Geneva Sands, The Hill
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said in an interview released Wednesday that it’s imperative GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney win the election because President Obama “sounds like a two-bit dictator.”
Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, accused Obama of abusing his power by placing “way too much authority” in the office of the president, citing the recent policy change by the administration that could change how states administer welfare.
“Going out and saying ‘I’m going to change the law on welfare,’ ‘I’m going to eliminate the work requirement,’ something that we fought for, President Clinton signed … probably the single greatest accomplishment social welfare wise in the last 20 years and President Obama gets up and says, ‘nope, I’m going to change the law’ by speaking. This sounds like a two-bit dictator, not a president of the United States,” said Santorum in an interview with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl.
“You do not change the law by speaking,” he added.
Santorum called on Romney to maintain his economic message in the campaign, but also to talk about Obama’s “imperial presidency.” The former presidential hopeful went on to compare Obama to Benito Mussolini, Italy’s former fascist dictator.
“My grandfather left Il Duce in Italy, who could get up and change the law by giving a speech … we do not need another person who thinks that they can simply get up, give a speech, change the law and then dare the Congress,” Santorum said.
The former senator, who withdrew from the presidential campaign in April, also weighed in on Romney’s potential running mate, telling ABC News that a vice presidential candidate who is in favor of abortion rights would have a “chilling effect” on a lot of voters.
“If we don’t get a good turn out of strong Evangelicals and strong Catholics, you’re going to have a hard time winning this election,” he said.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was widely speculated about last week as a possible vice president, despite what she has called her “mildly pro-choice” views on abortion.
Santorum said that although choosing Rice could help in certain areas, on balance it would make Romney’s election “a lot harder.”
Santorum, a bowling fan, joined Karl for the interview at Bowl America in Virginia. The former GOP presidential hopeful said he had “a little practice” on the campaign trail, which must have helped, because he beat his reporter rival.