This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 13, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, in tonight for Greta Van Susteren. It is a big night in the health care battle, and it is one vote down. By a vote of 14 to 9, the Senate Finance Committee agreed to send the Baucus bill plan out of committee and to the Senate after a little bit more finessing.
Now, only one Republican voted for the Baucus bill this afternoon, and that was Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine, making it technically bipartisan. Should Democrats, though, really celebrate over getting one crossover vote? And did anybody -- here's a big question, right? -- ever read what they were voting on in the first place on this bill?
Joining me live is former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Good to have you with us tonight, Senator. Welcome.
RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: You know, I think a lot of folks look at what happened this afternoon and they say, you know, So what does this mean? Am I getting health care reform? Is my life changing because of this bill passing from the Senate to the floor?
SANTORUM: No. In fact, the bill that came out of the Finance Committee is not going to go to the floor of the Senate. What's going to happen is that the majority leader is in the process right now -- Harry Reid is sitting down with the HELP committee, which was Ted Kennedy's committee, that passed a bill out several months ago, and with Max Baucus. And those two committees have to put another bill together, which will be more like the House bill than it is like the Finance Committee bill.
What you've seen is the best attempt of the Democrats to get a Republican -- a bipartisan bill, and they got Olympia Snowe only, as she says, on a procedural ground -- in other words, just to move it forward. Then she has still serious reservations about the bill. You saw Joe Lieberman come out today and say that he can't vote for this bill. And again, it's only going to get worse from his perspective. They're in big trouble.
MACCALLUM: You know, Olympia Snowe said, "When history calls, history calls." And then she went on to say, "My vote today is my vote today. It doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow." What does she mean by all that, do you think?
SANTORUM: Well, you got to love Olympia. I served with Olympia on the Finance Committee for four years, and I've heard those words before. Olympia is -- is igmatic -- I mean, enigmatic. I mean, she's -- she's someone who -- who you just have to sit back and wonder where she's going to go, and you -- sometimes, she's surprise you. Sometimes, you know, she'll -- she'll -- you know, she'll stick to her guns and insist on certain things being in the legislation.
I think she did that with Max Baucus. This bill was drafted to get her vote. It got her vote. But I think it just shows you, even though they drafted this bill to get her vote, she's now saying, Well, it's just for today. It may not be for tomorrow.
SANTORUM: And so if you're -- if you're the -- if you're the Democrats and you're going to craft this bill to get Olympia Snowe, you're going to run -- you're going to run yourselves in circles to get this thing done.
MACCALLUM: Yes, but you know who they're going to have to end up crafting it for is the American people because the American people have not been shy about speaking out on this issue, as we saw all through the course of this hot summer. And when they find out that the public option may very well be back on the table...
MACCALLUM: ... in this story, you're going to hear a lot -- folks are going to hear quite a bit from them, I would imagine.
SANTORUM: Well, I think what you've seen is the Democrats and the mainstream media try to discount and marginalize the people at the tea parties, marginalize public sentiment on this. I can't tell you the number of Democrats I talk to who still insist, Oh, you know, the American public really supports the public option. It's just these -- you know, these cranks at the town meeting.
They're misreading what's going on across America. They're isolated. These are many folks who actually didn't even have town meetings. They're trying to insulate themselves, thinking that they have a very popular president who, once they get this done, can go out and sell it to the American public. And so I would just suggest that while August was a very important time, it's -- it is -- they have -- you have not penetrated here in Washington quite yet.
MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Senator Rick Santorum, always good to see you. Thank you very much for coming on tonight.
SANTORUM: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right. We'll see you soon.
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