Former Senator and leading conservative Rick Santorum says a John McCain presidency would be “very, very dangerous for Republicans.”
Santorum — who was defeated in 2006 after two terms as a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania — was sharply critical of fellow Republican McCain in an interview that aired last week on syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin’s show.
Responding to Levin’s observation that McCain is trying to recast himself as more conservative now that he is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, Santorum said:
“It’s amazing to hear what John McCain is trying to convince the voters he is all about. The bottom line is, I served 12 years with him, six years in the Senate as one of the leaders of the Senate, trying to put together the conservative agenda, and almost at every turn, on domestic policy, John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side.”
Santorum cited the campaign finance reform bill sponsored by McCain, the McCain-Feingold Act, which limits campaign contributions and has been called by some an “incumbent protection act.”
Santorum called the act “an affront to personal freedom and liberty in this country, and what we’ve seen as a result of this misguided attempt to placate the New York Times and to help his stature within that community … is that special interests have absolutely taken over the political process, and individual candidates, unless you’re a billionaire, and parties have very little voice in the process.
“It’s a shame, but he was obviously out front on that.”
The former Senator also criticized McCain for voting against the Bush Tax cuts — he was one of only two Republicans to do so.
“The reduction in [tax] rates and lowering the rates on capital gains and dividends … did so much to get this economy up and going. [But] we would have had a much bigger tax cut if it were not for John McCain.”
Santorum pointed to McCain’s opposition to conservative positions on drug re-importation, federally funded embryonic stem cell research, immigration, the questioning of terror detainees and other issues, and said he has a “big fear” of a McCain presidency.
He asserted it would create a “huge rift” in the Republican Party, and told Levin’s listeners:
“I think he’s been solid in the war on terror … but on domestic policy, he’s very, very dangerous for Republicans.
“There’s nothing worse than having a Democratic Congress and a Republican president who would act like a Democrat in matters that are important to conservatives.”
Santorum also claimed that McCain was a leader of Senate moderates that often stopped Republicans from pushing strong pro-life legislation.
Santorum said he had not decided which candidate he will vote for in the upcoming GOP primary, but ruled out voting for McCain.
Santorum expressed the same sentiment back in March, saying he would support whoever wins the Republican nomination for president in 2008, with the exception of John McCain.
As Newsmax reported at the time, Santorum said in an interview: "I don’t agree with him on hardly any issues. I don’t think he has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction.”
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