Decked out in camouflage and posing with a shotgun, presidential candidate Rick Santorum tried to appeal to southern voters disenchanted with east coast front-runners by stating for the Arkansas crowd gathered for a conference Wednesday that he like grits, hunting and “wrassling pigs in mud.”
It’s a trend sweeping the 2012 primary as GOP candidates attempt with comedic results to put themselves in the southern mindset to catch red votes in even redder states.
Other attempts at likening themselves to southern Republicans include Newt Gringrich’s stop in Many, La., later this month where he will attempt to wrestle alligators and has vowed to try for the first time venison, and Ron Paul’s surprising ability to play the banjo without missing a beat during a town hall meeting in Mobile, Ala.
Billie Joe Bob, of Prattville, Ala., said the attempts have been lackluster but enjoys watching the politicians as their faces screw up and they take a big spoonful of ‘coon stew.
“They don’t get our way of life,” he said. “But at least we get some entertainment along the way. Who would have ever thought they’d see a Yankee try to gulp down fried possum?”
Gingrich, who recently started out a speech by telling southerners that “y’all know what you’re doing when it comes to food,” is scheduled to make an appearance on “The Real Housewives of El Dorado” when he tours the area in early May.