Santorum Draws Small Crowds During South Carolina Visit

Spartanburg, S.C. - About 50 supporters came to The Beacon Drive-In restaurant in Spartanburg South Carolina Friday afternoon to support former Sen. Rick Santorum, but the Republican presidential hopeful isn't discouraged.

"Our goal is sort of a gradual ground swell," Santorum told Fox News. "We haven't burst on the scene. I tend to think slow and steady wins the race and that's what we're doing."

The Beacon Drive-In is the same restaurant where Rep. Michele Bachmann made a campaign stop less than two weeks ago. Bachmann attracted over ten times as many supporters and could barely make it through the sea of people to get to the cash register.

It was a different scene with Santorum as he walked from table to table, introducing himself to casual diners, some of which did not recognize him.

"Not having the throngs gives me a chance to have a real experience with the voters," said Santorum.

Earlier in the day, Santorum appeared at Tommy's Country Ham House in Greenville, the same place Rick Perry was just six days ago. Perry had the restaurant at capacity with over 400 people, while dozens of other supporters crowded around his bus in the parking lot, hoping for a glimpse of the candidate. Santorum attracted about 40 supporters Friday morning.

"I'm not really worried about how big of rallies I have in August. It's what the energy and enthusiasm is in January and February that's going to matter," Santorum reasoned, "and that's what we are building to."

Santorum finished fourth in the Ames Iowa Straw poll two weeks ago, behind Bachmann, Rep. Ron Paul, and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race following the poll results. Santorum remains hopeful that he can build off his fourth place finish.

"Ames proved that it was real. Ames proved that there are folks out there that in spite of lack of national attention and in spite of the lack of resources that we had, we were able to make a big impact in that state," said Santorum.

"We knew I was going to be the tortoise in this race, not the hare. And there are going to be lots of rabbits out there running ahead and we're just plugging along."