Santorum Slams Paul's Presidential Prospects: 'He's Not My Leader'

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 12:11 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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Republican Rick Santorum, the popular former Pennsylvania senator, said on CNN that Rand Paul isn't likely to become the party's nominee in 2016, and if he does, Santorum won't support him.

According to Politico, Santorum made his remarks on CNN’s "Crossfire" to host Van Jones on Monday night.

"I don’t think that will happen," Santorum said when he was asked about Paul's nomination prospects. "Because the Republican Party is not a libertarian party. It is a conservative party. And it will nominate a conservative, not a libertarian."

He also added that if lightning did strike, he could not support Paul as the head of the GOP.

"He’s not my leader, I can tell you that for sure. His father and I had some disagreements during the last campaign."

Santorum ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 as a social conservative and lost to Mitt Romney. At that time, he and former Texas Rep. Ron Paul exchanged barbs with Santorum, calling Paul "disgusting" for charging that he was a liberal.

Santorum has also been outspoken this week about his support for a minimum wage hike, taking aim at both parties He said President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats are going too far, but that Republicans need to support an increase.

"I voted for minimum wage increases when I was in the House of Representatives as I did when I was in the Senate," he said. "I believe a dollar increase in the minimum wage would make sense. But that’s not what the president is doing. The president is trying to push forth a living wage, trying to dramatically jack up the minimum wage to a point where it would dramatically impact the cost of labor and put people out of work. We need a more modest increase."

According to The Washington Post, Santorum said the minimum wage only covers about 2 percent of Americans now, and it should cover at least 7 percent, and that the GOP should not have voted against the Democrats' recent plan to increase it to $10.10.

"Whatever gets you to 7 percent, and then if it falls back, you have to look at the situation," Santorum said. "If we’re in an economic crisis, you may not want to raise it. If things are going better, you probably do want to raise it. But let’s not make this argument that we’re for the blue-collar guy, but we are against any minimum wage increase ever. It just makes no sense."

Santorum also hinted that he might run for president again in 2016.

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