FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA) DISCUSSES HIS UPCOMING SPEECH TO THE RNC REGARDING THE PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED ADJUSTMENT TO WELFARE REFORM, ON “CBS THIS MORNING”
SANTORUM TELLS CO-HOST CHARLIE ROSE, “WHAT BARACK OBAMA HAS DONE IS WAIVED THAT WORK REQUIREMENT, AND THAT’S A VERY, VERY SERIOUS ASSAULT ON WHAT HAS BUILT A GREAT AND SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM”
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) discussed his upcoming speech to the RNC regarding President Obama’s proposed adjustment to welfare reform with co-host Charlie Rose live today, August 28, 2012, on CBS THIS MORNING on the CBS Television Network (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM).
Below is the transcript from the interview:
ROSE: What do you hope comes out of this convention in terms of the things that mean something to you and that you’re going to speak to?
SANTORUM: One of the things I talked about during the campaign was trying to appeal to folks who I think want to vote for us because they know that Barack Obama’s policies are leaving them behind and are not consistent with the values that they believe in. I want to see a message that speaks to them. One of the reasons that I think we did as well as we did is that we did have a message that talked to folks that maybe don’t have the college education, don’t have the kind of skills that our economy is demanding more of, and they want to see a path to how we’re going to structure our programs to help them get that chance at the American dream.
ROSE: That’s an economic argument. There are those who say that you're also going to talk about welfare. What are you going to say?
SANTORUM: Right. As you may remember, I was one of the authors of the 1996 welfare reform and the central tenant of the welfare reform bill was to do two things. Put time limits on welfare and add a work requirement. We did that because we knew if people went to work and weren’t on permanent dependency, that we believe that the Americans, the people could rise if we gave them, as we did in this bill, a helping hand up. We gave a lot more support with child care and education benefits and other things. So we coupled the pulling out of the requirement, the federal mandate and work requirement with a hand up, and what Barack Obama has done is waived that work requirement, and that’s a very, very serious assault on what has built a great and successful program.
ROSE: But fact-checkers have said that these changes that the President recommends will not gut welfare reform.
SANTORUM: What the President is doing–
ROSE: These are the fact-checkers who are looking at–
SANTORUM: I’m a fact-checker, too, because I wrote the bill and I know a lot more about this bill than the fact-checkers. I can tell you what we did, specifically, in that bill was say that you cannot waive the work requirement and you cannot waive time limits. Those are the two things in the section that said are not waivable. And what the President did was find some hackneyed idea that said, no, I can waive the work requirement and we are going to take applications from the state to waive that work requirement. Now, do we know for sure that it’s going to be gutted? Well, we do know this, that we have toughened the work requirement since in fact the 1996 welfare bill, and the only reason you would put this waiver in place is if you want to weaken it. So, I think without question, the administration is headed toward weakening this requirement.
ROSE: By doing what?
SANTORUM: By giving states the ability to change the way they run the program, not to—
ROSE: By giving them the option, you say that would gut the requirement, even though the people who have looked it disagree with that.
SANTORUM: The only reason you put the waiver in place is to get you out of tough work.
ROSE: Let me talk about the convention in terms of issues, lifestyle issues, abortion and other things that are part of the campaign that you’ve talked about. We’ve had problems for Republican candidates. I’m mainly thinking of Akin in Missouri. What does that say to you? Does that say something about the party and its image?
SANTORUM: I think the image of the party actually has been very strong on the issue of life, just look at the national polls. More and more people are becoming pro-life.
ROSE: What should, for example, Akin have done?
SANTORUM: That’s his own personal decision. I know Todd Akin. He’s a good man. He made a ridiculous statement and he didn’t do a very good dealing with the problems that came from that statement and he’s suffering the consequences for it. I think if you look at the overall pro-life movement and you look at the Republican Party and this issue, we’re on the winning side of this issue. If you look at young people, young people are more pro-life than our generation. And why? Because, well, science is a hard thing to overcome. you look at that 4D sonogram in the womb and you see that child with fingers and hands and that beating heart and it looks like you and me, and it’s hard to say, well, that’s not a person, that’s not someone who deserves protection, and young people I think more are moving in our direction, and I think society is moving in our direction, and I think that’s a good thing for us.
ROSE: You had a very tough campaign in the primaries against, and you wanted the nomination, Gov. Romney. He won the nomination. Are you fully supporting him at this time and your delegates will vote for him this evening?
SANTORUM: Absolutely. We did a delegate call last week and told them to line up.
ROSE: What are the differences today between Rick Santorum and the governor, in terms of how you see the world and how you see the particular issues that he will address?
SANTORUM: The differences between Mitt Romney and me pale in comparison to the differences between he and Barack Obama.
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