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Senator Rick Santorum On Iran Deal Etc

Thursday, April 16, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Senator Rick Santorum joined me on today’s show:

Audio:

04-16hhs-santorum

Transcript:

HH: I go from Senator Ted Cruz to Senator Rick Santorum, former Senator from the great state of Pennsylvania, how hard it is for me to say that, but I do get it out once in a while. Senator Santorum, welcome back, good to talk to you.

RS: Thank you, sir, it’s good to be with you.

HH: Let’s start with the Iran sanctions bill that is emerging from the Senate. I got done talking with Senator Cruz about that, and I want to ask you what I’m asking all the candidates. If you become the president, on the first day of the Santorum presidency, if an Iran deal is signed, and if the Congress of the United States does not repudiate it, it’s something more than an executive agreement, but less than a law. Will you repudiate it if you’re the president on the first day in office?

RS: Given what I know about this framework, yes. And even if it’s better than what is being suggested, the answer would be yes, and for one simple reason, because Iran is not a trustworthy partner in a negotiation. They will not, they have not kept the interim agreement, they will not keep this agreement, and so there is really no reason for them to have an agreement with a country that is incapable of honoring an agreement.

HH: Now the president of Iran yesterday, and the Supreme Leader a few days ago, said sanctions have to be lifted in the first day. They also, the defense minister there and the Supreme Leader said, and you’re not coming onto our military installations. Rick Santorum, aren’t these non-starters for us? Shouldn’t we just walk away?

RS: Exactly. I mean, this was like negotiating with Harry Reid on a budget deal. I mean, they are, or Barack Obama on a budget deal. They say all these wonderful thing, and then they come down to the bottom line is, okay, all the taxes have to come in right away, and we’ll do spending cuts in year 10, as if we do them at all. And that, Republicans unfortunately have not walked away from some of those deals in the past, unfortunately, but we need to walk away from this, because our national security is very much in jeopardy. The security of Israel, and the security, ask the Saudis if they’re concerned about their security with a nuclear Iran. This is a bad, number one, there shouldn’t have been a negotiation in the first place. Thee should have been an ultimatum in the first place. And the sanctions should have been ratcheted up, not ratcheted down. But now that we’ve put ourselves in this compromised situation, we at least better realize that there’s no point in going further with this negotiation.

HH: All right, now I want to switch to what I call a meta question with Senator Cruz. What matter more, Senator Santorum – knowing if a candidate will attend a gay wedding, or whether he or she will destroy the Islamic State before it throws hundreds, if not thousands, of gay men to their death?

RS: It is amazing that the left has not risen up and looked at Sharia law, looked at Iran, looks at how they treat minorities, look how they treat homosexuals, look how they treat a variety of people over there under Sharia law and condemn them, and focus their energy on that. But you’re right. They don’t. They don’t focus their energy on anything but the attempt to gather more power here in this country by using this issue of same sex marriage as a tool to do that. So the answer is defending human rights everywhere is something that a president should be involved in, and I will, if I were to run for president and get elected, that’s what I would do.

HH: Now let me ask you the question that was asked of Senator Rubio yesterday. Would you, Rick Santorum, attend a same sex wedding of a loved one or a family friend or anyone you were close to?

RS: No, I would not.

HH: Oh, why not?

RS: No, I mean, because I don’t, I’ve just self, as a person of my faith, that would be something that would be a violation of my faith. I would love them and support them, but I would not participate in that ceremony.

HH: Okay, let me move on, then, to the next divisive question which is dividing Republicans left and right, which is the dope laws, or I’m told I can’t call it dope anymore, the pot laws of Colorado and Washington State. The President is being criticized by a lot of people on our side for not enforcing the immigration laws. And I criticize him for not enforcing the federal drug laws. Chris Christie said he’d enforce them. Marco Rubio said he’d enforce them. Ted Cruz believes in the state option. I think Senator Paul does as well, I’m not sure. Where’s Rick Santorum on this?

RS: I don’t know what you mean about the state option. What’s that mean?

HH: That means that they get to go their own way on dope. That’s what Senator Cruz basically just told me, is his view is. I think that’s a fair characterization of what he said.

RS: And well, look, I think federal laws should be enforced, and I think Colorado is violating the federal law. And if we have controlled substances, they’re controlled substances for a reason. The federal law is there for a reason, and the states shouldn’t have the option to violate federal law.

HH: That’s what I think, but it is dividing the party because of our libertarians, right?

