's defenders say that the state Supreme Court requires that health insurance providers cover abortion in the state.)

When Duggar tried to approach Romney at a campaign recent campaign event to discuss the topic, the former Massachusetts governor ignored his question, Duggar said.

"He would not answer me," he said. "He got on his campaign bus and sent his campaign manager to me. And then his campaign manager wouldn't answer me and just said, 'Here, want some pizza?' "

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