note. Santorum spoke from the steps of the Courthouse; behind him were
several dozen people and an arch of red, white and blue balloons.
Karen Santorum introduced her husband. Santorum's speech lasted
about 22 minutes.
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Monday, June 6,
[TRANSCRIPT by 4president.org
/ Democracy in Action] / C-SPAN
Karen Santorum: Oh thank you
everyone. That was so, so encouraging. Well good morning
Pennsylvania and good morning Somerset County. Thank you.
It's wonderful to have you here with us today in this special place for
our family. Today Rick and I are surrounded by the greatest
blessings in our lives, our seven wonderful children.
Elizabeth. John. Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria,
Peter—where's Peter—Peter, Patrick and Isabella, our sweet, precious
Isabella who we call Bella. (Cheers, Applause) Thank you.
Rick and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. (Applause).
Thanks in part to the love and support and example of my very, very
dear and precious mom and dad, who are here with us today—Ken and Betty
Lee Garver, who we just love like crazy. My mom and dad have been
married for 64 years. 65 years, 65 years. They've been such
a great example to us.
I come before you today to introduce the man I love and admire.
He is a man of enormous strengths with a tremendous commitment and the
values that has made America great and the experience to lead it
forward. He has led the way in the fight on so many critically
important issues from entitlement reform to tax policy to national
security to foreign policy to the protection of the most innocent and
vulnerable among us. Never walking away or hiding from the tough
battles and hard issues. Peggy Noonan summed up his character so
well a few years ago in the Wall
Street Journal. She said, "Rick is the man who faces what
his colleagues try to finesse." (Cheers, Applause) He is a man of
deep and abiding convictions with the wisdome to apply them to the
issues at hand, the courage to fight for them and the tenacity, passion
and skill to win the day. He is a man who loves America and loves
Americans. That is what motivates him, and it's what motivates
all the Santorums. (Applause) I present to you my husband,
Rick Santorum. Thank you so much.
Rick Santorum: Thank
you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
very much. Thank you very much. Let me just first say to my
wife Karen and to these
children behind me, am I one blessed man.
Thank you Karen, thank you kids. For they’ve known a life of
being involved in a public
life. And as we all know that is not an easy life. And they
have stood behind
me every step of the way and not only have they stood behind me, but
actually led me and encouraged me and fought with me side by
side. So Karen,
children, thank you so much for your love, for your support, God bless
you. Thank you.
I want to thank all of you for coming out of here today. It
is a beautiful day in Somerset—it's always
beautiful in Somerset County. (Laughter) You must think I’m
not from Somerset County if I said that, right?
But it is a beautiful day here; it's a Chamber of Commerce day here in
Somerset County. And let me just thank everybody here
in the local community for the great cooperation and support and being
showing up and for, well, for being where it all started for the
Santorum family. And
that’s why we're here, because our journey, our American journey
here in Somerset County. And so it is great to be here;
thank you Somerset County for coming out for
You know the most common question I’ve had over
the past 20 months was “Are you running?” And the answer I always
gave—it took me a while, but I came up with this—“No I’m not
running, I’m walking.” (Laughter) And the reason I was as
walking was because I wanted to get out and talk to Americans, all
Dozens and dozens of states over the past couple of years, with a heavy
sampling on Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. (Laughter)
But I was out talking to people, listening to people,
trying to get a sense as to whether what I was feeling inside, the
the concern I had for the future of our country was something that was
shared. Well an answer to that was what happened a little over, well
years ago now with the birth of the Tea Party and people standing up in
after meeting and holding up their Constitution and talking about—(Loud
Those are balloons, not shots. It’s not that I haven’t had my
shots shot at me at times. (Laughter)
But, people have, people have understood, they understand
that something is wrong. That there is something at stake here in
that’s important; it’s important for us and it’s important
for the future of our country.
Now what is it? Is it the economy? Sure it’s the
economy. Who can say it’s not the economy when you’re looking at
this pathetic rate of growth and the incredibly, just discouragingly
of unemployment. Not 9.1 %, but 14-15 % of people who really want
get work and they can’t find work. And you can look at this
Administration and say “Oh, what did they do in response?” They
sent money to state capitols and municipalities to keep their
workers on the payroll and forgot about the rest of America out here
trying to survive
and trying to grow. (Applause)
Is it gas prices? Yeah, sure it’s gas prices.
