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Rick Santorum on what should be talked about in the next debate

Friday, September 2, 2011
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HH: Many are wondering about next week’s presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley. What will the candidates say about the new entrant, Rick [Perry]? We don’t have to speculate, because we can ask Rick Santorum about it. Rick joins us now. Senator Santorum, welcome back, www.ricksantorum.com. And that is my question. What are you going to say to Rick Perry on stage next week?

RS: Welcome to the race, and now he’s got to go through what ever other candidate for president is going through, which is, you know, to be grilled on his record, and let’s find out what he actually believes in, and just as importantly, why he believes it. And I think obviously you can look at his record, and see what he’s actually done. And I think people are beginning to examine that now, and they certainly will during the debate.

HH: Do you think your record compares favorably with his when it comes to conservative values and governing?

RS: I think I blow him away, to be very honest with you. I mean, look, I think we’ve got the most conservative record of accomplishment in this race, and that’s why I’m staying in the race, and that’s why I believe we’re going to win this race. If you look at all the issues, from national security to moral/cultural, to economic and fiscal, I’ve been a Reagan pro-growth Republican, never voted for a tax increase. I’ve been someone who has stood up and reformed entitlement programs like welfare, which I was the author of. I’ve been a strong supporter of the state of Israel, and a strong national defense…I served on the Armed Services Committee and passed two major pieces of legislation on foreign policy. And as you know, there’s nobody who’s been more of a leader on the family and life issue than I am. So I’ll put my record up against anybody.

HH: And you’ve won a blue state twice in statewide elections. Rick Santorum, I was in Israel during the last debate, and I read and I was grateful for, and want to thank you for your taking on Ron Paul and this abhorrent, isolationist, head in the sand, simply not Reagan or Republican at all foreign policy nuttery that he espouses. And I hope you do it again.

RS: I’ll take him on, because you heard crickets from the other candidates, is because the other candidates don’t have any experience in that area, and they don’t understand the area as well as I do. You know, he was talking about Iran. I passed, I authored and helped pass the Iran Freedom Support Act, which said back in 2004 that Iran was still developing a nuclear program, even though we had some of our intelligence community saying that wasn’t the case, and that Iran had designs on developing that nuclear weapon to dominate the region, and eventually push Israel into the sea. That’s what I believe. I still believe it today. And we have a president who’s doing nothing about it, and we have a member running, a person running for president in our party who agrees with him.

HH: I’m talking with Senator Rick Santorum, candidate for president, www.ricksantorum.com if you want to help him continue this campaign. Today at the New York Times, Rick Santorum, a story that Iran is burying its nuclear fuel program, which means its nuclear weapons program, under the city of Qom, in an attempt to guard it even more closely from not just ground strikes and air strikes, but from cyber attacks. This is predictable.

RS: Well, the other thing…it is and you know, people hear the city of Qom, and they don’t attach any special attachment to it. But it’s incredibly significant. The city of Qom is where the Mahdi, the 12th Imam, ruled back in the [10th] Century. And it is the place where the Mahdi is to return. Some of the people who have had these apocalyptic theories with respect to what Iran is up to, you bury them under Qom, and you talk about maybe a strike or a war that’s centered about Qom. You have all of these religious connotations which again is lost, I’m sure, on the New York Times, but it’s certainly not lost on the people of Iran.

HH: I think it should be 10th Century for the Mahdi. Last question, Rick Santorum, going back to the debate…When you’re up there on the stage next week, and you’re offered the opportunity to look people in the eye and say I am a viable candidate, and you’ve got this dust-up with Piers Morgan last night, how do you break through the people who ought to be for you given your record, but discount your viability because the MSM does?

RS: Yeah, well you know, that’s exactly right. I hear this all the time. Well, you know, they tell you, you can’t win, so we really like you, but we want to win. Well, you get to determine who wins, not the mainstream media. Look at their record. Look at the record not just from the standpoint of what I’ve accomplished and what I believe in, but look at the political record. Look at what I’ve been able to accomplish against the odds. And no one else on that stage has ever defeated a Democratic incumbent. You know, I did it for the House and for the Senate. And then I fought the best team the Democrats had. I beat James Carville and Paul Begala to win the state of Pennsylvania, which has almost a million less Republicans than Democrats at the time. You go and look at the record, and look at the passion. Look at someone who has an idea of what they want to accomplish, and how to lead this country, and I believe this, Hugh. I mean, this is a campaign that is a marathon, not a sprint. And if folks continue to contribute to our campaign, which I really hope they do, because if you want to strike a blow against the mainstream media, the best way to do it is to send a check to our campaign. They do not want to give us any attention. There’s a Gallup poll that was out that said in August, my name recognition was unchanged from February. That’s the only candidate in the entire field that has had their name recognition not change. And there’s a reason.

HH: You bet. People can change that. www.ricksantorum.com.

End of interview.

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