This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Have you heard? Senator Santorum is headed to Iowa! What's with that? Now, we are suspicious, so let's find out. He joins us live. All right, Senator, you know, I love Iowa, but it doesn't have beaches, doesn't have mountains for climbing. There's no DisneyWorld to take the family. There's only one reason people go to Iowa who aren't from Iowa, although it's a lovely state. So what's up? You're going to Iowa.

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R - PENN.: Got to watch out for your ratings in Iowa now, Greta. Don't be -- don't being dissing Iowa so much there. I mean...

VAN SUSTEREN: I said I love Iowa! I love Iowa!

SANTORUM: Well, you're a -- Wisconsin, that's neighboring Iowa. Come on. YOU got to be -- you got to be nice...

VAN SUSTEREN: It is.

SANTORUM: ... with those folks out there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we can...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... neighborhood.

SANTORUM: All right. Well, look, I was invited out by Terry Branstead's (ph) PAC, the American Future Fund, and they asked me to come out and give a speech, and so I reached out and offered to do something for the right to live groups out there, and so I'm doing a couple of events and speaking.

And you know, yes, I went to Iowa because I'm very concerned about what's going on in America right now. And as you know, I mean, I come on here on FOX and I write and I do radio and I do a lot of things because I'm very concerned about the direction of this country. And I do know this, and I certainly have known it for the last 24 hours, that when you go and give a speech in Iowa, people pay attention to what you're doing and what you're saying, and that's what I hope to accomplish.

VAN SUSTEREN: So I wrote down the notes -- I'm very concerned about the direction of the country. Is that, I'm considering 2012? Is that code for that?

SANTORUM: No, it's code for I'm worried about 2009! (LAUGHTER)

I mean, this is a very critical time, Greta. I mean, you know, the reason you're seeing the passion -- this is called a transition. The reason you're seeing the passion to -- you know, on these town hall meetings is because people are very concerned about not just their pocketbook. I know that's the way the Democrats would like to spin it, this is all about pocketbook -- this about America.

This is about our traditions. This is about who we are as a people. And they believe that there's something foundationally going on in Washington to rob America of -- of it's -- of its essence, of this -- this individual liberty and freedom and opportunity and having government control more and more of our lives with this false promise of security. And as a result, you know, I think a lot of people are stepping up to the plate and trying to get involved to make a difference.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you give the members of Congress on both side of the aisle credit -- especially the Democrats because they're really taking the heat. Do you give them credit for -- the ones who are actually having these town halls? Because a lot of them aren't having them. I mean (INAUDIBLE) you know, we -- we keep track of all of them. But what about the ones who aren't?

SANTORUM: Well, absolutely. And I'm glad you're actually highlighting it because you've seen, you know, with the except of Sheila Jackson Lee, I think you've seen most of the Democrats stand up and take it and not -- not say -- not say things that are, you know, intemperate. And I think most members understand that there is -- there's a lot going on out there. And contrary to what Joe Sestak just said, I think a lot of Democrats are going to come back from those town meetings and say to their leadership, Hey, wait a minute. This is not staged. There's something real going on out here, and we -- if we don't pay attention to this, it will be to our peril not just in 2010 but immediately.

VAN SUSTEREN: What happened to the -- you're from Pennsylvania, obviously. I mean, I don't need to tell you that. But if 42 percent are in favor of it and 53, or whatever the number is, are opposed to it in Pennsylvania, is that -- you know, if these Democrats go back to Congress with those types of numbers opposed to them, is this huge -- I mean, is this a huge risk?

SANTORUM: It's a huge risk. I mean, Joe Sestak almost got it right. He's right, we're not a democracy, we are a republic. And the bottom line is that, you know, we -- yes, we owe our -- our -- as a representative, we owe the people of Pennsylvania -- I did as 12 years as a senator -- our best judgment. But that doesn't mean you ignore their judgment. That means you have to take into consideration what's going on across America and how your -- your best judgment could impact lives and could impact this country.

And I think you've got to get the sense that the direction that the House is going right now, and the Senate may be going, could be very, very disruptive to American -- Americans, not just a handful of folks at town meetings, but disruptive to America as we know it. And they'd better rethink what they're doing.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Senator, thank you very much. Of course, we're going to be following you and everybody else who ventures out to Iowa. I love Iowa, in case anyone wonders, but I'm always suspicious when you guys go out there. Anyway, thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: Very good. Thanks, Greta.


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