Santorum takes aim at Daniels
February 4th, 2011
11:05 AM ET
4 years ago

Santorum takes aim at Daniels

(CNN) – Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the all-but-declared presidential candidate, is taking a shot at another potential hopeful when it comes to the argument of what role social issues should play in the upcoming race for the White House.

Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday, Santorum directed his fire at Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who earlier this week doubled down on his contention that hot-button issues like abortion and same sex marriage should take a back seat to the fiscal and economic problems that are currently confronting the country.

"[He is] far off base. I don't think he understands what conservatism is all about," said Santorum of Daniels. "I don't think he understands that Reagan's three-legged stool is not just that we have three legs of the stool, the social conservative, the fiscal conservative and national security conservatives, but that the material made of all three parts of the stool is the same. And it's a moral and cultural heritage of this country, is what that stool, the material itself that the stool is made of."

Santorum, who lost his Senate reelection by double digits in 2006, has spent the last six months traveling extensively to the early voting states in an effort to stake out his corner as the most reliable social conservative in the GOP presidential field.

His efforts just may be paying off. The former senator posted a surprisingly robust $183,000 fundraising haul in the final weeks of 2010 – far ahead of most of the GOP field - and earlier this week attracted the praise of conservative columnist George Will, who in his nationally syndicated column praised Santorum as a "relentless ethicist, [who] recasts [economic issues] as moral issues."

"I would argue that what menaces us all is a society that is falling apart," Santorum also told Hewitt. "The reason government has gotten so big and we're spending so much money is because the family is breaking down, because fathers aren't involved in taking care of their children."

Both Santorum and Daniels will appear next week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the annual get together of influential social conservatives. The invitation of Daniels sparked outrage among some conference participants, many of whom have subsequently decided to boycott the event.


Filed under: Mitch Daniels • Rick Santorum
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. G D

    Santorum's websites says he shows: "intellectual honesty and moral courage to the policy positions he (Santorum) takes, while President Obama does neither" Just another pompous holier-than-thou that will tell you what to do in your bedroom, how you should raise your kids, & anything else that the far moral right knows better than everyone else. I'm sure he'll claim he's even more conservative than Mitt. Go away Rick!!

    February 4, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. vic nashville tn

    Game on we tried of hearing anti Obama propaganda

    February 4, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. GOP = Greed Over People

    "The reason government has gotten so big and we're spending so much money is because the family is breaking down, because fathers aren't involved in taking care of their children."

    And so the GOP's answer to this now acknowledged problem is to make the "safety net" for these broken families 20% smaller?

    Greed, indeed.

    February 4, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Pretzel Logic

    Both Daniels and Santorum are aiming for the rarefied air of "less than 1%" in the polls.

    February 4, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Septuagenarian

    For those conservatives out there, where in the Constitution does it say anything about marriage or abortion being within the scope of the federal government?

    February 4, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Jeff in Virginia

    Can't say that I much like Rick Santorum.

    He does, however, get credit for being honest about his Culture War credentials. This honesty is refreshing.

    February 4, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Kathy

    Gee, didn't he get in trouble LYING about where his children lived so they could go to a charte school at an estimated cost to local taxpayers of $72,000. And in 2003, Santorum stated, "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery." Santorum further stated that he believed consenting adults do not have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to sexual acts. Santorum was defeated 59% to 41% the largest margin of defeat by an incumbant senator since 1980.

    February 4, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "For those conservatives out there, where in the Constitution does it say anything about marriage or abortion being within the scope of the federal government?"

    I guess that depends on when you define life to begin. Personally, for me it's at conception. Of course, not everyone holds my beliefs, but I'm willing to wager that the vast majority believes it's at SOME point before birth... therefore, all human rights granted by the Constitution must be bestowed at some point before birth.

    February 4, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What planet is this creep living on?

    February 4, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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