We’re from here in Somerset County, mineral-rich Somerset County.
And we have coal and gas and all sorts of resources here, and we have a
President who doesn’t want us to access those resources, and then
complains that the prices of energy are high. (Applause)
And if you look at the record of spending under this
President, he came in, sure he came in with a problem. And then
in that hole that he was
in, he kept digging and digging and digging. Now for every dollar
thanks to this President, forty cents is borrowed. Forty cents is
going to be
put on every man, woman, and child to pay the interest on for the rest
lives. Who are we? Who are you, Mr. President? Who
are you, Mr. President to
say that you and your Administration should take forty cents out of
dollar and borrow it from future generations to prop you up? (Applause)
He’s done worse than that. He’s devalued our
currency by pumping Fed Reserve currency, pumping money, inflating our
commodities, our food prices, our oil prices. Which is a horrible
working Americans, on saving Americans.
He’s devalued our currency and he’s not just
devalued our currency, he’s devalued our culture. Through
marriage, and through
not standing up to the Defense of Marriage Act. (Applause)
Through federal funding of abortions. (Applause)
He’s devaluing our dollars, and he devalues our other currency,
our moral currency. (Applause)
All of this is bad enough, but I think Americans now realize
there’s even more, there’s something more that is concerning
that’s why I am here in Somerset County. I’m here in
Somerset County, because my grandfather came to
this county way back in 1927.
Did he come here because the government was promising him
all sorts of benefits, promising him all sorts of hand-outs and
no he left a country where the government made all the promises.
country, and I would add a good job. He had a job on a mail train
after World War I, which he
fought in. He had that job on a mail train; he lived in a
idyllic town, in the mountains, right down on a lake. I visited
it, it is truly
gorgeous. And I said why would anyone want to leave nine
brothers and sisters, leave a stable job and a beautiful place at the
the Dolomite Mountains. One word. One reason.
He was watching what Mussolini was doing; he was watching
what he was inculcating into his oldest son and he said “I will not
for this.” And so he left and he came here; took a waylaid trip
to Detroit, but he eventually came
here. And he started in the coal mines here in Conemaugh
Township in northern Somerset County, in Carpenters Park, Pennsylvania.
And he worked and he worked to give his children, my dad,
who was seven years old when he came in 1930, the opportunity for
to live your dreams, because he knew that America believed in him,
people, gave people a shot; if they worked hard they could
That’s the America
that my grandfather came to, that’s the America
that my dad lived in, and that’s the America that we need again today.
That is what is unique. The President of the United States,
just a few weeks ago, in responding to Paul Ryan’s budget said this,
he was talking about Medicare and Medicaid and unemployment
insurance. And he
said “The country’s a better country with those programs.”
"I’ll go one step further," he said. “America was not a great
until those programs.” (Boos from crowd)
Ladies and Gentleman, America was a
great country before 1965. (Cheers, Applause)
was a great county before government decided that it had to start
those— (Pauses for a woman that fainted)
Sorry we have someone who I think the
heat has got to them. So make sure if there's any emergency
personnel they can get here; want to make sure that this person gets
some help. (A woman asks for water) Here you go, hand that down.
(Hands his water to her, leaves podium for a bit, then returns)
Appreciate it if everybody would just say a
little prayer for that young lady.
America is a great
country, not because of our government, it’s because our founders
it a great country. (Applause) I love our tea partiers who raise
Constitution up. (Applause, Cheers) That Constitution which is
manual for America.
(Applause) But in that Constitution that they hold up, is another
that’s always printed there. It’s the Declaration of
The Declaration of Independence is the Why of America. It’s who we
are. We hear a lot of talk about American exceptionalism.
What does that mean? The Declaration tells us—We hold these
truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, and endowed by our
certain unalienable Rights, Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness. (Applause)
Our founders, our founders did something revolutionary with
that statement. You see prior to that time, where they came from,
not come from God to every individual. That’s not what those
believed. Rights came to the Sovereign, to the King, to the
government and then
the government would distribute the rights. They left those
they didn’t want a King to tell them what rights they had, because they
knew what rights they had from God. (Applause)
And in that Constitution they established a framework to do
one thing. If you’re going to sum up the mission of America, what
transformed the world, what made this the greatest country in the
the world, that in the 200 years of America—life expectancy doubled,
and in the
two thousand years previous it did nothing. Why? Because of
purpose of America
was to make sure that each and every person was free. That is the
purpose of America.
