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Tags: Fox News | GOP2016 | Nikki Haley | SC Church Shooting | rick santorum | confederate flag | charleston

Santorum: Political Meddling 'Cheapens' Debate on Confederate Flag

Santorum: Political Meddling 'Cheapens' Debate on Confederate Flag
(Laura Segall/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 June 2015 03:31 PM

Politicizing the debate about South Carolina's decision over the Confederate flag and making it part of the presidential campaign "cheapens it," former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday, and he'd rather focus on the more important issues surrounding last week's attack on Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"We're focusing on a flag when we should be focusing primarily on the pain and suffering of these victims, and the amazing way that this community has responded," Santorum, one of a growing crop of GOP presidential candidates, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program.

The argument over whether South Carolina should continue to fly the flag on its Statehouse grounds following the deaths of nine people at the church, including its pastor, State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, is an important one, Santorum said, but he believes the decision is one that must be left to South Carolina lawmakers and not decided on a national level.

"No. 1, President Barack Obama said the same thing," said Santorum. "Gov. [Nikki] Haley said at her news conference the same thing. This is a decision of the people of South Carolina. I will respect that decision."

He said he is encouraged by what he is seeing, including both Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott taking part in the discussion, and he believes South Carolina will come to a consensus on the flag issue.

"I'm in Charleston and I can tell you they're leading here in Charleston," said Santorum, who attended services at Emanuel on Sunday. "They don't need anybody outside telling them how to heal. They're healing already. They're showing how reconciliation can happen."

Also on Tuesday's show, Santorum said he is not putting much stock in polls that show him at 2 percent among the many candidates he'll face for the GOP nomination.

"When I won the Iowa caucuses in 2012 we were at 4 percent in the national polls," said Santorum. "So I don't really pay much attention in national polls. They don't really matter."

Watch the video here.

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Politicizing the debate about South Carolina's decision over the Confederate flag and making it part of the presidential campaign "cheapens it," former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday.
rick santorum, confederate flag, charleston, politics
342
2015-31-23
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 03:31 PM
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