Interview with Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania senator calls Newt Gingrich a 'high-risk candidate.'
9:45 | 01/22/12

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Transcript for Interview with Rick Santorum
Yesterday's vote wasn't the only loss for Romney this week on Friday the -- Republican Party took away his eight votes squeaker in that State's caucuses. Announcing after a recount that Rick Santorum was the winner. And we Begin this morning -- that candidate Rick Santorum he's out of South Carolina this morning thanks for coming out this morning senator third place win. At third place in South Carolina not a win -- 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 gonna buckle that. And not fact a lot of conservatives are very concerned about the choice between Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich because in their opinion and mine that's not Atkins choice between a conservative then a moderate. It's good choice between -- a moderate -- -- Erratic conservative. Someone who on -- on a lot of the major issues has been just wrongly the for example -- government mandated health insurance. That is at the core of obamacare something that Gingrich is supportive for twenty years that big bank Wall Street bailout something that Newt Gingrich supported. It. Sitting on the captured -- Tupelo security very critical time. When we -- trying to fight off the cap and trade bill immigration and a path to citizenship I mean these are core issues of the Republican base. Where Newt Gingrich is actually wrong and and by the way Mitt Romney is -- Really that races that is is a three person race and there's one that strong consistent conservative in this race there's one candidate that can rally the Republican base. One candidate you don't have to worry about what he's gonna say or do he's gonna you know criticize Paul Ryan's plan is social -- right wing social engineering. They don't is is campaign -- can only -- you know in mass. This is not know the old -- that this is the last six months and so there's a big big difference between these three candidate. The -- even making a case for some time right now but looking at the exit polls coming out of South Carolina. Among the voters who thought that electability who can beat Obama -- most important there were a lot of 45%. I -- Gingrich got 51% of them Romney 37 you are way down. At seven and then of candidates looking for a very conservative. Candidate a lot of those as well 36%. But Newt Gingrich gets almost a more than double what you got so if you're not winning. Among the very conservatives you're not winning among those who want to beat Obama what's your rationale. -- look we if you look at the numbers in Iowa they were just the opposite you look at the numbers -- New Hampshire they were they were -- tilted a different direction. In new put his flag here in South Carolina it's a it's a state that. But he knows well to neighboring state for have he spent all his time and money down here I spent a lot most of my time and money in and not certainly a time not money. In Iowa and this is you know these three races and in many respects where are our -- That before much more than -- grace is gone forward. And now we're gonna have an opportunity for folks who haven't had the kind of exposure to the candidates -- -- three early primary states have. And we're gonna see a very very different dynamic George is one thing Yunel. That if you don't like the state of the play of the race right now just wait to the next race. And we're gonna see a completely different story and that's the dynamism of this race so. This idea that because one person did well -- finish fourth and fifth. Where is everybody caught him to get other race you know we finished a very bring -- -- -- we came from single digits the last week. And and and really had a strong finish a good debate. You know we won Iowa got really know -- from that because it happened the day before the primary there's a lot there's a lot of races to go we're going to Florida and beyond -- Think this this year your right expect the unexpected every single week I take your point on that Saturday started that the case against former speaker Gingrich in your first answer there are talking about him being. Erratic at the debate. On Thursday night you said he was grandiose let's take a look. I don't want a nominee that I have to worry about -- not looking at the Paper the next day and figuring out what is -- that -- worried about what he's gonna say next -- that you know. Worrisome moment. That that something's gonna pop and we can't afford that a nominee. Are you seeing in new Gingrich too unstable to be the Republican nominee. I think if you let it -- it's a good friend of mine and an. Period he's a good friend of mine and I like Newt -- He's he's a brilliant guy. -- tons of ideas. They the issue is discipline the issue is leadership. If you look -- -- leadership what is in the in the House of Representatives there was a conservative coup within 33 years of him becoming a speaker. I eventually was forced out. Because of well you know issues have been 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 Miller can -- can drop a billion dollars on ads on top up and make him the issue. Then we're gonna be in top shape to be able to win this election you like new but you don't think he can be trusted with -- nomination -- with the White House. I think he's he's he's a -- I'm very high risk candidate that's I mean I've said that from the very beginning. I 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 and deliver that consistent strong message and not undermined our follow our our folks at a house and senate not undermine. Some of the basic think let's sitting on the couch -- Nancy Pelosi is not a particularly. Not a particularly solid conservative thing when you're out there it -- as I was. Fighting this this this junk science of man made global warming and cap and trade and it was on the other side this is. This is the kind of behavior that we cannot have out of a nominee what about -- -- He may not have the momentum right now but he does have the money in his super pac is already spending it. In the big state of Florida taking in that you take a look. Barack Obama -- -- facts about Rick Santorum did you don't Santorum push for billions in wasteful pork. Voting for the bridge to nowhere a teapot museum. Even an indoor rainforest. Santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times increasing spending and debt by three trillion dollars and he even voted to let convicted felons vote. And I know -- campaigns as you like to live off the land but how we -- compete with those kind of resource is -- the huge state of Florida. Well I mean we're we're gonna we're gonna run everywhere this race -- -- can be over next week. In Florida is not going to be over the week after when we go to Colorado -- Minnesota. In Missouri let this is going to be a long race there's going to be a lot of opportunity for the rest of the country hear this all the time. Why should three states decide who our nominee is well in this race it's not gonna happen in this race we're gonna have a long campaign. Florida will have its say you know Nevada will have -- say we keep going from state to state and I I feel very very comfortable that as people continue to focus and then. And examine the candidates who's the best person to win. You know that campaign -- first off the fell apart -- Mitt -- even admitted that that was wrong the second part that the the spending there's been nobody better. And then in cutting entitlements and reforming spending. Those projects he mentioned none of them were ever built the reason that that that we go through this process is to propose things that. Here in the federal level in the states have a say as to whether they're built or not and then none of them -- so this is -- this is you know this is the best he has. While we talk about our record -- social security and Medicare and Medicaid what I've done on welfare reform in transforming the system we've got the strongest record on spending. And I'm anxious that does that -- up against Mitt Romney and end -- game where where you plant your flag you mention Nevada Mitt Romney's pretty strong. Right there we know that Ron Paul's gonna go play. In all those big caucus -- your own home state of Pennsylvania doesn't even come up to late April where do you get your next week. You know it did pianists video. -- -- people ask me that before what are you get your first win. And we were able to pull off a big upset we are feeling is that here we go out and compete. This is a long haul that would -- we picked up delegates today. -- yesterday we're gonna pick up delegates and they and in the coming weeks and we're gonna have an opportunity. In and as states in this race if the devolved involves we're gonna have opportunities to win states that's -- we believe we believe that our message is the best. And that that conservatives have and are starting and then will increasingly start rallying around us when they look at the choices how -- blows yesterday -- -- -- huge -- made certain four days ago George. He was -- -- -- about to become three NL in this nomination and -- an ending not minds of the media anyway it was over. He's now I've beaten Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich is beat Mitt Romney. The idea that conservatives have to coalesce in order to beat Mitt Romney well let's just not true anymore conservatives actually can have a choice. We can't we don't have to rush to judgment we can actually look at the candidates. That the longer this campaign goes on George the better it is for conservatives the better it is for our party. We stay focused on the issues which is going out and taking on Barack Obama. The Republicans are the focus I know why the media would love to have this race over because they'd like to stand and and the Obama administration. Because they'd like to take game on whoever the nominee as quickly as they can start carpet bombing them. I don't think that's gonna happen -- it's a good thing that it does happen. Well looks like it's -- along one senator Santorum thanks for your time this morning. Thank you very much George Christian.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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