Santorum: Republicans 'ignore some realities' on economy
November 17th, 2011
12:12 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: Republicans 'ignore some realities' on economy

Coralville, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, one of the more conservative White House contenders in the race, told a crowd of Iowans on Thursday that he is "not a big fan" of the Occupy Movement that began on Wall Street two months ago to send a message to the country about income inequality.

But Santorum says they have a point.

While outlining his economic vision to the Iowa State Association of Counties in Coralville, Santorum gently criticized members of his own party, saying that Republicans "ignore some realities at times."

"The bottom line is if it you look at this economy, if you are white collar worker, if you have a college degree, the unemployment rate in America for college educated people is 4.4%," he said. "The unemployment rate for everybody else is over 10%."

The former Pennsylvania senator said his plan to eliminate corporate taxes for manufacturers will spark growth and give lower-income workers more "mobility" in an economy stacked in favor of the wealthy.

After the speech, Santorum told CNN that while he generally considers the Occupiers misguided, they have a "legitimate point."

"The original idea, which is that Wall Street is getting preferential treatment, bailouts and support, while the rest of the country is struggling, is a legitimate point," he said, pointing out that he opposed TARP and the "moral hazards" of Too Big To Fail.

Santorum said President Barack Obama and Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney are awash in money from bankers and beholden to Wall Street interests.

"Look who is funding those campaigns," he said. "We have a very different point of view, and its probably one of the reasons I am not raising a lot of money in New York."

With seven weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Santorum remains stuck in the single digits in polling and has seen candidate after candidate rise and fall since he first began testing the presidential waters here back in 2009.

The latest to surge is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has soared to 17% in Iowa and is now in a statistical tie for first place with Romney, businessman Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, according to a Bloomberg News poll this week.

Santorum has made family values a central theme of candidacy, but when pressed on whether he could support Gingrich, who is twice divorced, as the GOP nominee, Santorum punted.

"I can support anybody in the Republican field over President Obama, period," he said.

Santorum only vaguely alluded to the baggage in Gingrich's personal life.

"If I felt comfortable with people in the Republican field, I wouldn't be running," he said. "Each of one of them, while they have their attributes, I believe has problems that I am concerned about, that would be difficult for them to overcome to beat President Obama. That's why I am running for president."


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Phil in KC

    On fiscal issues, Santorum is almost starting to sound like a moderate – almost. That will certainly not curry him any favors with the Tea Party set. But, as soon as he opens his mouth on social issues, he'll reveal himself and he will be their darling again.

    November 17, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Let's see some pea-brains explode......Obama-Biden 2012 ~ Clinton- Warren 2016

    Hahahahahahha..... that was fun!

    November 17, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Ray E. (Georgia) wrote:
    I'm not sure the Republican's are ignoring the reality of the economy or the Federal Debt.
    --------
    Allow me to relieve your doubts. The leaders and attack dogs of the party do ignore reality. "Trickle Down Economics" isn't an accredited branch of economics. It is a phrase invented by Reagan's political campaign to rationalize his call for cutting taxes on the wealthy by 50%.

    In practice, it is capricious implementation of supply side economics. It sounds good on paper, even better in sound bites, but it has no corelation to reality. Even Reagan's own VP referred to it as "voodoo economics" because of the impact it has on the real world.

    November 17, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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