Try BlazeTV for Free
News

Rick Santorum Says He Supports a 'Big and Robust' Government — but Not in a Manner Liberals Likely Endorse

“I think we've seen President Obama not protecting our interests around the world and promoting international values."

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. Prospective Republican presidential candidates are promoting religious liberty at home and abroad at a gathering of evangelical conservatives, rebuking an unpopular President Barack Obama while skirting divisive social issues that have tripped up the GOP. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told TheBlaze that sometimes “government needs to be big and robust.”

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. Prospective Republican presidential candidates are promoting religious liberty at home and abroad at a gathering of evangelical conservatives, rebuking an unpopular President Barack Obama while skirting divisive social issues that have tripped up the GOP. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Santorum, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, was referring to one crucial area of government — national defense.

The surprising second-place finisher in the 2012 GOP primary to eventual nominee Mitt Romney spoke at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., emphasizing the necessity that the Republican party defend moral issues and support economic freedom and a strong national defense.

But he acknowledged that not all in the GOP agree with him.

“Clearly there are people out there who are trying to advocate for us to take a more limited view of what our role should be internationally, both from the standpoint of our engagement in foreign policy as well as our military strength,” Santorum told TheBlaze.

“There is a difference between limited government and small government,” he continued. “I believe in limited government. I believe in small government in some areas but I don't believe in small government in every area. There are some areas the government needs to be big and robust and one of them is defense.”

Speaking to TheBlaze after his speech, Santorum declined to say if he was referring to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) or any other candidate. While Paul — who has libertarian leanings — supports a more modest foreign and national security policy, he does support the U.S. military strikes against the Islamic State.

Santorum's biggest problem is with Barack Obama's policies, citing the president's internationalist speech at the United Nations this week.

“I think we've seen President Obama not protecting our interests around the world and promoting international values,” Santorum said. “If you listened to his speech at the U.N., it was all about internationalism as opposed to looking after America's interests.”

In the Values Voter Summit straw poll — sponsored by the Family Research Council — Santorum finished only in fourth place, behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

However, going into the 2016 presidential field, Santorum pointed out he's used to being an underdog.

“One thing about my political career is historically I have been underestimated a number of times and overlooked in just about every political race I've been involved in. I suspect that will probably be the case here,” Santorum said. “My intention is to work hard, get our message out there, try to move the ball in a positive direction and see if there is sufficient support to maybe move forward.”

One last thing…
Watch TheBlaze live and on demand on any device, anywhere, anytime.
try premium
Exclusive video
All Videos
Watch BlazeTV on your favorite device, anytime, anywhere.
Try BlazeTV for Free
Sponsored content
Daily News Highlights

Get the news that matters most delivered directly to your inbox.