The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pumps his fist during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pumps his fist during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)  

Santorum compares holding elective office to military service

NORTHFIELD, N.H. — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum compared his service in government to serving in the military during a town hall meeting on Thursday.

“I grew up around veterans, I grew up around, you know, folks who loved their country and served their country,” he said, answering a question about what propelled him into government service. (RELATED: Full coverage of Rick Santorum)

“I didn’t see working in government service and being in politics as anything but serving your country, and doing in some ways — in a civilian sense — what a lot of folks did in a military sense. And I saw it as something that is honorable and good to do.”

“The rest of the country doesn’t function unless the government keeps us free,” he added, “and we need people in politics just like we need people in uniform to do that.”

Santorum has been criticized by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for being a career politician. In 1990, at age 32, Santorum was elected to the House of Representatives. He entered the Senate after the 1994 Republican Revolution, where he served until losing to now-Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in 2006.

Santorum’s father served in the military during World War II, but the senator never served in the military.