'This Week' Transcript: GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

PHOTO: Rick Santorum

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."

Game change.

AUDIENCE: Newt can win! Newt can win!

STEPHANOPOULOS: South Carolina shakes up the GOP race.

GINGRICH: We've proved here in South Carolina that people power with the right ideas beats big money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Newt Gingrich pulls off a stunning and sweeping upset. But does he have a path to the nomination? Can Mitt Romney recover? Is the Republican contest headed for a long fight, even an open convention?

ROMNEY: Now this race is getting to be even more interesting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Questions for our headliner this morning, Iowa caucus-winner Rick Santorum.

SANTORUM: Three states, three winners. What a great country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And our powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation magazine, Ron Brownstein from the National Journal, and ABC's political pros Matthew Dowd and Amy Walter.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. It's your voice, your vote. Reporting from ABC News election headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone. And overnight, it is a brand-new race for the Republican nomination. After finishing fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich surged to a strong win in South Carolina. Look at those numbers: 40 percent of the vote to Mitt Romney's 28 percent, with Rick Santorum third at 17 percent.

And in his victory speech last night, Gingrich struck a populist chord.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: The American people feel that they have elites who have been trying for a half-century to force us to quit being American and become some kind of other system. And the reaction -- people completely misunderstand what's going on. It's not that I am a good debater. It is that I articulate the deepest felt values of the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: After congratulating Gingrich, Mitt Romney attacked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: In recent weeks, the choice within our party has also come into stark focus. President Obama has no experience running a business and no experience running a state. Our party can't be led to victory by someone who also has never run a business and never run a state.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yesterday's vote wasn't the only loss for Romney this week. On Friday, the Iowa Republican Party took away his eight-vote squeaker in that state's caucuses, announcing after a recount that Rick Santorum was the winner.

And we begin this morning with that candidate, Rick Santorum. He's down in South Carolina this morning. Thanks for coming out this morning, Senator.

Third-place win -- third place in South Carolina, not a win at all. And you're going to be facing right now enormous pressure from many conservatives to get out of this race so they can rally behind one alternative to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich. Any chance you're going to buckle to that?

SANTORUM: No, in fact, a lot of conservatives are very concerned about the choice between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, because in their opinion and in mine, that's not a choice between a conservative and a moderate. It's a choice between a moderate and an erratic conservative, someone who on a lot of the major issues has been just wrong.

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