Rick Santorum insists that if Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination, that his support of the individual mandate – the centerpiece of Obamacare – will lead to a crushing Republican defeat this fall by Barack Obama.
With Republican primaries set for Tuesday in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Santorum told CNN’s John King that Romney created the “blueprint” for
Santorum told King: “... We have seen in the last week, the centerpiece issue in this election is Obamacare and the enormous burden it is on our economy, what it's doing to drive up unemployment, what it's doing to explode the federal budget, as well as to explode the deficit, and, of course, the impingement upon liberty, both economic liberty and our religious liberties.
“This is a colossal issue. And it's the issue that Governor Romney is the least qualified to make because he was the author of the blueprint of Obamacare. ...
“This is a major problem when the huge Achilles' heel of this president, where three-quarters of the American public disagree with this mandate, and that yet Governor Romney started the ball rolling in Massachusetts and then advocated for this mandate at the federal level.”
Santorum said Romney’s strong support for Romneycare makes him easily defeatable come November.
“Frankly, I think he will be destroyed by President Obama on this issue come the fall,” Santorum said.
“And it should be the biggest issue that helps us win this election. It will be turned into a negative under Mitt Romney.”
Santorum noted that the Republican establishment in Washington and New York typically pushes for a moderate like Romney to lead the party, and they typically lose.
“ ... if we don't have a conservative, we will end up with the same situation we have had over the past 100 years. There's been over 100 years now. There's only one Republican that's ever defeated a sitting Democratic incumbent president, one.
“And it's the one time we ran a strong conviction conservative, in the face of the party saying no, no, no, we need a moderate. We need to win. We need to win. They always say that. And we always lose. And the one time we didn't listen to the establishment, the Washington insiders, we had Ronald Reagan. And not only did we win. We changed the country.”
King asked Santorum about efforts by Romney to paint him as a “big labor” Republican.
“The head of the AFL-CIO in Pennsylvania said calling Rick Santorum a friend of big labor is like calling Mitt Romney a conservative. Neither are true.”
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