Interviews

How can GOP keep momentum ahead of midterms?

Rick Santorum weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, it`s going to start soon. It`s going to start now, the primaries for the midterms kicking off. A new poll suggests the strongest tilt to Republican candidates in at least 20 years.

So, how can the party keep that going?

Rick Santorum says by first tapping into conservatives they have long been ignoring, the blue-collar conservatives he writes about in his new book.

Senator, always good to have you.

RICK SANTORUM, R - PA, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Thank you.

CAVUTO: They`re afraid of conservatives, though. They think they pigeonhole the party, and then guys like you sort of sidetrack the party. What do you say?

SANTORUM: Well, the party is a conservative party.

I mean, the people who are saying that are folks who I think frankly don`t want the -- the policies that have worked for this country for a long time to be tried again. We have been really reticent to lean forward in a way that says, conservatism is keeping what is good about America and moving it forward and using those ideas for the future.

And we have had candidates, frankly, in the last few election cycles who have not really bought into that message, and the American public figured it out. And blue collar conservatives stayed home and didn`t vote, and we need to -- we need to reconnect with them with a better, stronger message.

CAVUTO: You know, you have also gone out of your way to say the party does have some fence-mending to do with average Americans, who seem to think it`s the Grey Poupon party. Those aren`t your words. Those are my words - - but that the problem is in delivering on that.

How would you, if you were to run for president again, deliver on that?

SANTORUM: Well, I would actually go out there and lay out a game plan for average working Americans. And we need to talk about things that create opportunities for where most middle-income workers are and lower- or middle-income workers are. Most of them don`t have colleges -- college degrees.

Many of them have skills deficits. But the opportunities for them are going to be in the industries like manufacturing and energy production and things that...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, does that mean government credits, allowances, more spending for the small business associate, that kind of stuff?

SANTORUM: Well...

CAVUTO: Because that`s very much Barack Obama right there.

SANTORUM: Yes, what I -- I -- I look at is as, we have to look at manufacturing in particular and say, ya know, Fox News competes against CNN. Walmart competes again Target. Restaurant competes against restaurant. Lawyers competes against lawyers.

A manufacturer doesn`t compete against the local manufacturer. They compete against the Chinese manufacturer, the Mexican manufacturer, the Canadian manufacturer. And so for the government to say, well, we`re going to treat everybody the same, whether you`re a TV company or a telecom company or a manufacturer, that`s not the reality of the -- where the competition is.

And so what I have done is laid out a plan that says, look at the competition that we`re dealing with, and let`s put a level playing field for the American manufacturer, for the world manufacturer. And we look at whole different tax rate for manufacturers, look at different regulatory issues, and then, of course, the issue, and very important one, to have vocational and educational training and skills development for a lot of workers who need to upgrade their skills.

CAVUTO: Senator, our Liz Claman on FOX Business Network, which, if you don`t get, sir, I heartily and strongly suggest you demand...

(LAUGHTER)

SANTORUM: I do.

CAVUTO: ... caught up with Warren Buffett, one of the richest men on the planet, and -- and weighed in on the presidential race.

Why don`t you listen to this and then react to this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIZ CLAMAN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: You have supported Hillary Clinton in the past. If she is a candidate, will you support her again?

WARREN BUFFETT, CHAIRMAN & CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: One hundred percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: What do you think of that?

SANTORUM: I mean, Warren Buffett is a big liberal Democrat. So, I`m not really surprised about that.

And it seems like everybody is lined up behind Mrs. Clinton in this election. And that`s -- that`s great. I -- if I decide to throw my hat in the ring, I would welcome the opportunity to -- to go toe to toe.

CAVUTO: But don`t you find it odd, Senator -- I know you and I have gotten into this -- that a big liberal billionaire like Warren Buffett, who is a fine investor, and a fine human being, I might add, his throwing his money at a Democratic candidate is all good with the media, the Koch brothers, or whatever they decide to do with their money or -- or your friend Foster Friess, they`re all but evil?

Does that bother you?

SANTORUM: Well, it`s the double standard that we see in the media all the time. I mean, that`s not -- that doesn`t surprise me at all that, if you`re a liberal that believes in big government, that -- and believes in redistribution of wealth, then you`re a good businessman, and if you`re someone who believes in free enterprise and the ability for people to work their way up, then you`re a greedy businessman, because you want to keep more of your money.

CAVUTO: Yes, but you`re all but a nut if you even espouse a view -- and you have not been afraid to do this -- to respect life, to respect traditional marriage.

SANTORUM: Yeah.

CAVUTO: And right what -- right away, I could see right out the gate the media will pounce on that and say, well, that guy is a cuckoo.

What do you think?

SANTORUM: Well, in the book, "Blue Collar Conservative," I talk and actually spend a couple of chapters talking about the importance of the family unit for the economy.

I talked about this in the last campaign. And, actually, reports have come out, you know -- income inequality has been the big buzzword for the Democrats.

But liberal study after liberal study has come out and shown that, gee, the most important factor as to whether people do well economically is whether they`re in stable married relationships or not, and the fact that more people are in those relationships, the less poverty there is, the less -- the more opportunity there is. So, even the left now recognizes that.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Let`s say if your mom and dad are the same sex, is that a stable environment?

SANTORUM: Well, I would rather argue the issue as to whether we should be promoting -- and I believe we should be -- promoting the institution of marriage of men and women staying together and raising children. That`s going to be best for children.

CAVUTO: Would our apply the same for men and men staying together or women and women staying together? This will come up in a race, Senator.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: And here`s what I would say, that what we need to do is have men -- the father and mother of the children raise those children.

And that means the man and woman bringing to a child what a man and woman can bring. And that`s what we should be focused on. You know, if states what to do what states want...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: What about the gay couple who adopts, the gay couple who adopts?

SANTORUM: If states what to do what they want to do, I think we need to focus on the vast majority of the people who are going to be in man and woman relationships raising children, and reclaim those relationships, reclaim and -- and try to nurture.

You know, we spend a lot of money in advertisers, businesses...

CAVUTO: All right.

SANTORUM: .. media on promoting things like hiring veterans or stop smoking...

CAVUTO: Very good.

SANTORUM: ... or don`t text while driving.

How about promoting the -- the dignity and value of marriage of father -- mothers and fathers raising their children?

CAVUTO: All right. Senator, thank you.

SANTORUM: So, that`s what we`re talking about.

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