Ladies and gentleman, that is at stake now. More than it has
ever been, in the modern time. We are facing a time when we have
a group of people
led by President Obama who believes that America’s greatness is in
government, not its people. And there is one singular act, that
to me is the
lynchpin and that is Obamacare.
Obamacare does something that no other entitlement has ever
done and that is it obviously makes you buy something, but more
it’s the government for the first time is going to have its clutches to
create dependency on every single American. Not those on the
margins of life,
not those who are old or sick, but every single American now will be
to the government with an IV. And they will come to you every
time they want to do
more and say, well you want that IV, you want that health care, then
to give us more power.
Margaret Thatcher said this, after doing an assessment of her
time in Britain versus Reagan’s time. She said, “I was never able
in England what Reagan accomplished in America, and it was one thing
that stood in my way, the British National Health Care System.”
Why do you
think they worked so hard? Why do you think that they were
willing to break every
rule? Why do you think that they were willing to lose this
election? Why do you
think that they ignored the polls and jammed it down the throats of the
public? Why do you think they cared so much about passing this bill?
yells power) Power; because they knew they would get you.
Juan Williams said to me about a week after President Obama
decided to double down. I saw him in the green room. And I
said why are you
doing this? Here’s what he said. He said, "Let me tell you
Obama’s team is telling me." He said, “Americans love
and once we get them hooked, they will never let it go.” They want to hook you; they don’t want to free you.
They don’t want to give you opportunity; they don’t to believe in
you. They believe in themselves, the smart people, the planners,
the folks in Washington who can make
decisions better than you can.
Look at what they’re doing with Mediscare. They're saying to
seniors, you need to trust us, we are the ones who are going to
make decisions what every senior can have. We can’t trust seniors
make decisions. Did anybody ever look at the Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan?
The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan is exactly the model Paul Ryan is
We, quote “shoved that down the throats of the American public.”
we didn’t. We gave them a choice.
Seniors love the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and it’s
exactly what we’re proposing for Medicare, which is give people the
resources to go out and choose for themselves, what’s best for
Our founders knew, our founders knew that establishing
freedom, writing it in that document was the easy thing to do.
students of history and they realized, they knew the hard thing to do
maintain freedom over the course of time, over the course of leaders
try to sing that siren song to give up that freedom in exchange for
That’s another reason I am here in Somerset County at this time.
in Somerset County because just a few miles from here in Shanksville,
Pennsylvania, almost ten years now, a group of average Americans, a
salesman stood with his back against the wall and rallied and led
people—average Americans—to do what needed to be done, to save freedom
And on this day, D-Day, June 6th in 1944, almost 60,000
average Americans had the courage to go out and charge those beaches on
Normandy. To drop out of
airplanes, who knows where and take on the battle for freedom.
Americans, the very Americans that our government now and this
not trust to make a decision on your health care plan. Those
everything so they could make that decision on their health care plan.
We are facing enormous challenges today, although certainly
of a different kind. But they will test whether this generation
will keep faith
with those patriots and keep America
the greatest county in the history of the world.
Today across America
people are looking for a leader who is optimistic and who believes that
meet those challenges and that we can meet those challenges. That
we can keep
faith, not with big government, but with free people. (Applause)
In 2008 a wearied public, a troubled public from a
financial crisis, looked to a President, looked to elect a President
could believe in. And that President, President Obama took that leap,
that faith that the America
public gave him and wrecked our economy and centralized power in
and robbed people of their freedom. (Applause)
I believe now that Americans are not looking for someone
that they can believe in; they're looking for a President who believes
Fellow Americans, it is our watch, it is our time. It is our
time for all of us to step up and do what America requires us to
I’m ready to lead. I’m ready. (Applause) I’m ready to do
has to be done for the next generation, with the courage to fight for
with the courage to fight for America.
That’s why I’m announcing today that I’m
running for President of the United States. Join the fight, join