Santorum reflects on election, future of Republican Party

Former presidential candidate speaks at Franklin County Republican Committee's Eisenhower Day Dinner

December 11, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania, center, who also ran for the Republican presidential nomination, speaks with Dr. Bradley R. Hock, left, and Pa. State Sen Richard Alloway II, R-Franklin/Adams/York, Tuesday night at Green Grove Gardens in Greencastle, Pa.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum joined Franklin County, Pa., Republicans in reflecting on the Nov. 6 presidential election during a dinner Tuesday.

Republicans are “not comfortable in our own skin,” Santorum said.

“We needed someone who would energize our base as much as (Barack Obama) energized their base,” he said.

Santorum, who represented Pennsylvania in the Senate from 1995 to 2007, ran for president this year, but bowed out of the race in April. When asked about running in 2016, he said he is “certainly not making any decisions at this point in time.”

“There’s only one thing I’d run for again,” Santorum said of any other political aspirations.

Santorum addressed the Franklin County Republican Committee for its Eisenhower Day Dinner, which had been rescheduled because of inclement weather during Superstorm Sandy. About 200 tickets were sold for the event at Green Grove Gardens.

Committee Chairman Dwight Weidman called Franklin County a “ray of sunshine on an otherwise dismal Election Day” because 68 percent of the county’s votes cast in the presidential race were for GOP candidate Mitt Romney.


Santorum, who also served in the U.S. House of Representatives, told the crowd that each person and Franklin County as a whole can have an impact, saying “we don’t have to put on a uniform to fight for America.” In his speech, he called for maintaining the country in line with the ideals of its founding fathers, and he repeatedly criticized President Obama for a comment about transforming the United States.

“We all know America is not perfect ... but America as it was designed is as close to perfect as you can get for any country,” Santorum said.

“We know America is the greatest country in the world. Why would we want to transform America?” he asked.

Every generation of Americans is focused on making things better for the next generation, but today’s citizens are in danger of being the first generation to deliberately support policies that would worsen the country for the next generation, Santorum said.

The government is telling people what health care they will have, what gasoline they can use, and which light bulbs they can put in their homes, according to Santorum, a Pennsylvania native.

“It’s happening, and this last election we affirmed it with eyes wide open,” Santorum said.

He criticized pop culture for “rewriting the rules of right and wrong,” institutions of higher education for “indoctrinating our youth,” and the news media for its influence on American culture. He praised churches, families, and community and civic organizations.

In an interview prior to the speech, Santorum said the changing makeup of Pennsylvania through its energy industry could affect its voting in 2016. The state went to Obama this year.

“We’re hopeful this trend continues and the energy boom continues in Pennsylvania, and we’ll see a different (voting) trend in Pennsylvania,” he said.

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