Ron Paul: Santorum is 'very liberal'
January 2nd, 2012
01:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Ron Paul: Santorum is 'very liberal'

(CNN) - Ron Paul dinged rival Rick Santorum Monday for being a "very liberal" candidate, saying the former Pennsylvania senator and staunch social conservative voted for too much spending during his time in Congress.

Speaking to CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash before a campaign event with his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the White House hopeful said his rival had taken positions counter to true conservative ideas.

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"I mean, have you looked at his record? Go look at his record," Paul said.

He continued: "He spends too much money. He wasn't leading the charge to slash the budgets and vote against big government."

Rand Paul added that Santorum's vote history proved he wasn't a true conservative.

"He voted to double the size of the Department of Education," Rand Paul said. "He voted to expand Medicare and add free drugs for senior citizens and he has voted for foreign aid. Those are not conservative principles. Seventy-seven percent of the American people are opposed to foreign aid and Rick Santorum has voted for it every time it's come down."

Paul also spoke in some of the strongest terms to date about the potential of a third-party bid should he fail to secure the GOP nomination.

"I have no plans in doing that," Paul said. "Tomorrow is a big day. We'll see what happens but I have no intention of doing that, no plans and no desire."

Also see:

Gingrich mulls strategy shift after Iowa


Leading Perry backers head to Iowa for final push


Bachmann: Polls not a good measure of support


Romney goes on offense


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rand Paul • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Jay

    "Former United States Senator Rick Santorum represents everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. If dismantling big government is now a primary concern, Santorum has spent a career promoting big government. If stopping massive spending is now a top priority, Santorum has a lifelong record of championing massive spending. If our debt is now considered the greatest threat to our national security, Santorum has always considered everything but the debt a greater threat.

    “Indeed, if conservatism means limiting government, the many ways in which Santorum has been the consistent enemy of conservatism are virtually unlimited."

    – Jack Hunter, The American Conservative, 09 May 2011

    January 2, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. diridi

    This Epithet of Liberal or Conservative is not needed by this nation, what all it is needed is to fix the mess created by GOP idiots....enough...of this BS.

    January 2, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Is "Liberal" the dirtiest word he knows?

    Try crooked, or nuts, or liar, or looney, or loser, or or or or or

    January 2, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Jonathan

    Haha!

    Rick "Frothy" Santorum:
    Social Conservative who wants a Christian Theocracy in the US
    Fiscal Liberal
    Foreign Policy ChickenHawk

    January 2, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. TheAmerican

    There is a massive war brewing between Republican "party bosses" and MAIN STREAM REPUBLICANS over
    Dr Ron Paul .....

    If the hierarchy fails to support the candidate favored by INDEPENDENTS, Rank & File Republicans and even the more intelligent Democrats .................. the GOP will finish THIRD in the GENERAL ELECTION behind Dr. PAUL and Barack.

    January 2, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. KramSes86

    Ron Paul has done it again! Exposed another GOP fraud for who they really are!

    January 2, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Strategic Bob

    Once again, Ron Paul proves just how little he understands. Santorum is, no matter what his spending votes were, most assuredly not a "liberal." Liberals believe in personal freedoms, such as freedom of religion. If elected, Rick Santorum's agenda would be to use the power of government to force everyone to live by the dictates of his cramped and deeply flawed understanding of Christianity and morality. Santorum a liberal? No way!

    January 2, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. deuce

    Santorum is a disgrace to his species...

    January 2, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Charlie from the North

    Santorum is a liberal? Well now that must have been taken out of context. After all politics is about comparison. Dr. Paul might be right if the full text of the sentence was "Rick Santorum is a liberal, compared to Attila the freakin Hun"

    January 2, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Mike in Miami

    @ diridi
    What you fail to realise is that both party is/are responsible for the mess that the country is in.

