Santorum Swipes Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan, Offers 0-0-0

Oct 7, 2011 1:38pm

ABC News’ Michael Falcone and Amy Bingham report:

Forget Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Rival GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Friday that solving the country’s economic woes is all about 0-0-0.

At a gathering of social conservatives in Washington, Santorum took a swipe at fellow Republican contender Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan, saying “I have a better plan.”

The former Pennsylvania senator’s solution is to have zero income tax on manufacturing companies, zero taxes on repatriated corporate profits that are invested in manufacturing equipment and zero Obama-era regulations.

“One of the great problems in our economy, if you look at it… is the middle of America has started to disappear – the middle income of America,” Santorum said. “Why? Because the manufacturing jobs in America have disappeared.”

Santorum said his 0-0-0 plan would “reignite” America’s economy by stimulating growth in the manufacturing sector. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would amount to a complete overhaul of the tax code by instituting a 9 percent flat personal income tax, a 9 percent sales tax and a 9 percent corporate income tax.

When it came to national security, Santorum threw an apparent elbow at another GOP candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who gave a rambling answer when he was asked at a recent debate how he would respond to a 3 a.m. national emergency call.

“When that phone call comes at 3 in the morning, ladies and gentlemen, I will be up and waiting for the call because I will know what is going on in the world around us and they won’t have to get me out of bed,” Santorum said.

Santorum, who touts his experience in the House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate as one of his major selling points on the campaign trail, also saved some of his criticism for President Obama.

“We’ve seen with this president, experience matters,” he said.

Santorum also served up a healthy portion of red meat to the social conservative audience who gave him a standing ovation at the end of this remarks.

He said that the Obama administration’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act was “an abomination” and he pledged to defend the institution of marriage.

“There’s one candidate in this race whose gone to state after state and helped fight those battles,” Santorum said. “We must fight in every state to make sure that marriage remains between one man and one woman, and as president, I will do that.”

Near the end of his speech, Santorum invited his wife, Karen, and four of his seven children to share the stage with him.

“You cannot have a strong economy without strong families,” he said.

“We are committed to the cause of life and family and American exceptionalism.”

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