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Santorum: Not my job to correct false claims

LADY LAKE, Fla. --  What started as a strong and well attended Rick Santorum town hall got sidetracked this afternoon as the presidential hopeful faced a questioner who called President Obama an "avowed Muslim" and protesters disrupted the event.

"He is an avowed Muslim and my question is why isn't something being done to get him out of our government. He has no legal right to be calling himself president," a woman asked, referring to President Obama.

Standing in front of a crowd of more than 250 mostly senior citizens, Santorum did not address the incorrect claim about the president's religion.

"Well yeah," said Santorum. "I'm doing my best to get him out of the government right now and she is right that he uniformly ignores the Constitution."

After the event, the former Pennsylvania senator told reporters it is not his job to correct every false claim that comes up during
questions.  “Why do you guys ask these ‘Gotcha’ questions like it’s my job to go out and correct everybody who says something I don’t agree with?" Santorum responded to media inquiring about the exchange.

"There are lots of people who get up and say stuff in a town hall meeting and say things that I don’t agree with, but I don’t think it’s my obligation, nor should it be your feeling that it’s my obligation to correct somebody who says something that I don’t agree with.”

But that was not the only hiccup the candidate faced during his town hall here this afternoon.  As the event was coming to a close, a
protester charged toward Santorum and attempted to throw a fist full of glitter at Santorum, but was stopped by security beforehand.

Attempts to "glitter bomb" Santorum have become a frequent occurance on the campaign trail as a way to protest his views on homosexuality.

How much time Santorum will spend in the Sunshine State is still in flux.  Today, he indicated that how things go on the trail here over the next several days will dictate how hard he makes a push in the state.

But, regardless of how much he campaigns in Florida, Santorum has been clear that his candidacy will not end after the Jan. 31 primary.

"We're going to be in this race for a long time," he said.  "We're planning already for Super Tuesday states and investing resources in states there. So this is going to be a long campaign, and we hope to do well here, but we understand this is a very, very expensive state."

While the Santorum campaign has enjoyed a fundraising boost since his Iowa caucus victory, his war chest still pales in comparison with that of rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Today, he tried to qualm fears that his candidacy might not have the ability to compete in the long term.

"Gov. Romney says 'I can win because I have the most money.'  Does anyone doubt whoever the Republican nominee is will have all the money they need to run against Barack Obama? They will," Santorum said.

"There's absolutely no doubt that whoever the Republican nominee is will be backed fully, completely, and in our case enthusiastically by the base of the Republican party, the entire base."