• With: Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn.

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 23, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": It all started with this.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    RICK SANTORUM , R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different from the person in there. If they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have, instead of taking a risk on what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    CAVUTO: Then, as you know, all hell just broke loose.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    NEWT GINGRICH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the biggest development of the last 24 hours was Senator Santorum's remarkable mistake in suggesting that reelecting President Obama was acceptable under any circumstance.

    And I just want to make very clear that I could not disagree with him more strongly.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    CAVUTO: And suddenly the whole spiral was viral and the rip on Rick was off and running.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: He blew up his message and he's failed.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All he has done is provide reckless fodder for a president who doesn't need any more advantages.

    STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: A monumentally stupid thing to say.

    STODDARD: I think it's the end for Rick Santorum.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He actually is writing Barack Obama's campaign commercials.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    CAVUTO: They have all had their say.

    Fair and balanced, we thought it was a good idea for Rick Santorum to have his. And in just moments, he will.

    And to make sure we cover all of our bases, so will his top financial backer. Is he still backing him? We will ask Foster Friess, because, guess what, Foster Friess is here, and only here as well.

    Welcome, everyone. I am Neil Cavuto.

    And Mitt Romney just left it at a pithy statement--"I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure."

    Romney's spokesman was a bit more blunt, Ryan Williams saying -- and I quote -- "Senator Santorum is not only embarrassing himself with his ill-advised comments. He is damaging the conservative movement."

    So many critics. Now it is time, Senator Rick Santorum here finally to respond. He joins us now on the phone.

    Senator, good to have you.

    A lot of folks say you committed political suicide.

    SANTORUM: Oh, Neil, this is just laughable.

    Yes, I'm out here running, sacrificing my time and my energy and my family, committed myself to traveling around this country, saying the highest priority of this country is to defeat Barack Obama, and what I was saying there is that, if we don't have a choice, than the American public may decide to keep Barack Obama.

    That is all I have said. I have said it in every speech. This is the hatchet job of all time. I have said repeatedly that the number one primary is defeating Barack Obama. I would support anybody. And they said, would you support Ron Paul? Of course I would support him.

    I would support anybody on the Republican ticket. And I said it throughout the course of this campaign. This is a Romney and a Gingrich campaign that cannot focus on the issues. And the issues are that they are uniquely disqualified from taking on President Obama on the biggest issues of the day.

    That is the point I was making yesterday. It is the point I will continue to make. Mitt Romney and Romneycare -- we have the anniversary of ObamaCare, which was a blueprint of Romneycare, that designed ObamaCare.

    And he stands by -- this is the amazing thing. He stands by government-run health care in Massachusetts. He stands by the imposition of an individual mandate, requiring everybody to purchase insurance, something that 75 percent of Americans are against.

    And that is why I stood up and said, we need someone who can draw the starker contrasts on the things that are crushing this economy, driving up unemployment rates, exploding the size of the federal government, and someone who has a strong and clear track record.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: But you can see why they are confused, right, Senator?

    SANTORUM: No, no, I can't.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: Senator, you said, "If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have, instead of taking a risk on what may be an Etch A Sketch candidate in the future."