Sen. Rick Santorum on His New Book: 'It Takes A Family'

Published July 26, 2005

| FoxNews.com

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 25, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Today's release of Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's new book has already sparked controversy on Capitol Hill following its release. Santorum has been blasted by Democrats as out of step with Pennsylvania and offensive to women.

His manifesto, "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good," a direct rebuttal to New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's 1996 book, "It Takes a Village," blames the undermining of the values of the American family on decades of moral liberal politics put in place by our federal government.

Joining us now, Pennsylvania Republican senator, author of "It Takes a Family," Rick Santorum.

Senator, thank you very much for being here.

SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Alan, it's good to meet you.

COLMES: Does Hillary get residuals on this for the title? Does she get anything?

SANTORUM: Well, if she goes out and starts hocking the book, sure. I have no problems.

COLMES: Is that right? What's this deal, before we get to the book, about you running for president or making some statement that you're not going to run for president?

SANTORUM: I've made the statement I've made repeatedly, and that is that I'm running for reelection in 2006. I have no intention of running. You know, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible. I just have no intention.

COLMES: Could that change based on what happens in 2006?

SANTORUM: It could, but again, my intention is not to do so.

COLMES: Let's talk about some of the things that drive liberals crazy in terms of the things you say. Here's one of the things you say in the book. Let me put it up on the screen. When you say, "Radical feminists have been making the pitch that justice demands that men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace."

SANTORUM: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Alan, Alan, Alan...

COLMES: You have a lot of women on your staff?

SANTORUM: You didn't finish that.

COLMES: Well, I don't have time to read the whole book on the air right now.

SANTORUM: That's taken way out of context.

COLMES: Well, did you not say that?

SANTORUM: Yes, but I talk completely about women and work. Look, I came from a family where my mother and father both worked.

COLMES: But explain that statement.

SANTORUM: Well, it's true, they did say that. And that's descriptive. All I'm saying is then I go on and talk about how we have to have a workplace that's affirming to both women working as well as a society that's affirming to women who choose not to work.

COLMES: But it sounds like you're blaming radical feminists for fighting for equality for women by that statement?

SANTORUM: No, no, no, no, no. Not at all.

COLMES: Are you misunderstood? Is that the problem?

SANTORUM: Of course, I'm misunderstood by certain members of the media.

COLMES: Is that what it is? It's the media misunderstands you?

SANTORUM: Well, certain members of the media.

COLMES: You also said that -- and let me put this up, as well, from the book. You say, "The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skilled, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong."

SANTORUM: That's true.

COLMES: Is there a better way than education (INAUDIBLE)?

SANTORUM: Yes. As a matter of fact, it's called work. And that's what we did.

COLMES: (INAUDIBLE)?

SANTORUM: In 1996. What we found, and there are studies, and I cite the studies in the book, there are studies that are conclusive, that what helps women who are at the low end of the socioeconomic scale. These are - - at that point in the book I'm talking about women coming off welfare. That what helps women come off welfare and get success and be able to provide for their family is work, and that tests have been done, studies have been done by states who did experiments on this getting four-year degrees and getting a higher education, and they have not done as well.

COLMES: Doesn't getting an education help you get a better job?

SANTORUM: It depends on the education. First, they need to get work. They have to learn what it means to get up and to follow a pattern, to get to work. It's the same thing that happens when you get your first job. I mean, when you're out for your job, they say, do you have experience?

We need to get experience. We need to show that women, these women who are going through very difficult times can hold it together, can hold down a job, and then once they have a job, sure, they can be eligible, just like the rest of us for education, for training and other things to upgrade their skills.

HANNITY: Hey, Senator, welcome back to the program. You had a little run-in with Hillary, I understand?

SANTORUM: Well, we had a little conversation in the Capitol building.

HANNITY: "It Takes a Family," "It Takes a Village"?

SANTORUM: "Takes a Family," "Takes a Village." Look, I was just walking along minding my own business, and she happened to have a gaggle of reporters following her, as she often does, I might add. And she just fired away. And it was, I think, at least from my perspective, it was a friendly little exchange.

HANNITY: Your political advisers -- you and I discussed this earlier today -- told you don't do this. Don't write this book. Don't be so outspoken.

SANTORUM: I still have people saying, "Why did you do this? Why did you write this book?"

Look, you know, I talked to Karen about this. And you know, we had a discussion, you know, why do it now? And the reason we decided to do it now is because people are listening.

HANNITY: Yes.

SANTORUM: I mean, I've been given a great blessing by the people of Pennsylvania to be in a position where when I write something or say something, actually it gets reported and people will read it. And I'm hopeful they do.

HANNITY: You see that you're a target now. You've got a very -- 16, and however many months, you have reelection coming up against a prominent name in Pennsylvania, a state that is moderate blue, and yet you're a conservative Republican. Do you worry about reelection and worry about coming here...

SANTORUM: I better. I better. Sure, I worry. I mean, we're going to work really hard.

HANNITY: See, I think liberals are afraid of you more than anything, because they think if you run for president you could not only win every red state, but you also would take Pennsylvania?

SANTORUM: Well, look, I've got to take Pennsylvania in 2006. And we're going to work very, very hard on that. And I've made a commitment to run, and I'm going to run. And I'm going to do my best to serve the people of Pennsylvania after I win.

HANNITY: You talk a lot in the book about the coarsening of our culture, the impact it has on our kids. It seems like it's getting worse every day, no?

SANTORUM: Yes. Look, I have six kids, two of whom are here tonight. They had a chance to meet you. But Karen and I have six kids. Karen wrote a book, as you know, on civility, on manners and trying to teach kids manners.

But we are faced as parents raising children with a culture that just sends all these negative messages, that really is shaping them in a way that doesn't build character, doesn't build virtue. It's no surprise that Bill Bennett on your show earlier sold millions of books, because we've lost virtue from the public arena, and people -- people want a culture that's more nurturing. And I try to describe in the book how we get there.

HANNITY: You talk a lot about lack of responsibility, too, in the free society that we have.

SANTORUM: Yes, I do. You know, it's a society that is a "me" centered society. It's a society that says, "I should be able to do whatever I want to do. Of course, as long as no one directly gets hurt by what I do."

But of course, if people run around doing whatever they want to do, people get hurt. And we believe in America, traditionally, is freedom with responsibilities. It's not just freedom.

COLMES: We've got to run. But what's your prediction for '06?

HANNITY: Well, Santorum in a landslide.

COLMES: What percentage?

SANTORUM: Look, I won my first race at 49, so I'll take 1/10 of a point above my opponent. That's good enough for me.

COLMES: Thanks for being here. Thanks very much.

SANTORUM: Thank you.

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