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Rick Santorum On 2016

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Former United States Senator Rick Santorum joined me on the program today:

Audio:

08-12hhs-santorum

Transcript:

HH: I bet you Rick Santorum is a Jackson Brown fan even though the politics do not alighn. Senator Santorum, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

RS: Wow, Hugh, you definitely get it. I think you know me a little too well, Hugh. I’m a little worried about it. . .

HH: (laughs) We’re about the same age and we come from the same part of the country. We’re both Catholics, so yeah, Jackson – but he’s a leftie, you know. He’s way out there.

RS: Oh yeah, well, fortunately, most people in the entertainment world are not perfectly aligned with either one of us unfortunately.

HH: Let’s get to the serious stuff. One of your competitors for the nomination – Jeb Bush – gave a speech last night at the Reagan Library. Here’s the heart of what Governor Bush had to say.

JB: ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat. And where was the Secretary of State? Where was Secretary of State Clinton in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge then joined in claiming credit for its success. Then stood by as that hard-won victory by American allied forces was thrown away. In all of her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once.

HH: Rick Santorum, how potent is this critique? Is it right? Is it enough?

RS: It’s 100% right. I mean the fact that Hilary Clinton is clearly lock, stock, barrel bought in the Obama foreign policy. But shes behind the weakness of not stepping up and supporting our troops, to give them the resources they need to win battles like we did in the surge. The thing I would add is that you also hold the experience of [those] who understands these issues who was there. I mean, I was there at call for the surge even before John McCain called for the surge. I was talking about we had to engage with Iraq. And during the 2012 election cycle, you know, I was very outspoken in not position to withdrawing troops from Iraq. So, there’s a core contrast there and one that I think is important, particularly if you’re looking at a commander-in-chief. They’re looking for someone who has experience, who’s called it right, called it right on Iran. Same thing Hilary Clinton voted against the Iran sanctions that I offered back in 2000 with Senator Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John Kerry. So, she’s been on the wrong side of these issues, not just to the two that are mentioned there, but she was on the wrong side of the Iran sanctions. She’s been on the wrong side of Iraq and she has to be held accountable for it and I think it’s a great contrast to the 2016 election if you nominate someone who was there, who was opposed to her.

HH: Where is the hesitancy come from among the Republicans about going straight ahead at Hilary. She is going to be their nominee. You know, Bernie Sanders got big crowds. God bless him. He’s an old socialist and people find him entertaining, but she’s gonna be the nominee, Rick Santorum.

RS: Well, even if she’s not the nominee, she’s gonna stand for the principles that Barack Obama stands for and whoever the nominee is gonna be is not gonna run away from Barack Obama, so it does make sense to go at President Obama and at Hilary Clinton and at the entire left wing group that has been running foreign policy in this country, so yeah, I would agree with you that Hilary Clinton should target number one and that’s one of the reasons that said, that we need to stop this infighting, this personal attacks that are going down among the Republicans and focus on the issues that focus on who our opponents are gonna be and it’s not each other. It’s Hilary Clinton and the administration is destroying both the national security of our country as well as the economy for working men and women.

HH: Yesterday, Mrs. Clinton allegedly turned over her server – I don’t if the FBI went and took it – but Senator Grassley, Speaker Boehner – they all blasted this as an admission that she’d been breaking the law. What do you make of this story and how often should we be talking about it?

RS: I think it’s important to talk it because it’s symbolic of exactly who Hilary Clinton is and Bill Clinton was. They believed they were above the law. They believed they’re not accountable. They believe they can do whatever they want. You know, you look at David Petraeus and the fact that what he went through and Hilary Clinton has done things far worse than what Petraeus was accused of doing. And she continues to run for President of the United States! I think it is illegal actions. I think there’s no question in my mind that she will be found and that violated not just protocols but the law. And the question is – will the Obama administration who believes they are above the law and don’t have to enforce the law do anything about it. I have no confidence that this politicized Justice Department is gonna do anything to Hilary Clinton. That’s why it’s incumbent upon Congress to really come down as hard as they can on her in holding her accountable.

HH: John Hamre over at CSIS is one of the smartest guys in the world when it comes to defense policy. He has suggested that part of the Iran deal ought to include forward-basin B-2’s in Israel. What do you make of ideas like that to lessen the impact of the Iran which, you know, I don’t if it can be stopped, Rick Santorum. What do you think?

