• With: Rick Santorum, presidential candidate

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 16, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": And then there were five -- Jon Huntsman’s podium being removed from the site of tonight’s Fox debate in South Carolina as he drops from the race. He threw his support behind front-runner Mitt Romney today.

    But in a new Fox poll, when voters were asked which candidate is a true conservative, there is another front-runner right now. Rick Santorum is that guy.

    He joins me right now.

    Senator, very good to have you. I see you’ve got your family with you. How’s everything?

    RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m doing great, Neil. Thanks for having me on.

    CAVUTO: All right, very good.

    I know we have a slight audio delay, so I will try not to interrupt too much, Senator.

    But you might have heard Karl Rove a little earlier, sir -- I know you’ve been busy on the stump -- saying that the case for a conservative or anyone else calling himself an outsider, in your case someone who has been in the Senate for so many years, even though a private citizen in the last few years, isn’t going to add up and people aren’t going to buy it.

    What do you say?

    SANTORUM: Well, I think he’s wrong.

    I think, if you look at my record as someone who came to Washington, D.C., as a reformer, someone who was part of the Gang of Seven that exposed the House check bouncing scandal, that ended up sending the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Dan Rostenkowski, to jail in a post office scandal, someone who fought for fundamental reforms like term limits, and actually helped impose some of those in the United States Senate, who fought for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, who pushed for Social Security reform, welfare reform, successfully done so, if you look at my record, I’ve got a record across the board on fiscal issues, tax issues, spending issues, as well as on moral, cultural and national security issues, of being a bold reformer, someone who did not go along to get along in Washington, D.C., someone when I was in the leadership that every conservative organization from the National Restaurant Association to the National Rifle Association, when they wanted something conservative done in the United States Senate, they came to me.

    So just because you’re in leadership doesn’t mean that you aren’t fighting for those strong principles and making sure that you are representing the interests of the people out across America.

    CAVUTO: Senator, you’re aware Jon Huntsman dropping out of the race, throwing his support behind Governor Romney. I think you likened it earlier today to moderate backing moderate. So you don’t think it moves the needle in the race one way or the other?

    SANTORUM: Well, no, look, I like Jon Huntsman. I actually got a chance to meet him and his wonderful wife and family, and I wish him the very, very best. And he brings something to the table.

    But this is a race about who’s going to be the strong conservative alternative to Barack Obama. Who’s someone who can match up best in the general election, who’s got the plans that can appeal to a broad swath of voters, who has a background, both a background from the standpoint of where I come from in a steel town in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the background from policies that help manufacturing, and help get this economy going in every aspect, not just on those things that -- well, that appeal to more moderate voters.

    We’re going to appeal to the Reagan conservatives; the folks that help us win states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan. That is how we will win this election. It’s appealing to strong Reagan conservatives with an economic message that talks about getting them back to work. And I think that will be the difference for us.

    CAVUTO: You talk about those other states. You do not mention South Carolina. I assume you do not see yourself winning that state. Or is it possible that you’re waiting for the others to drop out, either Rick Perry to drop out, maybe Newt Gingrich to drop out, but that, without that happening, the conservative vote is divided?

    SANTORUM: Well, that’s in the primary.

    I was talking about -- the case for Romney me is that he is somehow the best to win the general election, and as your Fox poll shows. I’m just saying that’s simply just not true. There’s no record of Governor Romney being able to appeal to anybody.

    Looks at the states like Florida and North Carolina; there were polls out just over the weekend that show that I run better against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney does, or at least as well in other states. So -- and if you’re looking at the key states, the industrial Midwest, that’s my wheelhouse. That’s where I have won before.

    And that’s -- the policies and the background that I have fit in real well. As far as winning here in South Carolina, we feel very good that we’re going to be very competitive here. We have an excellent opportunity to rally the conservative forces here and finish strongly. But this is just the third primary. And we’re not going anywhere. We believe that this race will narrow and it will come down to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. And when it does, we’re going to start winning a lot of those primaries and picking up a lot of delegates.

    CAVUTO: Do you need a lot of money, though -- we had Foster Friess, the billionaire investor who’s very much behind your candidacy -- that you need that kind of money, that kind of support from either individuals and/or groups like him to compete with Mitt Romney, that whatever your momentum, that’s your clear disadvantage, money? You don’t have it.

    SANTORUM: Well, I didn’t have it in Iowa and I finished eight votes behind.

    And, by the way, that vote’s going to be certified probably in the next 24 hours. And that race isn’t over yet. So, this idea that he is 2- right now may or (AUDIO GAP) may not be the case.

    And we’re going to obviously try to take the fact that we finished tied for first in Iowa, and we turned it into $3 million or $4 million in about 10 days’ time. And our fundraising is going very, very well. And we’re competing here robustly in South Carolina as a result of that.

    And we plan to do the same after we do well here to compete in the states going forward. Look, there’s a lot of conservatives out there who are looking for someone to stand up and be that clear contrast to Barack Obama. And they’re beginning to line up behind us, and we’re very grateful of that.

    CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you. I apologize for some of our technical issues with your feed, but very good seeing you again, sir. My best to you and your family. Be well.

    SANTORUM: Thanks so much, Neil.

    CAVUTO: All right, Senator Rick Santorum.

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