• With: Rick Santorum

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Did you hear the latest about Senator Rick Santorum? He made it official - he wants to be your next president. What is his plan to win the GOP nomination? Let's ask him. He joins us. Good evening sir, congratulations. So what is the strategy to win the White House? How are you going to get the nomination?

    RICK SANTORUM, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, here I am. I'm in Des Moines, Iowa where it stars, straw poll coming up in August, The caucus is in February. We are working hard been here more than any other candidate. We had a great day today. We had town hall meetings, radio interviews working the diners. Just out here. I started at 5:30 this morning. I'll be up again at 6:00 in the morning. Just working hard. That's what pays off in states like Iowa they expect to see the candidates. They want to find out who they are, meet them face-to-face. It makes a difference and we are doing well when we do that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You mentioned straw poll, there was a straw poll at a barbecue in New Hampshire and you came in number one, 36 percent, next in line was Ron Paul at 11, Pawlenty 11. At least you have good news in New Hampshire.

    Now, in the "Iowa Des Moines Register" tonight the headline is: quoting you, don't pick Romney, pick someone you really like. Did you say that at one of your house parties tonight and what does that mean?

    SANTORUM: I said you don't have to pick the favorite. I didn't say - - I said you don't have to pick the favorite. I made the case that Republicans always pick the favorite, that historically in presidential elections among Republicans the guy on the top of list gets the nomination. I said this time you don't have to do that. You have a chance, I think race is wide open. And you can pick who you think is the best candidate. And it is not a fait accompli.

    So it's not a hit on mitt Romney. Saying in the past election cycle in 2010, a lot of folks who were the favorite didn't end up winning the primaries because the electorate has changed. And it is not just who is next in line but who actually has the best chance of winning the election.

    VAN SUSTEREN: The Republicans have to make a decision. What is the main difference between you and Governor Romney? What policy issue would you say separates you?

    SANTORUM: Clearly, the biggest one has to be Obamacare and his support of the Massachusetts health care program and the individual mandate. Not just the individual mandate, the idea of how do we reform the health care system?

    I believe that America was founded because this fundamental belief it believed in free people, that people if left to be free could solve their problems and using the market system and capitalism that we could create innovation and solve problems better at the local level, solve them by trusting people and institutions other than big government.

    When Governor Romney in Massachusetts went along with a government top down system to make sure everybody has insurance and what insurance they are going to get, I think it violated those fundamental principles. Similar to what president Obama did with Obamacare. I understand the states can do this. I believe Governor Romney is right the federal government can't. Still, the principle is the same. It is a fundamental difference how I believe government should act.

    VAN SUSTEREN: We have 30 seconds left. You are quoted in this article as saying Iowa is critical. You think you should phase out the ethanol subsidies in five years, a major stink bomb in the state.

    SANTORUM: The people here, ethanol has gotten a bad rap in the sense people say it can't be competitive. I've learned a lot about the industry. They've made tremendous strides. It is a very efficient way of producing fuel. I know people say you are crazy subsidies it would go away. Watch, the subsidies are going to go away. Ethanol has turned the corner technologically, and they are going to survive this and do well. I think what Tim Pawlenty and I propose will in my case more so put them on a path to make them sustainable over the long term.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thanks, you got to get up early and get rolling. Thank you, senator.

    SANTORUM: I will be out the road again. Thanks, Greta.