'This Week' Transcript: GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think this year you're right, expect the unexpected, every single week. I take your point on that. Senator, you started to make the case against former Speaker Gingrich in your first answer there, talking about him being erratic. At the debate on Thursday night, you said he was grandiose. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: I don't want a nominee that I have to worry about going out and looking at the paper the next day and figuring out, what is he -- worrying about what he's going to say next (inaudible) you know, worrisome moment that something that's going to pop, and we can't afford that in a nominee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you saying that Newt Gingrich is too unstable to be the Republican nominee?

SANTORUM: I think if you look at -- look, Newt's a good friend of mine, and I'm -- period. He's a good friend of mine, and I like Newt, and he's -- he's a brilliant guy who has tons of ideas. The issue is discipline. The issue is leadership.

If you look at his leadership, when he was in the House of Representatives, there was a conservative coup within three years of him becoming the speaker and eventually was forced out because of, well, you know, issues of being able to focus, execute, discipline, order, not taking -- you know, not doing things that -- that are coming out of left field. You see this repeatedly. This is not the kind of leadership we need to take on Barack Obama.

We have to have a stark contrast. We have to have someone who makes Obama the issue in this race, not the Republican nominee. If -- if the Republican nominee is someone that the Obama -- can -- can drop $1 billion on ads on top of and make him the issue, then we're going to be in tough shape to be able to win this election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you like Newt, but you don't think he can be trusted with the nomination or trusted with the White House?

SANTORUM: Yeah, I think he's -- he's -- he's a high -- a very high-risk candidate. That's -- I mean, I've said that from the very beginning. Again, a lot of ideas, brilliant in that respect, but as far as focus, as far as being able to rely on him to come out and -- and deliver that consistent, strong message and not undermine our -- our folks in the House and Senate, not undermine some of the basic things -- look, sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi is not a particularly -- not a particularly solid conservative thing when you're out there, as I was, fighting this -- this -- this junk science of manmade global warming and cap-and-trade, and Newt was on the other side. This is -- this is the kind of behavior that we cannot have out of a nominee.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What about Mitt Romney? He may not have the momentum right now, but he does have the money, and his super PAC is already spending it in the big state of Florida, taking aim at you. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Barack Obama knows four facts about Rick Santorum that you don't. Santorum pushed for billions in wasteful pork, voting for the Bridge to Nowhere, a teapot museum, even an indoor rain forest. Santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times, increasing spending and debt by $3 trillion. And he even voted to let convicted felons vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I know your campaign says you like to live off the land, but how are you going to compete with those kind of resources in the huge state of Florida?

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