Politics

Santorum knocks Palin, Romney

In an interview with National Journal, former Pennsylvania senator and likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum shared his feelings on potential rivals Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

“Let’s put it this way: I’m not waiting for her to decide whether I’m running for president,” Santorum said about Palin. “So, to me, she’s certainly been a net plus to Republican efforts. She was a huge factor in the last election, to me mostly to the good, maybe not all to the good. But 90 percent is pretty good.”

When asked if the former Alaska governor was qualified to be president, Santorum attempted to side step the question. “What does it mean to be qualified to be president? She is born in this country and she’s the right age,” Santorum told National Journal’s Alex Roarty. “Those are the qualifications.”

Santorum took a harder line with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, whom he supported during the 2008 Republican primary. Romney’s support for a law that required Massachusetts residents to buy health care would make it “very hard” for the GOP to nominate him.

While he said he agreed that states are legally allowed to pass such provisions, Santorum said he still didn’t like the Massachusetts law referred to derisively as “Romneycare” by some of the former governor’s critics on the right. “I’m with him in the sense he had the right to do it, the states have a right to do it,” Santorum said. “But I don’t think it was the right thing to do.”

Santorum, who lost his Senate seat to Democrat Robert Casey by a landslide 18-point margin in 2006, did everything but formally announce his candidacy in the interview. He even went so far as to discuss his strategy for a possible run.

“I think a lot folks think they can sit back and use, whether it’s new media or money or fame, whatever, and sort of sweep the field,” said Santorum. “That may be true: I’m not saying that won’t be true. You’ve got some pretty bright lights, some folks who have deep pockets and folks who have strong bases of support. All of those calculations may be right.

“I don’t have any of those things,” he added. “So I don’t really have a choice but to do it the old-fashioned way.”

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