Santorum: Not Up to Rand Paul to Judge Who's Conservative

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 05:46 PM

By Greg Richter

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Republican governors who accepted money to expand Medicaid may have to answer for that if they decide to run for president, but he didn't agree with Sen. Rand Paul's recent assessment it means they aren't conservative on the issue.

The clear subject of that statement was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican just re-elected to lead a blue state. 

Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told CNN earlier this week that Christie isn't fiscally conservative on Obamacare because he accepted federal money to expand Medicaid in his state.

Paul and Christie are considered likely candidates for the GOP presidential nod in 2016.

So is Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, who on Thursday told Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto"  that he would not have accepted the money had he been a governor.

Still, he said he doesn't judge Christie's actions as non-conservative.

"I'm a little suspect of Rand Paul and him categorizing people not as conservatives," Santorum said. "His father categorized me as a liberal during the debates." Santorum faced Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, in the 2012 primaries.

Despite calls for Republicans to be open to new ideas, Santorum said the GOP already welcomes a variety of opinions.

"If we get any bigger the tent's going to collapse," he told Cavuto. "We have all sorts of dissent within the Republican Party."

It is the Democrats, he said, who are closed off.

"There is just actually hegemony over there," he said.

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