Rick Santorum officially declared his presidential candidacy today with an opening speech that focused on America’s free culture and lambasted the growing dependency on entitlements.
Speaking in Somerset, Pennsylvania, where Santorum’s grandfather immigrated to from Italy, Santorum stressed that it was not “handouts” or “bailouts” that had drawn his family to America, but freedom. “If they worked hard, they could succeed,” he said about immigrant culture.
“That’s the America my grandfather came to. That’s the America my dad lived in. That’s the America we need again today,” Santorum said.
Santorum argued that the growing dependency on government entitlement programs threatened that. He criticized Obamacare for creating a program that every American, not just those struggling to make ends meet, would depend on. “Every single American will be hooked to the government with an IV,” Santorum said.
“They want to hook you,” Santorum said of President Obama and his political allies. “They don’t want to free you. They don’t want to give you opportunity. They don’t believe in you.”
In Santorum’s mind, what politicians need to focus on isn’t the vitality of government, but the promise inherent in U.S. citizens. “I believe now, that Americans now are not looking for someone they can believe in,” he said. They’re looking for a president who believes in them.”