“I’m not going to tell anybody to get in or out of the race,” Rick Santorum said about whether Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich should end their campaigns so that the social conservative vote could coalesce around one candidate. “I think that’s their decision to make.”
But, in his appearance on Fox News Sunday this morning, he also disputed that it was the “social conservative” vote that was splintering, saying “a lot of conservatives have concerns about Gov. Romney’s record on the economy, and obviously, Romneycare is a real scarlet letter here.”
“We can’t have a nominee,” Santorum continued, “that takes away the most important issue in this election, which is an explosion of the federal government and robbing of people’s freedom on the federal level with Obamacare, and Romneycare, which was the predecessor to Obamacare, just disqualifies him in his ability to go out and aggressively go after this top-down approach to health care.”
Asked to contrast himself with Gingrich, Santorum argued that he had been a more effective conservative leader during the 90’s. “Three years into his speakership there was a conservative revolution,” Santorum said of Gingrich.
Santorum acknowledged that he had not supported a national right-to-work law while senator, saying he felt it was wrong for him to back a federal law that Pennsylvania legislators had rejected at the state level. “I would [now] sign a national right-to-work bill because now I’m no longer representing that state, and by the way, the same thing with respect to Davis-Bacon,” he said, referring to the law that requires construction workers to be paid prevailing local wage rates on federal projects.
Speaking about his plan to nix the corporate income tax on manufacturers, Santorum was defensive. “Manufacturers face a very different playing field. The hotel that is here right now is not going to move to China,” he said, saying that current tax rates and government regulation were making the manufacturing sector uncompetitive internationally.
Santorum also strongly defended his proposal to triple the personal deduction per child. “This is not social engineering. What’s social engineering is the polices over the last 30 years that have robbed the family of the support they used to have in the tax code,” Santorum rejoined, saying that the deduction used to be worth ten times as much as it currently is.