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Former Senator Hank Brown on Santorum’s Appeal



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Earlier this week, I wrote about Rick Santorum’s efforts in behalf of welfare reform. I had asked former Colorado senator Hank Brown, who worked with Santorum on this issue, to comment, but he hadn’t been able to call me till now.

Although Brown has endorsed Mitt Romney, he still thinks highly of Santorum’s work. “I was enormously impressed with what Rick did in the Senate,” he says. “He knew [the welfare-reform bill] from A to Z. He was very aggressive in working to improve the bill.”

Part of Santorum’s appeal, Brown adds, was the different mindset with which he approached the subject. “I always was fascinated with the welfare-reform debate, because its champions tended to be Republicans who had grown up poor,” Brown notes. “They knew what it was like to struggle and wanted to change welfare so that it helped move people out of poverty instead of locking them in. . . . That’s a totally different kind of concern than someone who’s trying to reduce the budget — though that also is a good concern. But it’s a change in the program motivated by helping people, not simply limiting expenditures, and I think that came through in [Santorum’s] campaigns.”



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