Santorum rallies against government

February 19, 1998


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum fired up more than 400 of the Republican Party faithful at the annual Franklin County Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday night with the GOP theme of cutting government.

Santorum, R-Pa., 39, the banquet's main speaker, urged his listeners to "get government out of the way. As conservative Republicans, you can use the bully pulpit by doing it one person at a time."

He said it's better to support local nonprofit agencies than a federal welfare program. He said he wants to abolish welfare and replace it with a tax credit program that would give citizens $1 credit for every $1 they give to nonprofit agencies like the Salvation Army and habitat for Humanity, which help people become self-sufficient.


Welfare has made fathers disposable, with women on welfare getting more money when the fathers of their children are not around, he said.

"It has destroyed families," Santorum said.

"We need to lift up those who instill values, like mothers and fathers, the clergy, community leaders and nonprofit agencies that can help people," he said.

Santorum said Republicans have to convince voters that the party cares for them as individuals.

"The public likes our ideas, but they don't see us as caring for them. They see (President) Clinton as someone who does care for them. That's why the country is willing to forgive him," he said.

Santorum was born in Winchester, Va. His parents worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., when he was young. The family later moved to Butler, Pa.

He earned his law degree from Dickinson School of Law and worked for a private law firm in Pittsburgh before running successfully for the House of Representatives in 1990. He was elected to the Senate in 1994.

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