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GOP candidate Santorum talks values in Duluth address

DULUTH -- Known as the moral values candidate, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told activists in Gwinnett Tuesday how values integrate into every foundational part of America, from education to immigration.

He compared the American and French Revolutions, saying founding fathers here built a constitution based on rights given by a divine creator.

"It was revolutionary freedom, but with the trust that we would have a good and decent and moral society," he said, adding that since the nation has urbanized, the government has become bigger, even dictating the type of light bulb you can use.

"You want to solve poverty in America? Get people to marry," he said, explaining that the number of single-parent households in poverty is 40 percent, compared to 8 percent for two-parent families.

But regulations deter people from marrying because they will no longer receive benefits, he said, adding that the tax code also keeps America from being competitive for jobs.

Speaking at a lunchtime forum Tuesday at the Gwinnett Place Marriott, Santorum is the second candidate to participate in a series of town hall meetings organized by the 7th Congressional District of the Georgia GOP.

Known for his work on overhauling welfare in the 1990s, Santorum said his first three priorities in office would be to pass a pro-growth plan, repeal President Obama's healthcare plan and attack the federal deficit.

For Tea Party activists, he said, the No. 1 goal should be to support a balanced budget amendment, which would greatly reduce the size of government.

"The best way you can make sure freedom is maintained is to limit government," he said. "We can strike a blow for freedom that limits the federal government for future generations."

Joking that he knew he would get a FairTax question in the district of former U.S. Rep. John Linder, who approached him about his proposed national sales tax while in Congress, Santorum said he agreed with the basic premise but believed that the debate should be left until after the economy has been righted.

Instead, he proposes to "dramatically simplify" the tax code with just five deductions: children, charity, pensions, health care and housing.

In a campaign season that has seen several candidates emerge as frontrunners then fade, Santorum said he hopes his campaign will surge just before primaries begin in just over a month.

He said the trip to Atlanta was important to "build buzz" before turning his attention to Iowa, one of the first states to hold its vote.

"Iowa needs to provide the spark," he said, describing a grass-roots campaign. "We're putting a lot of tender on the ground, so it can catch fire in other states."

The former Pennsylvania senator joked that Ron Paul spent more on charter aircraft than he has on his entire campaign, according to recent campaign disclosures.

"We can run a very lean and efficient machine and change America," he said. "I'll prove that with this campaign."

Jason Thompson, the GOP leader who organized the town hall meeting, said the crowd of more than 100 people got a chance to hear from a candidate that has gotten little attention in the national media, especially in debates.

"Wasn't that better than 20-second sound clips?" he said.

Comments

Cleanupguy 3 years, 1 month ago

Rick Santorum quote: “One of my political heroes, the eighteenth-century British statesman William Wilberforce, argued that hypocrisy can often be a social good.” That says it all about this guy. Good government should be about good government, not his concerns regarding what goes on in anyone else's bedrooms or personal lives. He's one of legions that have tried to distort what the Founding Fathers were most clear about, that government and religion (even the one and only correct one) must not be intermingled. His personal history is full of the hypocrisy that he touts, and his "no compromise" stance is what got us where we are now, stuck in the mud. The GOP doesn't have much to choose from right now - I'm thinking that Huntsman is the only reality based one in the bunch.

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