RS: Well, as Abraham Lincoln said, you know, states don’t have the right to wrong. If there’s a federal law in place, then we need to either change the federal law to provide waivers to the states to be able to do that. But the president shouldn’t, as he has on numerous occasions, decide what laws he’s going to enforce unilaterally, and what laws he’s not going to enforce. The laws are in place. If anybody, I think, running for the Republican nomination wants to say a state option, that means that they should actually put forth legislation as president that gives them that option, because the current law doesn’t do that.

HH: All right, now let me turn to Defense issues. I’ve been asking all of the candidates the same thing. We’re supposed to have 11 carrier groups. We’ve got 10. Heritage says we need 13. We’ve got an Ohio Class submarine which is the backbone of our nuclear deterrent which ages out in 2025-2029, and their nuclear reactors are not serviceable. I mean, you can’t, you might get a year or two more out of them, but you can’t keep them out there. There’s no money in the budget for 12 and 13 carrier groups. There’s not even there for 10. And there’s no money to replace the Ohio Class submarine, Rick Santorum. Will you allow the caps to stay in place? Or will you spend beyond the caps to protect the country if you’re president?

RS: I would, I’ve already repeatedly suggested that we need to release those caps on Defense, that we need to analyze what is necessary to keep our country safe, keep our military the best and in front of all other militaries in the world so we are still the preeminent military in the world. And we need to spend accordingly. And I can’t give you that number. I don’t know that number. But that would be a first priority, because it is the most important priority for a president to protect our country.

HH: Now let me ask you about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact. That’s coming up, and Ron Fournier wrote in the National Journal today that Hillary’s got a problem, because the head of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Marc Perrone, is opposed to this deal as exporting jobs. You wrote Blue Collar Conservatives. A lot of blue collars don’t like free trade. What’s Rick Santorum say to them?

RS: Rick Santorum says that I’ve always supported trade promotion authority for the president. We need to negotiate trade deals. I think we’ve seen there’s articles recently in a lot of the business journals about how we’re actually losing jobs, assembly jobs, manufacturing jobs in this country, because we don’t have trade deals with other countries around the world. And therefore, we’re not a great place to manufacture to export. We need to be a country not only that makes things to consume here in America. We also have to be a country where people want to make things so we can export to other countries. And if we don’t have trade agreements that reduce trade barriers with other countries, then we’re not going to be a platform for exports. So whether it’s the Pacific Partnership Agreement, or other partnership agreements, we need to look at those and reduce tariff barriers. At the same time, we have to make sure that we’re protecting and enforcing our trade laws while doing so. So it’s not an all or nothing thing. I do believe in free trade, but I also make sure that American workers’ rights are protected through that process.

HH: All right, Senator Santorum, Beijing on Wednesday announced the foundation of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. They’re capitalizing at $50 billion. They’re going to go to $100 billion to invest in roads, cell phone towers, railroads, airports. Many people are concerned they’re pushing us out, they’re overriding the World Bank. What do you think about this?

RS: Well, I mean, look, they have tremendous infrastructure needs over there. So I think what they do in trying to meet those infrastructure needs is by and large their business. I would argue that we have infrastructure needs in this country.

HH: Yeah, but this is for around the world. They’re going to invest this in Africa and places like that, like the IMF does.

RS: Oh, I see what you’re saying. I’m sorry. No, well, I guess the answer to that is China is growing economically, trying to grow their influence economically, and America, they see America as a place that is withdrawing from the world stage. And so they’re trying to exercise their influence economically. And if we don’t compete with that, if we aren’t out there, I use the example of Central and South America. We have withdrawn from that area, and now worse than that, we’ve now recognized that the principal underminer of democracy in Central and South America is Cuba and Venezuela, for that matter, that partnership over the last ten years. Not only have we done that, but we have disengaged. We haven’t gone out and developed not only trade deals, but done things economically to help support and grow economies in our region of the world. And we’re suffering the consequences. And who is, you mentioned this effort, who is out there and doing these types of projects is China. So part of national security is economic ties and relationships, and we’re failing miserably on that front.

HH: Rick Santorum, 30 seconds left, how do you think Secretary of State Clinton’s rollout went in terms of connecting with blue collar conservatives and blue collar people generally?

RS: (laughing) You know, it’s one thing to deliver a message. And you look at the words of her announcement, I mean, they’re all very nice words, but I didn’t see anything that would give anybody the impression that she actually did connect with those people, actually has any idea of what hard-working Americans are going through in this country today.

HH: Rick Santorum, it’s always a pleasure, Senator. Thanks for joining me, talk to you again soon.

End of interview.

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