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Published February 05, 2012, 09:16 PM

Republican cadidate Rick Santorum stops in Minnesota

Bemidji, MN (WDAY TV) -- Presidential candidate Rick Santorum working to revitalize his campaign stops in Minnesota. The Republican went by Bemidji Woolen Mills to see first-hand how his infamous sweater vests are made.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ, WDAY

Bemidji, MN (WDAY TV) -- Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, working to revitalize his campaign, stops in Minnesota. The republican went by Bemidji Woolen Mills to see first-hand how his infamous sweater vests are made.

One by one, each Rick Santorum sweater vest is stitched with a "Bemidji Woolen Mills" label with its Made in America Stamp.

Bill Batchelder, Bemidji Woolen Mills Owner: "We're right now in the process of refurbishing some of our machines that haven't run in 20, 30 years. And now that we have orders, we're able to pull these machines up, get them tuned up, and get them running again."

That extra boost in business has been uplifting for Owner Bill Batchelder and his employees.

Bill Batchelder: "It really is the employees of Bemidji Woolen Mills that are making it happen because without them we'd have nothing. It just feels good to be a part of something positive."

Rick Santorum: "Manufacturers don't want to locate in suburban communities. They don't want to locate in center cities. They want to locate in small town America where they're welcome, where there's room, there's space, there's affordable land and labor available."

Santorum's "Made in America" message really struck a chord here at the Bemidji Woolen Mills. The family-owned business has been producing garments right here on main street Bemidji since 1920.

Susan Tammaro, Bemidji Woolen Mills employee: "People realizing that there's still stuff made in this town, made in America. We're making the clothing right here!"

Batchelder admits he didn't know much about Santorum until he agreed to make 1,000 sweater vests for the campaign. Now the political fashion statement has turned him into a Santorum supporter.

Bill Batchelder: "It stands for being an American. It stands for being made in America. It stands for neighborhoods. It stands for strong families."

Rick Santorum: "A place like the woolen mill here is really typical of small town America, small manufacturing, many cases family-owned."

Santorum came in last place in the Nevada primary Saturday, but is hoping his message for small town America helps him win big in Minnesota Tuesday.

Rick Santorum: "I feel confident that we're going to do well here in Minnesota!"

Those vests are given to supporters, donating at least 100 dollars.

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