Santorum Claims He’s Boosting Sweater-Vest Sales, If Not His Poll Numbers

Manchester clothiers aren’t seeing the bounce.

DON EMMERT / Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum addresses a town hall meeting at the Salem Elks Lodge January 9, 2012 in Salem, New Hampshire.

Two official Rick Santorum sweater vests appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox show last night. Santorum wore one, as he is wont to do, and he gave one to Hannity.

“You get your own Rick Santorum sweater vest,” Santorum said. “This is the attire of the campaign. We’ve heard from several retailers that sweater vest sales have gone up since I started displaying sweater vests.”

A Santorum aide told BuzzFeed that he’d been in the office when someone from a local store called, saying that his store was completely out of sweater vests. But Manchester-area stores like J.C. Penney and T.J. Maxx were all unaware of a surge in sweater vests — “They’ve been selling the same as they’ve been selling all season,” a worker in the Macy’s men’s department said

The garment is Santorum’s signature, he he regularly tells of meeting a hunter on a rare outing when he was wearing sleeves.

“Why aren’t you wearing your sweater vest? Are you forgetting about your right to bare arms?” Santorum asks.

And like all good political memes, the sweater vest is now a fundraising gimmick. The same kind of sweater vest given to Hannity, 100 percent cotton and made in the USA, is now available on Santorum’s campaign website. It’s also $100 or more, as it’s only available to donors who send that amount or higher to the campaign. The campaign website notes that “Demand has been extremely high for this item. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.”

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