Former Pennsylvania Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Sunday that Donald Trump is resonating because he has rejected the GOP’s orthodoxy on trade.
On ABC’s This Week, Santorum said the “beauty of Donald Trump” is that he goes “against Republican orthodoxy” on issues like trade, which Santorum said has “been rejected a lot of Republican voters.”
He said “what Donald Trump is focused on is a policy of trade that looks after the interests of the American worker, not just the overall GDP numbers. And that is what is resonating.”
Santorum said that Democratic mayors all over Pennsylvania from areas that have been “decimated by trade policy” are showing up to Trump’s rallies and saying, “you know, this is someone we want to listen to.”
Santorum also did not accept host Martha Raddatz’s premise that manufacturing jobs cannot come back to America, pointing out that “manufacturing has made a little bit of a resurgence here in America. It could make even more if we have a level playing field in trade and we had good tax policy and regulatory policy.”
Santorum added that Trump has specifically mentioned “reducing the regulatory burden has this administration has put on our energy sector, our manufacturing sector.”
“He’s got a message that’s resonating with working men and women. And from Pennsylvania, all the way through the Rust Belt, all the way to Iowa, Minnesota, that message is going resonate,” Santorum said, predicting that he thinks “Donald Trump is going to surprise a lot of people.”
In Trump’s Pennsylvania speech on jobs and trade, Trump said the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which he has since said would continue the “rape of our country,” “would be the death blow for American manufacturing” and vowed to withdraw the United States from the agreement once he becomes President. He also slammed Clinton for referring to the deal as the “gold standard.” Trump argued that his staunch opposition to the deal “shamed” Clinton into opposing it during the primary season.