Rick Santorum: GOP Debate Rules 'Arbitrary'

The presidential candidate criticizes the selection process for Thursday's GOP debate, and his plans to make a comeback.
4:37 | 08/02/15

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Transcript for Rick Santorum: GOP Debate Rules 'Arbitrary'
Rick santorum, he won the Iowa caucuses last time. Received 4 million votes overall and was the runner-up to Mitt Romney. Senator santorum joins me now. You just heard from trump, he's emphatically not ruling out a third-party run? Well, you know, I'm not concerned about that, the republican party is going to treat every candidate fairly, they have rules and they're going to live by those rules, and Donald Trump like every other candidate will rise and fall. I don't have any fear that Donald Trump somehow is going to treated unfairly and therefore run as a third-party candidate. Okay, let's get to you, right now, it looks like you're not going to be on that debate stage, you're not in the top ten, you're quite a ways out, what do you say about these debate rules that can leave you, the runner-up last time, out of the first debate? Yeah, they're pretty arbitrary. I saw a poll recently, they asked Iowa caucusgoers, if they could name the republican candidates, 80% could name three running. I was at 1% in the nation poll four years ago. I won the Iowa caucus. In fact, I won the Iowa caucuses, two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, I was at 2% in the national polls. National polls mean nothing. It's an arbitrary figure. Unfortunately the networks and the RNC have gone along with this irrelevant of legitimacy of candidacy. The ability to influence who's in the top ten by the amount of coverage they get, the amount of advertising dollars. Folks who have advertised on fox and fox business in order to drive their Numbers up. This is -- and I hear it everywhere I go. I'm here in Iowa right now, I was in New Hampshire, south Carolina, people are concerned that the media, we are going to decide who the top candidates are, not the people of Iowa, not the people of New Hampshire. That's wrong. But to be clear -- this is the chairman of the republican party, this is the RNC that have signed off on these criteria. You're being frozen out of this first debate. I have said it from day one. Well, look, here's what I know, four years ago, there was a straw poll, I finished fourth. Way down in the pack. The two people, the person that finished first, didn't win a gate, a few days later, another candidate came in with hundreds of thousands of dollars, was at the top of the polls in August, he didn't win a delegate. I'm not worried about what's happening here in August, whether it's a debate or the like. I'm looking for the opportunity for every candidate in this race be heard on a national stage, they deserve it, these are really good qualified men and women. I guarantee you someone in that first debate is going to be someone who's going to get a lot of delegates come next year and it will be another incident where the RNC and the national media missed it. Okay, I want to ask you about your status, you mentioned the national polls, let's look at polls in Iowa, where you won, you were at less than 1% in Iowa, what happened? Where did all of your support go? Number one, they're not talking about caucusgoers. Number two, again, when I talked to folks, I spent several days here, most of the people I talked to are undecided. Actually, we're getting a fair amount of support, but a lot of folks are undecided. I'm on their list. They're going to work their way through these candidates. The folks that are doing well, not surprisingly are getting most media attention. So, again, I'm not concerned about what happens now, I'm going to go out, I have been to almost 60 counties in Iowa, we'll continue as we are, getting our caucus captains and getting our county organizations together, come February, when it matters, not August, come February, we'll be there, we'll surprise people again and they'll scratch their head and say, gee, why did we mess up this summer and not recognize all candidates can bring something to the table should be in this game. No doubt you'll hit all 99 of those counties.

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

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