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Santorum: Media loves GOP's 'food fight'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 21, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: And if you ever thought after yesterday and the hullabaloo with Donald Trump and John McCain, that he was somehow kind of dialing back, today, more like doubling down. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So they say they didn't like the way that, you know, the little -- I'm a little loud. I'm a little too strong. But they don't like it.

And then I watch this idiot Lindsey Graham on television today. And he calls me a jackass. He's a jackass.

I see Rick Perry the other day, and he's so -- he's doing very poorly in the polls. He put glasses on, so people will think he's smart.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: And it just doesn't work. People can see through the glasses.

You have this guy Lindsey Graham, a total lightweight. Here's a guy, in the private sector, he couldn't get a job, believe me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Whoa.

So he's giving them the business, then, on my FOX Business show, some Republicans giving it back. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People are angry. And a lot of times, people will say, I just want someone who will fight. And I will ask them, well, do you want them to fight so as to win and to improve things, or just fight? Because I have said any drunken redneck can walk in a bar and start a fight. The question is, can he finish the fight?

JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: In each party, there are a group of people who are really angry. I don't know that it's a majority, but it's a significant minority.

And it's going to be a challenge to the candidates who get the nomination to try to deal with that constructively. Anger is not a policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Anger is not a policy, a bipartisan response to a very popular candidate, at least judging by the polls, because, whether you like him or not, dispute the messenger, do not dispute his message, because Donald Trump is riding atop most polls right now.

Too early to tell whether some of these latest damaging comments are going to hurt him, but it indicates at least thus far they have not.

To one of those 16 candidates in the race right now, Rick Santorum.  The senator joins us right now to sort of handicap all of this.

Senator, when you see all of this and you hear the kind of comments that Donald Trump made, he says in response to criticisms he was getting from these men, what do you say?

RICK SANTORUM, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I just -- I think this is a food fight that the media just absolutely loves.

And the reason is, is that it does damage to the person. It doesn't really focus on the issues. I mean, Donald Trump actually started this debate, his rise a couple of weeks ago, and because he focused on an issue that I think was an important one, which is immigration.

And now it's sort of just devolved into personal attacks. And I think that's unfortunate on both sides. One of the things I learned from running four years ago is that the media will quickly encourage you to move from the subject matter to the person and personal attacks. And they want to just -- they want the candidates to beat up on each other like a wrestling match or a food fight.

And I just think in the end it's just -- it's not good for whoever ends up winning.

CAVUTO: All right, but if you look at his success early in the polls early on -- and it might be more heat than anything else -- but it is -- it seems to be jibing with voters at this time. Does that worry you, if your position is, I won't trade insults, I won't call names, I won't do any of that stuff, and he's gaining ground precisely because he is?

SANTORUM: It goes to the nature of what these national polls are about. The national polls -- and that's why I think they're not a legitimate barometer for determining frankly anything, particularly who gets in a debate.

It's who people are paying attention to. It's entertainment. Right now, people aren't seriously looking at presidential candidates across this country determining who they're going to vote for. They don't even know who is in the race, much less whether they're seriously thinking of supporting them.

This is who is getting attention, who is entertaining, not who is a serious candidate for president, not to say that these folks aren't serious candidates for president. It's just not -- that's not how voters are looking right now.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Could you, Senator, could you rally around whoever that nominee is? Let's say it is Donald Trump. You could rally around him?

SANTORUM: Look, I will be for the Republican nominee, whoever that is, against Hillary Clinton. That's an easy call for me, no matter who the Republican nominee is.

And I trust -- look, I trust that when Iowa sits down and votes in February, they're going to make a wise decision as to who to recommend, the three or four candidates to recommend to the rest of the country. New Hampshire will do the same thing. They will recommend probably a different group, and then we will have a much more thoughtful process going forward.

CAVUTO: All right, you mentioned Iowa. The Des Moines Register -- we are going to got into this a little later on with Joni Ernst. The Republican senator for that state has urged Trump to step out of the race, more or less that he's shrill and he's distracting from the debate and the conversation. What do you think?

SANTORUM: Look, I would never suggest anybody get in or out of a race.

You know, the -- again, this is -- I don't think people in politics should be telling people who to -- whether to run or not to run. I think it's up to the voters to make this decision.

Look, I trust the people in these states -- when it comes down to voting that they're going to vote for a serious candidate for president who can get a job done and turn this nation around. And I will wait seven months until that day happens. And, in the meantime, I'm going to talk to a lot of those voters and try to convince them we're the best candidate to do that.

CAVUTO: Now, no one canvassed Iowa like you did, Senator. You ended up winning it. You got belated recognition at the time, because I think it hurt you at the time because it wasn't discovered that you had won until sometime later.

But allowing for that, do you think that your time has come and gone?  In some of these polls -- and you're right, sir, they come and go and they're vague and they're inconsistent -- but they don't look great for you. Does that worry you?

SANTORUM: I was -- again, in the national polls four years ago, two weeks before the Iowa caucus, I was at 2 percent and I won the Iowa caucus and ended up winning 10 other states.

You know, when the opportunity comes, when people have to seriously consider who they're going to be voting for, I feel confident. I know because I talk to a lot of voters in Iowa right now. They tell me, you're on my list. I haven't made a decision yet.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: It's a crowded list, right? There are 16 candidates on that list.

SANTORUM: Well, usually, people don't have that long of a list. It's usually two or three people.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: No, I hear you. I hear you.

But I do want to talk very quickly, if you don't mind, about the Iran situation here. And now we have 59 days to settle this one way or the other. Congress, the U.N., the Security Council has already voted for it, and the president seems to think that he will have enough, even if he rejects -- he is handed a rejection by the Senate, to have a safe veto that cannot be overridden. What do you think of that?

SANTORUM: This is the worst foreign policy decision any president has ever made.

He's put America in the crosshairs of a country that is a radical theocracy that wants to destroy Western civilization. And they have now -- because of this agreement, they will have the means to do so, they will have the money to do so, they will have a pathway.

Even if they comply with this agreement, which, by the way, they have never complied with a single agreement in the history of their country since 1979 -- why they think will do so now, I have no idea. But even if they do comply, within a matter of a decade, they will have now a legitimate right to have a nuclear weapon and be on that pathway.

And they are a country that is very clear. Listen to what they say.  They say they want to destroy America, they want to take out America, they want to roll over America, and they are a country that cares more about the hereafter, the afterworld, than they care about the here and now, this world.

And they are -- they are very clear about what they're trying to accomplish. And now we're going to give them a weapon that they will be able to do that. This is not a president who is looking after the security of our country.

CAVUTO: All right, Rick Santorum, always a pleasure. Thank you very, very much.

SANTORUM: You bet.

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