Rick Santorum: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview

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RICK SANTORUM: Well, I mean, it's-- again, I don't know all the facts and circumstances. I haven't read the indictment. I have no idea what his side of the story is. I think it's-- for me to-- after someone who's served in such distinction for all those years, to sort of jump to a quick conclusion that he should go or he should stay, I don't think that's fair to him. But it's obviously a very, very serious-- allegation against-- against the university and the people in the football program. And-- and somethin' that needs to be taken care of.

JOHN BERMAN: Will you be comfortable cheering for Penn State football this weekend?

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah, I mean, the-- the players out there and-- and-- and the university, you know, writ large is-- you know, they're my alma mater. That mean-- you know, just because there are people there who did things wrong doesn't mean the whole institution is-- is bad. And-- and certainly these kids out there on the playing field had nothin' to do with this.

So of course I'm gonna-- I'm gonna root for-- for them and-- and wish them the best. And, you know, this is somethin' obviously will be a great challenge to them, to be able to stay focused and-- and-- when all this attention's paid on-- on your program. So I-- you know, I-- I wish them the very best.

JOHN BERMAN: Back to the campaign here. You are on the Faith, Family, and Freedom Tour right now. To a certain extent, you're making these subjects the centerpiece of your campaign, or a centerpiece, why?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, I-- I talk about it in the context of-- of our country, both from the standpoint of our culture, but also the economy in-- of our country, the size and scale of government. I think it's important that we recognize that, you know-- yes, the economy is the number one issue in our country. The economy is hurting. People are out of work-- you know, we're not growing. And the-- what is growing is the size of the government and the-- and the-- and the huge amount of debt.

But and-- and I have-- put forward very clear plans on how to turn that around, b-- both from spending cuts and what we can do with the tax code, what we can do in the regulatory environment, a whole host of things. But I also say that there's an underlying problem here and that is that you can't have limited government unless you have good, strong families. That you can't have a strong economy unless families are strong and pr-- and-- and doing well.

And that means marriage and the institution of the family have to be, you know, encouraged and supported. That means we have to have people rai-- raised up in our society, who are of good character and have virtues. And-- and if we don't, if we don't have any kind of-- if we have a culture and we have an educational establishment, we have a society that does not inculcate virtue, that does not teach truth and honesty and-- and integrity and hard work, we're not gonna have a strong economy for much longer. We're not gonna have a nation for much longer.

So-- I would argue that a lot of the things that we've seen happen in our country, you know, the Wall Street-- situation, what happened on-- in the financial markets. I mean, that's-- you have-- you have a lot of folks there who did a lot of things they shouldn't have been doing. And--

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