Santorum to Newsmax: 'Let's Not Attack the Capitalist System' Over Romney

Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 04:00 PM

By John Bachman and Steve Malzberg

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tells Newsmax that he refuses to attack rival Mitt Romney’s record at the private equity firm the former Massachusetts governor co-founded.

“I don’t want to go into that briar patch,” the former Pennsylvania senator said in the exclusive interview with Newsmax.

“I don’t feel like Mitt Romney’s weakness as a candidate is around Bain Capital. His weakness as a candidate is around his record as governor of Massachusetts and his lack of consistency on the issues and a lack of conviction on those issues,” Santorum said.

The other GOP candidates have criticized Romney’s work at his investment company, accusing him of killing jobs and “predatory” business practices.

“Let’s not attack the capitalist system because Mitt Romney doesn’t know how to put words together,” Santorum said, referring to the media and pundit onslaught arising from the out-of-context version of a comment that Romney made during a speech on Monday.

In that instance, Romney was talking about insurance when he said, ““I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

Pundits and some of Romney’s opponents have taken that to mean that he enjoyed firing people in his business ventures.

On the day of the New Hampshire primary, Santorum tells Newsmax he is happy with what his campaign has been able to accomplish in the Granite State. Even after a close second-place finish in Iowa, he had fewer resources than most of the other candidates.

“It’s been a tough go, particularly since we haven’t run any television, any radio, or any media up here. Neither have any of the super PACs tried to help us. So, we’ve been doing it all with grass roots, so we’ll see what happens,” Santorum said.

The former senator told Newsmax that his focus already has started to shift to the primaries in South Carolina and Florida, where he feels like he can compete better than he has in New Hampshire.

“I feel very confident we are going to run very well down there – hopefully a top three finish or better. We have to eventually be in a position where we can get down to Mitt Romney and myself one on one. And as long as there are a lot of other conservatives in this race, let’s be honest, it’s going to be hard to beat a guy that’s going to consistently be at 25 to 30 percent in all of these races.”

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