'This Week' Transcript: David Axelrod and Rick Santorum

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in Senator Rick Santorum right now. You heard David Axelrod talking about him. Two months ago he left this presidential campaign.

Great to have you back on THIS WEEK. And I just wanted to get…

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … your response, first of all, with that argument that David Axelrod was making, he said the real debate is going to be about the plans each candidate has for the future, and Mitt Romney is just wrong when he says that we should continue the policies that we've seen in many states of laying off teachers, firefighters, and the like.

SANTORUM: Oh, I hope it is a debate about the plans for the future, because I think Governor Romney's plan is far superior. Governor Romney's plan is about, you know, lowering taxes and getting this economy going in the private sector, which has been dragging, and causing the high rates of unemployment that we have seen, the low rates of growth, and reducing the regulatory burden.

This administration has done more than to crush business than anyone in history. I can't tell you the number of people I ran into along the campaign trail who just said, you know, I lived through Bill Clinton, and, you know, I really didn't think he was that bad, I mean, you know, it was a little bit more regulation, certainly less under Bush.

But Obama is a whole new scale of regulation that we have never seen that is just crushing the free enterprise system in this country. And so I'm hopeful that Mitt Romney's plan out there, and what he is going to do to get this economy going, lower regulation, reduce taxes, get this private sector ginned up, against Barack Obama's plan, which is to grow the private sector, create more -- excuse me, grow the public sector, and create more public sector jobs, it's a great contrast.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about this argument about president -- I mean Governor Romney's business background. In some ways, the Democrats are arguing some of the arguments you made back in the campaign. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Do you really believe this country wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the president of the United States? You think that's the kind of experience we need, someone who's going to take and look after, as he did, his friends on Wall Street and bail them out at the expense of Main Street America?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that still a weakness for Mitt Romney? Has he taken steps to correct it?

SANTORUM: Well, I think he has taken steps to correct it. But look you know, both President Obama and Governor Romney supported those bailouts. So that to me was an issue we took off the table.

But the issue that's on the table is what the plans are going forward. And I think you saw very clearly President Obama's plans for going forward is to amp up the public sector. Is to provide more support -- you know, teachers are great, we love teachers, but if anybody believes that hiring more teachers as we did over the many, many years in this country, under President Clinton, even President Bush and under the early part of President Obama's administration, if that's dramatically improved the quality of education, you got to show me the numbers because it's not. This is a false choice, that somehow or another pumping more money into an educational system that's already spending an enormous amount of money is going to solve the problem.

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