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Santorum, Paul Recognize Colorado’s Importance

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DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Republican Caucus is now just one week away. It’s a caucus that’s important not only for the state’s 36 delegates, but as a vetting process Republicans will be watching to see who plays well in the swing state as an indication of who will do well in a general election.

It’s no wonder the candidates will be spending lots of time and money in Colorado over the next week.

“You have a chance right here in Colorado to step up and change this race,” Republican candidate Rick Santorum said to a Lone Tree crowd.

Santorum made his first stop in Colorado on Tuesday and pleaded with the crowd in Lone Tree to shake things up in a race that’s been a roller coaster ride from the start.

“I always say, ‘If you don’t like the way the race is run right now, just wait a week or two,’ ” Santorum said.

Santorum wasted no time unleashing his first attack ad in Colorado, targeting Newt Gingrich.

rick santorum1 Santorum, Paul Recognize Colorados Importance

Rick Santorum in Lone Tree on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

“We can’t afford leaders who are unpredictable or lack the conviction that’s necessary to do what’s necessary to change the country,” Santorum said.

He also went after Mitt Romney, saying “Romneycare” was worse than “Obamacare.”

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Santorum didn’t mention Ron Paul, but if a crowd is any indication, maybe he should have. Hundreds of people showed up to hear the libertarian-leaning candidate speak in Denver on Tuesday.

Paul didn’t mention his opponents, but poked fun at the pundits.

“Sometimes they’re impolite to me; have you ever noticed?” Paul said.

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Ron Paul in Denver on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Paul said there’s a reason he’s appealing to younger voters.

“They’ve have been just disgusted with the fact that too often we elect one party versus the other and not a whole lot changes,” Paul said.

As for whether the race changes yet again when it comes to Colorado, Paul didn’t speculate, but his supporters did.

“I think he’s going to do very well here and I think we’re a pivotal state and I think it’s going to shake up a lot of arrogant people,” a Paul supporter said.

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The campaigns of Romney and Gingrich say they will both be in Colorado before next Tuesday.

In 2008 Romney won Colorado’s caucus with 60 percent of the vote over John McCain’s 18 percent.

Clearly Paul has a large base of support in Colorado, and Santorum will be aggressive in Colorado as well. So the state’s caucus will be important. It’s one of the reasons Republicans moved it up from March in the first place.

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