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. Marie MD

    The ticker's headline was so much better – when I read Paul's surprising blast I thought he had let one rip in front of a crowd.
    paul would hide and run at the first sign of trouble.

    January 2, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. skarphace

    @paul sucks: so if I tell you to go out and kill people and you do, who's fault was it that they died, mine or yours?

    Once again, personal responsibility; Ron Paul is for it.

    January 2, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. skarphace

    @James Ruston: "for millions of people on the bottom end of the economic scale, government assistance gives them more freedom, more control over their lives, and more options than if that help were not available."

    And look where it has gotten us: a larger number of people at or below the poverty line than at any other time with the exception of the great depression era. Big Government does not solve social problems. It only increases them.

    January 2, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. REG in AZ

    Ron Paul is no hope but only a disaster waiting to happen. His contrast to the other candidates is his only attraction as the others prove unworthy ... but his Libertarian philosophies, his advocating doing nothing about most everything and his aggressively just pushing for "smaller government", while likely to reduce spending, taxes and the deficit, are totally irresponsible and would result in encouraging further exploitation by those with advantage, the failure of government to meet responsibilities and literally the advancing of world crises. Ron Paul is not a good choice but rather only an alternative bad choice.

    January 2, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Do your research. Once you go Ron Paul, you'll NEVER go back to the same BS that typical politicians shovel you.

    January 2, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Ron Paul "Savior"

    Do your research. Once you go Ron Paul, you'll NEVER go back to the same BS that typical politicians shovel you.

    January 2, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Briteone

    Wow really so your idea of freedom is what we have now? Because poor people get it real easy thanks to government stealing from the middle class? We the true backbone of this country "The middle class" are SICK and tired of being bent over. The rich want us to pay for their tax breaks the poor want us to pay for their homes/food/health care. We get nothing but abuse and legislation picking away at our social structure shipping our jobs over seas to favor corporations bottom lines and increased taxes and social spending to fund the bottom of the barrel as our job market shrinks and the unskilled/unproductive/lazy members of society find themselves without work.

    Time to wake up, we are the true foundation and engine of this country and we have been letting special interests from both extremes legislate us to ruin. Tomorrow will be Ron Pauls first of many victorys.

    WE ARE HERE TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!

    January 2, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Truck Driver

    I ain't votin for Ron Paul.

    January 2, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. joe smith

    if there is one thing the liberal press, cnn,msnbc,abc, cbs, and yes fox, are good at, is demonizing everything that is good in this country, and includes, in particular, Ron Paul..shame on you all..

    January 2, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. CBR

    It is time to remove the labels and stop playing to one group or another. i What will the candidate do and why? It is not enough to say you will make changes – tell me why the change is necessary and how it will effect all Americans,
    Who
    Mr. Paul and his son would do away with government but they do not plot out an America without government. There are many questions but there are no answers, Of course, others who want to slash and slash have not explained their positions either.

    January 2, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. candycane

    How does anyone believe ANYTHING these Presidential Candidates say???? The new 21st Century road to the Presidency: LIE!! LIE!! LIE!!! Maybe "Kimmy" could run for President!! Do you think she would name Mitt Romney her VP?????

    January 2, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. TigersClaw

    Ron Paul is a libertarian, not a conservative. And he's also a hypocrite, for trying to claim he's a conservative just to win the votes of the Iowa Republican primary voters who call themselves that. If he had have the scruples his disciples say, he would be running as a third party candidate.

    January 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. me myself n I

    Of Coursew Ron Paul has more in common with Obama than with Reagan, and has claimed that Reagan was not a Conservative either. Ron Paul is poison!

    January 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Concerned Citizen

    Ron Paul is a whack job. The only thing he will manage to do after getting it handed to him in the primaries is to hand Barry another term when he steals votes as an Independent candidate.

    January 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Andrew

    I guess there are a number of people here who have trouble with reading for comprehension.
    Ron Paul said, Sanatorium, is a "liberal" when it comes to spending.
    He also is not saying that our military should be four subs. What he is saying is country will is going to attack the U.S. China, Iran, Russia? If we have nuclear submarines our country would never be attacked by any of them. Now terrorist attacks are different but spending $685 billion to defend against these type of attacks is downright dumb.

    So please, understand the difference between literal, general and absolutes when statements are made. Geeze!

    January 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Leo Pusateri

    Well– isn't the pot calling the kettle black? Ron Paul was on the Floor only a year or two ago DEFENDING EARMARKS- and HIS use of EARMARKS.

    Honest to god– Ron Paul is not only a loon, but a backstabbing conniver, at that. If he's voted in, then we'll again get the loony government we 'deserve' for another four years.

    January 2, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Larry L

    @skarphace

    @Larry L: once again, 70%. This is Pauls support among active military servicemen. These are the people you are calling 'unsophisticated" and "unwilling or unable to visualize the complexity of problems in the modern world."

    I am sorry, but I trust their judgement over yours with the issue of defending our country.
    -------------------------------------------–
    As an Army veteran of 34 years and many deployments I know something about the missions of the military. I will also point out to you that at least 70% of our military is comprised of young people with very little political or strartegic military experience. Look at the leadership and you'll be hard-pressed to find many Paul supporters. You might also use your own judgement. Do you really want to leave yourself with only a strategic nuclear option? Really?

    January 2, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. sqeptiq

    To a teapublican, the dirtiest word in the english language is "liberal." It has no meaning; it's just a word you use to make the dog salivate.

    January 2, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Concerned Citizen

    The Iowa Causes are not the way to start an election cycle. It is an outdated concept to have a bunch of farmers and hicks at the forefront of something so critical as the survival of the country.

    January 2, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Jim

    Oops looks like that backfired on cnn, they ended up looking very foolish in this interview.

    January 2, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Concerned Citizen

    Ron Paul is a kook who believes that 9/11 was an inside job. What kind of freak wants that as President ?

    January 2, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. BJ

    The Paulbots are out in full force. I CAN'T WAIT until votes are counted in the first four states. Maybe then you will just go away. Paul is a total joke – his followers even more so.

    January 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. alphatheta

    I think it's obvious RP is just about fed-up with all the morons in the media asking the same questions based on media-created distortions. It's embarrassing to watch. He probably feels he has to dumb-down explanations to a 2nd grade level or else the media will twist and distort, not to mention, take out of context.
    If you take what the media spews at face value, without researching for yourself, then you deserve whatever candidate you get.

    January 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. frsi

    Said Rand Paul – Santorum "voted to double the size of the Department of Education .... voted to expand Medicare and add free drugs for senior citizens ... Those are not conservative principles."

    THAT IS NUTS! So, supporting education and supporting care for society's elderly disqualifies you from being a "conservative". No wonder people hate the GOP and the extreme right nutcases that dominate the party. Give me the GOP of Reagan, Nixon and Bush no. 1 – they would nver have defined conservatism that way. Get a life Rand Paul.

    January 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. TonyK

    Misanthrope3: Where did you come up this nonsense? I know it's fun to just make up stuff because it sounds good, but it certainly does help to think about it first. I am religious and a Socialist, as all Christians should be. How bout them apples?

    January 2, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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