Election 2020

Santorum: Romney’s Attack Might Rally Some to Vote Against Trump

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the 2016 presidential race, said 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s attack on GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is not going to hurt the real estate mogul’s campaign but might rally some additional primary voters to support someone else.

“I don’t know how someone from the establishment attacking Donald Trump is going to hurt Donald Trump; that’s his whole point. If it can help rally some other people to support another candidate, I think that would be one of the positive things that might come out of it,” Santorum told PJM at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who has been a vocal critic of Trump, was asked if he thinks Trump is expanding the Republican Party based on the record turnout among GOP voters so far in the primary.

More than 8 million Republican voters came to the polls on Super Tuesday compare to 5 million in 2008.

Sasse said the record turnout consisted of both pro-Trump and anti-Trump voters.

“Yes and no,” Sasse responded. “He is a reality TV show candidate and I think America is in crisis, but that’s not a joke. And ultimately he is a larger than life personality. And again, I think he is a very smart guy and an extraordinary marketer. But the big turnout you are seeing is both pro-Trump and anti-Trump, so there are record numbers of people coming because of Donald Trump, but not just to be for him. They are coming for him and against him.”

Sasse has said he would not endorse Trump if he won the Republican nomination.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), who dropped out of the 2016 race, declined to respond to a question about Romney’s Trump speech.

In the interview with PJM, Santorum also commented on the $137 billion of improper payments the federal government made in 2015 alone. The cumulative total is $1.137 trillion since 2004. Medicare and Medicaid are responsible for the majority of the payments that should not have been issued.

Santorum was asked what the next president should do to address the problem.

“They should talk about how we are going to take Medicare and put it in the private sector system where if something like that happens you could take the company who is making those improper payments and sue them for those payments and get the money back. Now, who do you sue? Right?” he said. “Do you go after the government for doing those things? If it happens in the private sector then you can hold them accountable. If you keep it in the public sector, there is no accountability.”