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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Santorum’s Argument To Newt and Mitt Supporters

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rick santorum new hampshire

In one of the many interviews Rick Santorum did on my show in 2011 —this one on December 14 of last year— I asked him to make an appeal to the supporters of his GOP opponents. This is what he said to supporters of the two opponents he now faces in New Hampshire:

HH: All right, now let’s talk a little bit about your opponents, because votes to Rick Santorum have to come from each place. So I want to go down the line and ask you to talk to the people who are supporting that candidate, and why they ought to be supporting you instead. And let’s start with the frontrunner, Newt Gingrich.

RS: Well, you’re looking at someone who, I’ll just give you one example. When Newt was in leadership three years into leadership as Speaker of the House, conservatives launched a coup against him, because he was not standing up for the conservative principles that he at least articulated when he ran for Speaker. When I was in the leadership of the United States Senate, any conservative leader in the country, any conservative group, if they wanted something done in the United States Senate, and they were having trouble in leadership, there’s one person they went to. They went to me, because I was always the squeaky wheel. I was always the guy pushing the conservative agenda whether it was life issues, whether it was guns, whether it was national security, or whether it was economics. I was the key go-to guy for conservatives in the United States Senate. And that’s just a very clear contrast, when you’re in a position of leadership, when the pressure is on, who stands and fights for the conservative principles, and who bails out, and wimps under pressure. And you’ve got a very clear contrast between me and Newt on that front.

HH: What do you say to Romney supporters about coming over to Rick Santorum?

RS: Look, I was a Romney supporter four years ago. I endorsed him a few days before the Super Tuesday primaries. It’s a different election. The key in this election is to making sure you have a clear contrast with Barack Obama on the issues that are vitally important to our country. And that’s fundamentally economic freedom issues. And Romneycare, the TARP, the cap and trade, his positions on so many issues are so, just not the right position to have a clear contrast that we need to beat Barack Obama. And he will just be decimated by Obama by throwing, saying well, he was with me in the past. We just can’t have that. We just have to have someone who has a clear contrasting record as someone who has been a consistent conservative. And this is the key for both Newt and Romney, someone who makes Obama the issue in this campaign and his policies, not your record and not, whether political or personal record, that can’t be the issue. If it is, then Obama, with the media and the money, is going to destroy the Republican nominee. We need to have someone who makes him the issue.

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