Santorum to CPAC: Moderate Republicans Lose Elections

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 07:01 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum said on Friday that Republicans lose elections when they nominate moderate candidates.

"How did it work out for the Republican establishment in following their lead, nominating moderate candidates in the last two presidential elections?" Santorum asked at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.

A social conservative who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, Santorum served Pennsylvania in the Senate from 1995 to 2007. He is considering a White House run in 2016.

"We have a bunch of leaders in this country who don't believe that conservative policies can be the basis of a winning national election, and so they put forth candidates that keep apologizing for the principles they say they believe in — and then, they wonder why they lose."

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Sacrificing conservative values may win elections for Republicans, but "it will be a devastating loss for America," he said. "I'm not out here fighting just to elect Republican candidates and let them win. I'm here to see America win."

Santorum, 55, noted that he won 11 states in the 2012 primaries because "we went out and talked about something different. Talked about focusing on those who were working Americans.

"Notice I didn't say 'middle class,'" he added before chiding Republicans for using such terms "of the other side."

"Why do we … adopt a class-envy, leftist language that divides America against itself?" he asked. "We have to stop that. We have to stop acting like them.

"We should use the term 'working Americans' — because, unlike them, we believe that working is a good thing. They use the class rhetoric because they're all about dividing. Let them divide. Let us unify."

Santorum said that large numbers of Americans stayed home on Election Day that year because "they couldn't vote for Barack Obama. They knew his policies were horrendous and hurting them. Not just the country — them.

"But they also couldn't vote for us. They couldn't vote for us because they didn’t think we cared — that we didn't care about them — and so they stayed home.

"And now we're here, because we didn't connect with them."

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