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Santorum Criticizes Ronald Reagan on Taxes & Social Security During NH Speech

"...he did a serious wrong..."

The so-called Eleventh Commandment -- "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican" -- which was popularized by President Ronald Reagan, has been violated numerous times in this electoral season. Now, following his somewhat unexpected success in Iowa, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum appears to have violated the unspoken Twelfth Amendment: "Thou shalt not insult Ronald Reagan."

At a New Hampshire event on Wednesday, Santorum addressed America's financial crisis and spoke candidly about entitlement spending. Rather than praising Reagan, who is revered by many conservatives as a stellar president and a political savior of sorts, the 2012 hopeful said that the former president contributed to the entitlement crisis by kicking the can down the road on Social Security issues. According to Santorum, Reagan should have dealt with long-term Social Security problems during a 1983 bipartisan deal.

The Daily Caller reports:

Santorum was walking the audience through what he called the “ancient days of yesteryear” in a interminable and incredibly detailed response to a questioner. He explained that in the 1983 deal Reagan brokered with Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil to fix Social Security, the retirement age was moved back to 67, but that change wasn’t slated to be enacted until the politicians responsible were out of office.

Speaking in third person, he said, “If Rick Santorum gets elected and we do what I said that we need to do, which is to deal with the entitlement programs now, not 10 to 20 years from now." Then, he went in for the "kill" that may leave a sour taste in the mouths of Reagan-loving conservatives.

“You’ll know — unlike Ronald Reagan who maybe was a better politician than me — you’ll know that it was Rick Santorum that worked together and got the American public to gather together to fix this problem," he said. "Why? Because it is our problem."

“I love Ronald Reagan, but if I would point to one thing during his administration that he did a serious wrong, it was this bill, it was this Social Security fix,” he also said. “He brought the idea of increasing taxes now, which is always what the left wants to do. Increase taxes now and reduce benefits later.”

You can read more about his comments here.

(H/T: Daily Caller)

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