Rick Santorum continued to attack the Romney campaign for pushing Nevada to hold its primary at an earlier date in an appearance on Fox News Sunday this morning.
“There are reports out of Nevada that the Romney people were in fact trying to bully Nevada to move their primary up to force Iowa and New Hampshire into the early part of the year. Gov. Romney is not doing well in Iowa. He’s not spending much time there. He’s put all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket,” Santorum said. The latest polls (from August) show Romney in third place in Iowa, and Santorum in sixth.
The Romney camp has not explicitly denied the allegation, although a Nevada GOP official has said that the state ultimately decided on the primary date independent of any efforts made by the Romney campaign. Romney spokesman Andrea Saul said that Romney supported Iowa and New Hampshire being first, and added that “to be clear, states determine when their contests will be held. Gov. Romney has always supported Nevada’s status as an early nominating contest.”
Santorum said forcing Iowa to hold its primary as early as late December was an attempt to “marginalize them and their impact on the system in order to put more weight on New Hampshire.”
Asked about some of his opponents by Fox News host Chris Wallace, Santorum said that Perry “has a lot of questions to answer about his record in Texas, whether it’s been consistently conservative.”
“We’ve started to see that in the debates, the more people find out about his record on immigration, his record on benefits to illegals in this country, which he continues to support, his record on using executive authority to trump parental rights, these are not conservative things,” Santorum added.
He criticized Herman Cain for being a non-politician because “he lost the race,” a reference to the 2004 Georgia Senate race where Cain lost the GOP primary. “I jabbed at Herman saying I’ve got an 0-0-0 plan,” Santorum said, referencing what he had said recently about Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. “In other words, 0 is better than 9 when it comes to taxes.” Santorum said his plan include eliminating the corporate tax for manufacturers and processers, repeal any regulations that cost businesses over $100 million that President Obama had implemented, and eliminate taxing repatriated profits.
Asked if Mormonism was a cult, Santorum said it wasn’t. “He says he’s a Christian,” Santorum said in response to a question about whether Romney was a Christian. “I’m not an expert on Mormonism. All I know is that every Mormon I know is a good and decent person, has great moral values, and is, by and large, with the exception of Harry Reid, pretty consistent in the values that I share and the things that I want to see happen in this country, and that’s what he should be judged on.”
Speaking about his support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell being re-instated, Santorum argued that it was not a civil rights issue, saying that being black was not the same as being gay.
“There are all sorts of studies out there that suggest just the contrary,” Santorum said. “And there are people who were gay and lived a gay lifestyle, and aren’t any more … I don’t think that’s the case with anybody who’s black. So it’s not the same. It is a behavioral issue as opposed to the color of the skin issue, and that makes all the difference when it comes to serving in the military.”