    On topic just like Paul said "look at his record"

    January 2, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    @Deuce - which species is that? I can't find one he fts into. Ignoramus Hypocritus seems to come close

    January 2, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Cybersport

    Rick Santorum is most assuredly not a liberal... That Ron Paul would claim that he is shows how unqualified he is to hold any public office, let alone by a contender for the Presidency

    January 2, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. ton

    Santorum is also the most war mongering of them all. Saying we can't leave Iraq and Afghanistan or any of these other places "until we win". What ever that means. You do NOT want this guy to be president as far as I'm concerned. He also seems pised off and agitated all the time.
    Ron Paul!

    January 2, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Vet4RonPaul

    Santorum is a Chicken Hawk war-monger; Too chicken to serve in the military but still a war-monger. Same as Obama, Romney, Gingrich and Bachmann. The troops and veterans cannot stand Chicken Hawks as Commander In Chief; give us a break please. Only Ron Paul is pro-peace, pro-freedom, pro-life, pro-right-to-bear-arms and anti-NYC-bankster bailouts.

    January 2, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. cam2

    I know this much; Rick Santorum is a neoCon. Say no the the neoconservative, pre-emptive war agenda. Ron Paul 2012

    January 2, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. LoveAmerica1974

    Santorum was named as one of the "most corrupt" Senators by a watch-dog group in 2006... look it up.

    January 2, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Larry L

    To an archist everybody is liberal. Those who follow Paul should immigrate to Somalia. They have a small government, no restrictions on gun ownership, no social programs, no environmental protection, no government sponsored healthcare programs, no organized military forces, they have no problem with illegal immigration, and they provide no foreign aid to any other nations. They already follow all of Ron Paul's suggestions for ideal government.

    January 2, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Misanthrope3

    @Strategic Bob: Actually you are confusing "classical liberal" with the currently used word of liberal, which is synonymous with progressive. A true Liberal is against religion period, certainly not for religious freedom. The modern Liberal worships one god, that is Government. You can't be for freedom of any kind and be in favor of growing government, which by definition exists only at the expense of the governed's freedoms. They are mutually exclusive.

    January 2, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. skarphace

    Santorum, Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann. These candidates have no chance in a general election because they will not win the battle for Independents and moderates who will swallow the bitter pill and vote once again for Obama.

    Romney has a slight chance. Huntsman has the best chance but the worst chance to win the primary. Of the frontrunners, only Paul has a good chance to take out Obama. Open your eyes, my fellow Republicans: Paul is currently our one and only best chance to end the status quo.

    January 2, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. skarphace

    @Cybersport: Paul said that Santorum is a fiscal liberal. How is voting for big government conservative? It is not. Therefore, once again, Ron Paul is right and you are wrong.

    January 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. LiberalNeighbor

    I am a proud liberal and plan to vote for Barack Obama.
    But I am also a neighbor of Dr. paul and he is my congressman.
    If he should win the nomination I would vote for him.
    Only Republican with huevos and good ideas.

    January 2, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Ron Paul is talking about Santorum being liberal from a spending point of view. After all, almost all of them are because that is how politicians get your vote. None of them run on how much they will cut or save. Sure wish they did!

    January 2, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Nick

    I think Ron Paul's motive here is to make people realize that there is no Republican party anymore. Under Bush the government doubled the size of the Dept of Education, added Homeland Security, TSA, built FEMA internment camps. And if the media and the establishment want to accuse Dr."No" of "being out of step with his party", he did not leave his party, the party left him. Back in the Reagan days, there would be no way that the Democrats like Romney and Perry who jump parties would have been allowed to run for president as Republicans. The party would never allow Liberals to come in and vote for spending increases.

    January 2, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Keith in Austin

    Ooops! There goes thousands of GOP that might have considered Ron Paul legitimate! If Rick Santorum is Liberal, Nancy Pelosi is a member of the John Birch Society. Although I support Pauls Domestic Policy, his stance on foreign issues and the mudslinging he's been doing in Iowa against fellow GOP contenders has lost me!

    January 2, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. ryan

    Ron Paul wants to eliminate the EPA. What a loon!

    January 2, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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