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Santorum wins support of TLC's Duggar clan

 

The patriarch of the Duggar family, the 19-member clan subject of a TLC reality show, joined Rick Santorum on the campaign trail Monday to endorse the former Pennsylvania senator.

Jim Bob Duggar made an appearance on behalf of Santorum at the Pizza Ranch in Boone, Iowa on Monday, "asking Christians in America to get behind Rick Santorum" in the battle for the GOP nomination.

The Santorum campaign, which is leaning on support from social conservatives in its bid to win tomorrow's Iowa caucuses, touted the Duggars' support in a subsequent release.

"Rick Santorum is a pro-life, Christian conservative with the family values and common sense business perspective that we need to get our nation back on track, to create jobs and to stand for what is right!" Michelle Duggar said in that statement.

The endorsement isn't the first social conservative act of support for Santorum; he'd been backed by Bob Vander Plaats, a social conservative leader in the state, and courted many of the same activists to have propelled former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

But the Duggars' endorsement is maybe the most prominent for Santorum, given the ratings for their show, "19 Kids and Counting," and their identifiable status as evangelical Christians -- an important voting bloc in Iowa.