Politics

Santorum in for SC debate

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter

Former Senator Rick Santorum announced today that he was officially forming an exploratory committee for his presidential run and filing the papers with the FEC, in order to qualify for the first presidential debate on Thursday in South Carolina. Santorum had previously formed a “testing the waters” committee, a preliminary step before a full-fledged exploratory committee.

In the course of the interview on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Santorum heavily criticized President Barack Obama. He said Obama has been “appeasing and coddling” those who are enemies of the US, and blamed him for the current high gas prices, saying they could be easily lowered if he were willing to drill.

He also criticized the president for his policies toward business.

“The overall theme of this administration is extremely hostile to successful Americans,” he said, saying that the Obama administration’s policies were anti-business and hurtful to those who created jobs.

Santorum is well known for being a staunch social conservative, and he made a case for the continued relevancy of social issues in the face of the economic crisis.

“[Social issues] always have a role to play because people care about them,” he said, in response to Hannity’s question whether or not they would play a role in the next election, given the economic problems the country is facing.

“For a lot of Americans, that’s the most important issue in good times and in bad,” he said.

Santorum also took a stab at his likely opponents, implying that they were only socially conservative when it suited them politically.

“Do you want someone who’s going to be your president who timidly talks about [social issues] cause he’s supposed to?” he asked. “… Or someone who actually cares about those issues…?”