Santorum: Romney Did Not Run 'a Horrible Campaign'

Friday, 09 Nov 2012 09:17 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum agrees that Republicans have to do a better job of reaching out to Hispanics and women voters, but he says  Mitt Romney did not run "a horrible campaign."
 
"What [former Massachusetts] Gov. Romney did was run the campaign he wanted to run, which was to take every issue and turn it back to the economy and say, 'I'm the businessman, I can fix this,'" Santorum told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Thursday.
 
"That's who he is. We ran a campaign consistent with the candidate we had. He came close. You can't say it was a horrible campaign."
 
Santorum, who lost his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, said he believes that any retooling of the Republican message heading into to the 2014 mid-term elections and beyond must not ignore the conservative social, cultural and economic values that he promoted in his race for the presidency.
 
Noting President Barack Obama's own comments on the election being about "two different visions of who America is," Santorum said that's still "the debate we should have" moving forward.
 
"Is this a country that is best in the model of government running things from the top down, which is not the American model, a powerful federal government doing things for us and dictating to us?" he asked. "Or do we believe in our founding vision and . . . our policies that are consistent with that, not just economic policies, but also social and cultural policies?
 
Regarding the Hispanic vote, which was overwhelmingly supportive of Obama, Santorum said Republicans "didn't have a strong message for those folks" and acknowledged that "immigration reform is something we have to deal with."
 
He said Obama really "got away with four years of doing nothing" on immigration. He added the president and Democrats in Congress have not really moved to address the problem because they like being able to use it as a campaign wedge issue against Republicans.
 
"I don't believe the Democrats are at all sincere about doing anything and compromising with Republicans on immigration," Santorum said. "They would rather have the issue and continue to drive, you know, drive this wedge between races and creeds and classes, and or whatever else they want to divide the America."
 
"That's unfortunate," he added. "Let's see if Barack Obama's second term is serious about solving problems or wants to perpetuate politics."

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