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SNL: Rick Santorum Promises to Visit Every County in the Nation

NBC

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's rise in the poll's guaranteed one thing in the first "Saturday Night Live" episode of 2012: His own cold open sketch.

Of his razor-thin loss to rival Mitt Romney in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, the former Pennsylvania senator declared, "had it not been for my opponent’s enormous financial advantage, and the usual Mormon trickery, we would surely have won outright."

Santorum -- played by cast member Andy Sandberg, of course outfitted in a sweater vest -- recalled campaigning in each of Iowa's 99 counties: From an event with 50 newly sworn-in American citizens, to one attended by just one person, to accidentally wandering into a 7-foot cornfield and screaming himself hoarse for hours until he was found.

"And now the campaign moves on," Santorum said. "And what is this campaign about? Two things really. One, making the family once again the center of our nation's public policy. And two, starting a war with Iran. As a favor to Israel. Whether Israel asks us to or not."

He vowed to take his same Iowa campaigning strategy nationwide, visiting every county in the country -- including Alaska's Denali County with "the nation's largest stock of grizzly bears and only five year-round residents" and Tennessee's Monroe County that "was the inspiration for the film 'Deliverance' -- I'll be there too."

He didn't deny such a strategy could be dangerous -- particularly San Francisco County in California -- and acknowledged, "If the lesbians don't get me, the Mormon death squads probably will."

"But in the end, what happens to me isn't important, this is about the country," Santorum said, though he added: "Maybe one day, long after I'm gone, my grandchildren can look me up on Google and find something, you know, different from what's there now."

Watch the full clip below, via NBC:

One last thing…
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