7 reasons Rick Santorum is really a big government Democrat

Rick Santorum is a Republican from Pennsylvania who really, really does not like small government libertarians being in his party.

When you look at his record, it makes sense–the former senator and presidential candidate often seems more like a Democrat than a conservative Republican.

Here are seven reasons why Rick Santorum is really a big government Democrat.

1. He wants to raise the minimum wage

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Monday, Santorum was a guest on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd” and said it “makes no sense” for Republicans to say “we’re for the blue collar guy but we’re against any minimum wage hike ever.”

He then challenged his colleagues to “go out and make the argument to the American public and 80-some percent of the American public believes we should have the minimum wage.”

“According to the numbers I’ve seen, the minimum wage covers about 2 percent of all workers. Historically, it’s been 7 to 9 percent,” Santorum told Todd.

“[W]hat I’ve said — and I argued this when I was in Congress — we should try to keep it in the 7 percent range … Whatever gets you to 7 percent. Then, if it falls back, you have to look at the situation. If we’re in an economic crisis, you may not want to raise it. If things are better, you probably do want to raise it.”

Santorum has voted six times to increase the minimum wage.

2. He sided with big labor and against Right-to-Work

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As Red State’s Erick Erickson noted, in the 104th Congress Rick Santorum, then a senator, voted in favor of the Davis-Bacon Act, a law from the 1930’s that compels taxpayers “to pay union wages in government-funded construction and gives Big Labor an unfair advantage over non-union companies and workers.”

In the same congressional session, Santorum joined every Democrat and a minority of Republicans to vote for filibustering bill S. 1788, otherwise known as the National Right to Work Act.

This law was a statute designed to eliminate compulsory unionism nationally and make it illegal to fire workers for refusing to pay union fees.

3. He endorsed the Democrat Senator who gave Obamacare its final vote

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Back in 2012, the fiscally conservative Club for Growth bashed Rick Santorum for supporting then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter’s (PA) reelection campaign in 2004. Santorum endorsed Specter against Pat Toomey, who, according to Club for Growth’s President Chris Chocola, had the support of his PAC “and much of the conservative movement.”

Toomey narrowly lost that primary and Specter would end up fleeing to the Democratic side in 2010.

During his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney criticized Santorum harshly for supporting Specter.

“There was also 1996, when he supported Arlen Specter, by the way,” Romney said. “Arlen Specter, the only prochoice candidate we’ve seen in that race. There were other conservatives running, like Bob Dole. He didn’t support them. He supported the pro-choice candidate, Arlen Specter.”

Specter would end up being the 60th and deciding vote in favor of Obamacare.

4. He thinks Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater were wrong about wanting to make government smaller.

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In 2008, Santorum said in a video interview that he was pleased the Republican Party was “morphing” away from Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater’s small government ideas.

“Republicans, I think to our credit, have sort of morphed away from the Goldwater idea that government needs to be smaller, it needs to do less, it needs to be doing nothing except what its core functions are,” Santorum said.

“We need to restructure the way we do programs or the way government functions to actually create the kind of incentives or create the kind of help and programs that give that authority to — give that power — to solve these problems to folks closer to people or to the family or to the individuals themselves,” he added.

Reagan’s primary message in his First Inaugural Address was that “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

In it, Reagan puts forth his definition of “core functions.” He believed that it “has no power except that granted it by the people” and that it was necessary to “check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”

According to U.S. Historian Tim Stanley, Santorum’s conservatism is alien to the most traditional understanding of American conservatism. “If you take Goldwater’s libertarianism as your working definition of conservatism, Santorum ain’t a conservative,” Stanley wrote in The Telegraph.

5. He voted for No Child Left Behind

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Not only did Rick Santorum vote for George W. Bush’s controversial law, but he later admitted he consciously violated his principles to “take one for the team.”

“I have to admit, I voted for that, it was against the principles I believed in, but you know, when you’re part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake,” Santorum said. “You know, politics is a team sports, folks, and sometimes you’ve got to rally together and do something, and in this case I thought testing and finding out how bad the problem was wasn’t a bad idea.”

Ron Paul called Santorum a “fake” conservative and added “I don’t accept that form of government. I think the obligation to all of us should be the oath of office, not the oath to the party.”

6. He voted for Medicare Part D

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In 2003, Santorum voted for the Medicare Part D entitlement expansion and later admitted that was a mistake too. Medicare Part D subsidized the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

According to CNN’s Political Ticker, “It was passed through Congress in 2003, went into effect in 2006 and has since added billions to the deficit while coming to the aid of millions of Americans.”

He said the “two things that [Republicans did] wrong” were providing a universal benefit program and failing to fund it at the same time.

7. He said Republicans need to be “team players” when it comes to growing government

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When apologizing for his No Child Left Behind endorsement, Santorum conceded that he “took one for the team” and added that “politics is a team sport” wherein “sometimes you’ve got to rally together and do something, and in this case I thought testing and finding out how bad the problem was wasn’t a bad idea.”

That comment made Rush Limbaugh “cringe.”


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