Santorum to the Pa. Leadership Conference: Nominating Romney would concede defeat on Obamacare

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum warned participants at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference this morning that nominating Gov. Mitt Romney would cede health care as an issue to Obama come November.

“It is our biggest issue energizing the conservative and Tea Party base,” Santorum said. “Folks, why should we give that away in the election?”

Santorum slammed Romney for saying that he would repeal the “bad parts of Obamacare” rather than pulling it out by the roots after having lent his support to the president’s plan in 2009.

“Romneycare is already over $2 billion  over budget,” Santorum said. “He advocated the mandate system that is part of Obamacare.”

The former Senator said that he, unlike Romney or former Speaker Newt Gingrich, has a consistent track record of opposing government-run health care, pointing back to his 1994 run for Senate against then- Sen. Harris Wofford.

Health care was the main issue of that campaign just as it is now, and Santorum defeated Wofford amid the 1994 Republican revolution.

“Back when I was in the House I advocated conservative ideas on health care and worked with a guy named John Kasich to come up with the idea of Health Savings Accounts,” Santorum said. “I have a strong track record that shows a contrast with Obama.”

Santorum also contrasted similarly contrasted his energy policy positions with those of Romney and Gingrich, saying that he alone rejects the radical environmentalist positions on energy policy and cap and trade that Romney and Gingrich have previously endorsed.

Romney backed a cap and trade compact with several other Northeastern states in 2005 while he was governor.

“What we know is that climate science isn’t science; it’s political science,” Santorum said.

Santorum told the audience that the 29 states that have adopted cap-and-trade plans have significantly higher gas prices.

“Gov. Romney says it would take an act of God for Rick Santorum to win the nomination,” Santorum said. “But I believe in acts of God.”

The Senator pointed to the 10 victories that he has won despite having been outspent 8-to-1 and his having been written off at the start of the campaign to explain why he continues and why he still has faith that he can win. He also compared the current election to his first election to a heavily Democratic congressional district in 1990 after having knocked on 20,000 doors.

“I believe that conservatives respond well to a conservative message,” Santorum said.

The Senator took out his recent Etch-a-Sketch campaign prop and smacked Romney down saying that “we don’t need people who write public policy on an Etch-a-Sketch.”

Santorum went on to predict victory in today’s Louisiana primary and ask for support in the upcoming April 24 Pennsylvania primary.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Curt Schroder, a conservative GOP legislator and Gingrich supporter, told Red Alert Politics that he liked what he heard from Santorum, but the machinations of the state party could deprive Santorum from getting any delegates even if he wins the primary.

“The problem is that Rick might walk away with zero delegates,” Schroder said.

The state party is firmly in Romney’s back pocket, and state party rules place control over how the delegates are awarded firmly in the hands of the party bosses.

Comments

Comments

  1. Khaled says:

    I have to admit that I was taken back a little by the fact that Gingrich met streecly with Romney to discuss the way forward . Could it be, that Gingrich has seen the light and is now ready to help solidify and unify the Party? In wanting to beat Obama? If this is true, then Gingrich is a bigger man than I had anticipated. And is welcomed on every front and side. My opinion will change about Newt, most likely, when more light and knowledge come forward. I just hope Santorum will put the Nation, the Party and the People first ..

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