Santorum: I'm Against Government Bailouts — 'Period'

Friday, 17 Feb 2012 05:09 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Presidential candidate Rick Santorum says while both he and opponent Mitt Romney were against the government’s bailout of the auto industry, there is a fundamental difference between their two stances on federal intervention in salvaging businesses. The former Pennsylvania senator told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren Thursday that voters in Michigan — an auto industry and important primary state — will come to realize he is against government bailouts of any kind: ‘Period.”
 
“Well, I think I’m different than Governor Romney on that front — I mean, Governor Romney supported the Wall Street bailout, it was OK to go in and have the government take a huge role in bailing out big financial institutions, but it wasn’t OK for them to come and bail out  the big manufacturers in this country, which are the hub of the manufacturing industry,” Santorum said, adding that voters in Michigan, which holds its GOP primary on Feb. 28, will see that “my position is consistent.”
 
“My position says: I’m not for the government getting involved in bailouts, period. And that to me is something that the folks in Detroit [will] say: ‘Well, look, here’s a man of principle,” he said. “Romney, who claims to be — you know, hails from southwest Michigan — and be a great defender of, and [have an] understanding of, the industrial heartland of this area . . . he supported his friends on Wall Street, but did not support the auto industry. And that’s where I think the inconsistency is. It’s not in my position.”
 
Switching gears, Van Susteren asked Santorum if he were president, what he would do about the Syrian insurgency and the fact that President Bashar Assad has been waging a bloody war against his own people.  
 
“I think we should be helping the Syrian rebels — I mean, we should be at least providing some arms to them,” Santorum said. “This is an opportunity to get rid of a satellite country of Iran as Iran is becoming much more menacing. We have an opportunity here to get rid of a very bad actor in the region. And candidly, we can’t replace him with anything worse than what they have.”
 
Santorum compared Assad to former Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi, who was ousted by rebels and killed, and noted the situation is Syria is even more precarious.
 
“Gadhafi was pretty neutered — Assad has been a very active advocate for Iran and a tool for them,” he said. “As far as I'm concerned, we should do what we can, without getting directly involved, to be helpful to the rebels in overthrowing him.”

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