The speech is 20 minutes long, and it sounds like what a Republican sounds like.
SPEAKER: FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA.,
SANTORUM: Thank you. Thank you. Game on.
(APPLAUSE) As all of you know, I do not speak from notes, but there’s a couple things I want to say that are a little — little more emotional, so I’m going to read them as I wrote them.
C.S. Lewis said a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words. My best friend, my life mate, who sings that song when I forget the words, is my wife, Karen.
People have asked me how I’ve done this, sitting back at the polls and not getting a whole lot of attention paid to us. How did you keep going out to Iowa, in 99 counties, and 381 town hall meetings and speeches? Well, every morning when I was getting up in the morning to take on that challenge, I’ve required a strength from another particular friendship, one that is sacred. I’ve survived the challenges so far by the daily grace that comes from God.
For giving me his grace every day, for loving me, warts and all, I offer a public thanks to God.
Third, thanks. Thank you so much, Iowa.
You — you, by standing up and not compromising, by standing up and being bold and leading, leading with that burden and responsibility you have to be first, you have taken the first step of taking back this country.
This journey started officially just a few months ago in June, when I stood on the steps of the county courthouse in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I decided to go there, not the typical place someone announces for president — it’s not where I was born, it’s not where I ever lived — but it’s where my grandfather came back in 1925. He came by himself, even though he was married with two children, one of them being my father. He came after having fought in World War I, because Mussolini had been in power now three years, and he had figured out that fascism was something that would crush his spirit and his freedom and give his children something less than he wanted for them.
So he made a sacrifice. He left to the coal fields of southwestern Pennsylvania. He worked in the mine at a company town, got paid with coupons, he used to call them, lived in a shack. Eventually, he figured out that that was a trip to nowhere, so he started taking less — taking money less so he could start to save, and he did. And after five years, he got his citizenship and brought my father over at the age of 7. He ended up continuing to work in those mines until he was 72 years old, digging coal. I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone who had died. It was my grandfather. And I knelt next to his coffin. And all I could do — eye level — was look at his hands. They were enormous hands. And all I could think was those hands dug freedom for me.
And so to honor him, I went to Somerset County, because I believe foundationally, while the economy is in horrible condition, while our country is not as safe as it was, and while threats are rising around the world, while the state of our culture under this administration continues to decline with the values that are unlike the values that built this country, that the essential issue in this race is freedom, whether we will be a country that believes that government can do things for us better than we can do for ourselves, or whether we believe, as our founders did, that rights come to us from God and, when he gave us those rights, he gave us the freedom to go out and live those — live those rights out to build a great and just society not from the top down, but from the bottom up.
My grandfather taught me basic things that my dad taught me over and over again: Work hard, work hard, and work hard. And I think about that today. There are so many men and women right now who would love to work hard, but they don’t have the opportunity.
And we have two parties who are out talking about how they’re going to solve those problems. One wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more Medicare and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs, and passing Obamacare to provide even more government subsidies, more and more dependency, more and more government, exactly what my grandfather left in 1925.
And then there’s another vision, with another vision, the Republican vision, which is, let’s just cut taxes, let’s just reduce spending and everyone will be fine.
I believe in cutting taxes. I believe in balancing budgets. I propose cutting $5 trillion from this budget over the next five years. I support a balanced budget amendment that puts a cap at 18 percent of GDP as a guarantee of freedom for this country. But …
But I also believe we as Republicans have to look at those who are not doing well in our society by just cutting taxes and balancing budgets, and that’s why I put forth a plan that Iowans responded to. It’s a plan that says, yes, let’s flatten the tax code, get rid of it, replace it with five deductions. Let’s create two rates, 10 percent and 28 percent. Why 28 percent? If it’s good enough for Ronald Reagan, it’s good enough for me.
(APPLAUSE) And then I take the corporate tax, cut that in half, because it’s the highest in the world, and we need to be competitive. But when I traveled around Iowa to the small towns, I found a lot of those small towns were just like the small towns that I traveled around in Pennsylvania. They were towns that were centered around manufacturing and processing, those good jobs that built those towns, and those jobs slowly, whether it’s in Hamburg, whether it’s in Newton, or any place in between, we found those jobs leaving Iowa.
Why? Because our workers didn’t want to work? Because our workers weren’t competitive? No. It’s because government made workers uncompetitive by driving up the cost of doing business here. It’s 20 percent more expensive to do manufacturing jobs in this country than it is in the top nine trading partners that we have to compete with. And that’s why we’re losing our jobs.
And so when Republican purists say to me, well, why are you treating manufacturing different than retail? I say because Wal- Mart’s not moving to China and taking their jobs with them.
So we eliminate the corporate tax on manufacturing so we can compete. We take the regulations, every regulation that’s over $100 million, and we repeal all those regulations, repeal them all, and there’s a lot of them. Under the Bush and Clinton administrations, they averaged 60 regulations over $100 million a year. This administration hit 150 last year.
You don’t want to know what’s crushing business. This administration is crushing business.
I’m taking a second look at Santorum’s economic policies and it seems to me that they will very good for blue collar workers especially. By cutitng corporate taxes, everyone in the country who makes anything at all is going to have about 6 job offers before noon.
As far as social policy and foreign policy, Santorum is number one. He really is a fine candidate. My endorsement of Rick Santorum is here. I previously liked Bachmann and Cain, but with those two now out, I find that Rick Santorum is actually better than either of them in many ways.