Santorum: Romney 'Never Changed His Stripes'

Thursday, 23 Feb 2012 04:05 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Presidential contender Rick Santorum says he does not find it odd that while he supported rival Mitt Romney in 2008 he now is battling the former Massachusetts governor for front-runner status because — contrary to what he believed before the last election — Romney “really hasn’t changed his stripes.” Santorum spoke to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren following Wednesday night’s Republican debate.

“First off, after the 2008 election, where he told me that he had changed his stripes, that he was going to be a conservative, he went out and supported the Wall Street bailouts, a big, huge intrusion of government — and he has now repeatedly supported and stood by Romneycare,” Santorum said. “In 2008, Romneycare was just getting started, and it frankly wasn’t the big issue it is today. I mean, healthcare has become the central issue in this election because of what President Obama did was to use Romneycare and impose a federal mandate on people.

“What I saw from Governor Romney was a continuation of going to big government solutions after the 2008 elections, which leads me to suspicion — number one — that he really hasn’t changed his stripes, and number two, the issue of Obamacare is the issue in this race,” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “It wasn't in 2008, and it’s about government control of healthcare — and Governor Romney is uniquely unqualified to take that battle to the president of the United States.”

Van Susteren then asked Santorum about comments he once made that have resurfaced in recent weeks, starting with what he had referred to as the “dangers of contraception.” She wondered whether if elected, he would interfere with “a couple’s right to contraception.

“No, of course not — I haven’t in all my years. It’s a legal product, it’s remained a legal product — I have no problems with that,” Santorum said. “The bottom line when I talked about during the debate is what is happening in our culture with the breakdown of the family and children having children out of wedlock and unwed births.

“We had a front page New York Times story just two days ago about what is going on with over 40 percent of American children now being born out of wedlock because of the amount of acute sexual activity outside of marriage,” he continued. “And so I saw this as part of a whole series of issues related to the breakdown of the family, and that is what I said I would talk about and I have talked about in the course of this campaign.”

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