Santorum takes aim at Daniels
February 4th, 2011
11:05 AM ET
3 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. Sniffit

    Yawn. This imbecile promised yesterday to get rid of the 9th Circuit if he's elected. He's just running about telling morons with a chip on their shoulder what they want to hear. The only "stools" involved here are the ones coming out of his mouth.

    February 4, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. gt

    he didnt even win his last election in penn.....looser

    February 4, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. PMathew

    And if anyone knows about stool, it's Santorum considering how much he spouts off.

    February 4, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. wjmbloom

    From Pennsylvania – Santorum should look for another line of work. Perhaps plumber since he is so fond of stool.

    February 4, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. skip

    Santorum is the epitome of the Republican Party, narrow, unthinking, divisive with no answers for the real economic problems the country faces, just ideology

    February 4, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    OK, so Santorum thinks Daniels is off track because he wants to put America back to work and fix the economy as opposed to forcing a Christian Right agenda down everyone else' throats! I would be willing to bet that Saint Ronald Reagan, who Santorum seems to reference quite often, would not recognize his own Conservative agenda in what Santorum is preaching. Just because Reagan courted the votes of the Christian Right does not mean that he believed everything they stood for. Santorum is just the kind of candidate the Democrats like. Nominate either him, Caribou Barbie, Flip-Flop Romney, or Rev. Huckleberry and you can almost guarantee a Slam Dunk for President Obama.

    February 4, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. PalmReader

    Hey, Mr. All But Declared Presidential Candidate Santorum . . . when I feel the need of a pulpit lecture, I go to my local church.

    February 4, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Reagan must be rolling over in grave over being used as an example of off-the-charts conservatism. If Reagan had been as conservative as his current followers seem to rosily remember him to be, he'd have not beaten Walter Mondale in 49/50 states during the 1984 election.

    February 4, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Actually, Daniels is the one who is demonstrating leadership, here, and NOT Santorum.

    Precisely why I eagerly await more about him and his candidacy, as perhaps the best potential candidate out there, at this time.

    February 4, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. JackSpratt

    This clown lost in Pennsylvania because of his extremist views on social issues. Which means the red-meat Republicans will probably nominate him rather than someone like Mitch Damiels who is a viable candidate and might beat Obama.

    February 4, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. sara

    First of all, who isn't running for President. Second, social issues should not be in the hands of any government. Same sex marriage, and abortion are up to the people involved. I feel these are personal choices and no one else's business. This battle will never be won by anyone. These are my personal feelings.

    February 4, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Mr. Moderate

    First of all, Reagan was a social moderate, he just talked a good game to appease the lunatic fringe.

    Second of all, its difficult to call Santorum an "ethicist" when he charged the taxpayers of Pennsylvania to educate his kids that were living in Virginia.

    February 4, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    I guess Reagan is the "GREAT RIGHT HOPE" because he is constantly being quoted. He was NOT even close to being one of the greatest presidents of all times!!!

    "Santorum, who lost his Senate reelection by double digits in 2006..." will NOT be elected for President in 2012!!!! Period!!!

    February 4, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Scot

    This guy has stated many times that he will do anything to get back into the game. His favorites are the typical Republican gamesmans ship of going after the GOP religious hot buttons of abortion and same sex marriage that these uninformed folks are preached about every Sunday in church. One of these days the good church goers will wake up and understand he does not worry about them and the abortion/samesex issues but getting the power he wants !

    February 4, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. diridi

    They just fight each other...for position...not for the nation....ha, i told none in GOP thugs, and pigs to trust...o.k...to be trusted...

    February 4, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Chas in Iowa

    This guy is fully dilusional. He is blaming the government spending levels and our debt on the breakdown of families?
    I'm sorry but I fail to make the connection.
    I thought it was due to the collapse of the financial sector and high unemployment.

    February 4, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    All the contradictory social issues from the GOP are just another way of making government bigger, while they say they want to make government smaller. The GOP will not be happy until there is a government agent in every woman's bedroom.

    February 4, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Notice how the repubs are anti abortion, but have no problem with 44,000 dying annually with no health insurance, have no problem with hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocent civilians in unnecessary wars, have no problem with pollution killing civilians, have no problem eliminating safety regulations that keep us safe, and have no problem allowing morons to get guns.

    February 4, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. willie floyd

    SARA-as a Christian, I think you said it very well. Social issues fall under HUMAN RIGHTS.

    February 4, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. PD.

    Rick will never, EVER win. Do you want to know why I think so? Because, as a resident of PA (Ricks former state) I will tell you he is despised here. His arrogance, his fixation on Religious issues AND his book, 'It takes a Family' (A rip-off of Hillary's 'It takes a Village') does nothing but bash working women. He implys women leave or 'Abandon' their familes because of their lust of manoy and power and to 'Get out of the house', when in reality, women work because they HAVE too.

    February 4, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. FedUpRepublican

    I don’t believe Santorum understands that the vast majority of Americans aren’t interested in him or anybody else that’s hell-bent on imposing their own skewed sense of morality and religion on the population as a whole. Santorum needs to be reminded that we live in a Republic and not a Theocracy. And if he doesn't like that, perhaps he can be air-dropped into Iran, where it appears he'd be more comfortable.

    February 4, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. jim Doyle

    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."

    Wait. So it has nothing to do with de-regulating everything and allowing banks and corporations to rob us blind? It's because of all those unwed mothers that our society is falling apart? Oh, yeah, Republicans. How about refusing to raise the minimum wage for years and years, or fighting tooth and nail against providing healthcare for all those unwed mothers, or better benefits for the soldiers fighting your filthy unfunded wars. No, that has nothing to do with the decline of our society. It's those evil gay people, with their "agenda" to seduce our children into a life of sin. Ethicist? I don't think so. Christian? Not in my church.

    February 4, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Doug in NYC

    So this is keeping Government out of our lives? Telling us how to live our lives, no same sex marriage, outlaw abortions, take away adult entertainment. This guy want morality police. This is not making Government smaller!! STAY OUT OF MY PERSONAL LIFE SANTORUM!!!!! TAKE YOUR RELIGIOUS CRAP TO SOMEONE WHO CARES, I DON'T!!!!

    February 4, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Dr Matrix

    We have no jobs, the economy is struggleing and he wants to worry about imposing his "moral" values on the country. No wonder the world hates us, these people are as self-rightous as the Taliban.

    February 4, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Debbie

    Save his $$ he's already a loser.

    February 4, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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