Politics

Santorum responds to Paul-supporting nephew: ‘It’s a phase’

BRENTWOOD, NH – At his first event in the Granite State since the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum said his Ron Paul-loving nephew is just going through “a phase.”

The former Pennsylvania senator was criticized by his 19-year old nephew John Garver, a supporter of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, in an op-ed published earlier this week by The Daily Caller.

“If you want another big government politician who supports the status quo to run our country, you should vote for my uncle Rick Santorum,” wrote Garver. (RELATED: The trouble with my uncle, Rick Santorum)

“I love my nephew,” a smiling Santorum said Wednesday night when asked about the op-ed. “I have 35 nieces and nephews, so one out of 35 is pretty good as far as I’m concerned.”

“He’s a Ron Paul supporter, God bless him,” he continued. “I mean, it’s a phase. I understand it. And so we all go through those things. God bless Johnny, it’s wonderful.”

Later, when discussing the 10th Amendment with another questioner, Santorum stated unequivocally that he is “not a libertarian.”

“I’m a conservative,” he said. “I am a Reagan conservative. I am not a libertarian. And the people who are calling me a big government guy are libertarians.”

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