RS: Well, look, anything we can do to show most support for Israel and show that any attack on Israel is an attack on the United States of America. I’m in favor of it. As you know, Israel has never wanted the United States to be their defender, but the fact is, this president, under this agreement, is wiping away their ability to defend themselves. He’s allowing the Russians to place weapons systems that will stop the Israelis from potentially bombing or conducting air raids on these nuclear facilities. He’s providing an antidote to the virus that can slow down the development of their nuclear technology all of which Israel has used in the past to slow this program down. So he’s helping to make Israel defenseless against an Iranian nuclear threat. We have an obligation to step forward and if necessary do – look, I would do whatever is necessary to protect Israel and put a tripwire there – but the bottom-line is this treaty – and it is a treaty and should be treated as a treaty – is devastating and has to be stopped. The problem is, we have a Congress that is unwilling to stand up and require the president to submit as a treaty. They’ve made this side deal to allow this Corker-Cardin thing to go through and even if Corker-Cardin is fulfilled, in other words, they vote for, vote against this agreement, override the president’s veto. It really doesn’t stop the agreement from going in place. The only thing that would stop the agreement from going in place is requiring the president to defend as a treaty and turning down the treaty overall and that was given away months ago.

HH: Senator Santorum, I wanna switch to politics now. I get to ask you questions at the next debate at the Reagan Library and I’m looking forward to that.

RS: Me, too.

HH: But I was a critic of the first debate because it was prosecutorial. It did not allow people to make their case. Hold over, we’ll come right back and I’ll ask your reaction to how the question set developed over the two debates. Don’t go anywhere America, it’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.

– – – – – – – –

HH: Well, I hope the promoters don’t mind and the roadies tonight the Jackson Brown goes at late as he wants in San Diego Pacific Theater. I’ll stay until the last song is sung. Rick Santorum is my guest on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Senator, what I was getting to is, I’ve had this debate with Ann Coulter and others. I do not believe the last debate allowed the candidates to show their communication capabilities in critiquing the president and Mrs. Clinton and that more time needs to be given even if you all agree that the Iran deal is terrible as to who can best explain why and what should be done about it. What do you think?

RS: Well, I think it’s gonna – look, I believe that the most important thing to do in a campaign is to lay out why you want to be President of the United States and what you’re gonna do to make things different and of course, that includes in talking about things that we may all agree with. For example, the Iran deal. But it also includes highlighting differences between the candidates on the issues and I think that I would make the argument they did some of that in the last debate, but frankly, not enough. I think giving hints into the details as to what makes the differences between these candidates is as equally important and all I know is that when I go out – I’m here in Iowa – and when I got out to Iowa, one of the things I hear is what makes you different than everybody else. I think people are looking for what lane if you will. Where are you gonna go with this country and how differentiate yourself from the other Republican candidates.

HH: One big area of difference, and I talked about with Marco Rubio today is whether or not the filibuster is impeding the ability of the United States to defend itself because defense appropriations is hung up. And I talked to Mike Pompeo about it, too. And they both – one is against the filibuster. One is for it. What do you think, Rick Santorum. You enjoyed its protections in the minority. You felt its frustrations in the majority. But right now it’s screwing the country.

RS: It is screwing it and there’s no question it’s screwing the country. What’s going on in the Defense Department right now is criminal. We’ve not had a defense appropriations bill passed which means the Defense Department continues to live under what’s called a continuing resolutions which means their stuck with contracts that are ancient and they can’t execute the contracts. They can’t do things that allow the Defense Department to officially spend money. It’s a combination of drawing down money that is horrible enough, but then, you make it so much more complicated to spend money and more costly to spend money – we’ve really done a number to the Defense Department. And I would say this – at some point, the Democrats have to be able to rise up above this and allow this bill to go through and I have some cooperation because they’re concerned about our national security. You know, Hugh, you’re a lawyer, that’s actually bad laws. This is a bad fact. We have a bad fact here. We got the Defense Department’s in real trouble, and these appropriations process is hurting it more. But you don’t change the law because you have a bad fact pattern in front of you. The filibuster has been used over time to protect against growing the size of government and I would fear if we didn’t we didn’t, government would get even bigger.
HH: Rick Santorum, as always, precisely on the point. Thank you, Senator. Great to have you back.

End of Interview

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