Exclusive — Rick Santorum: Obama’s ‘Become a Little Bit of a Dictator,’ with Executive Amnesty

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina — In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention last weekend, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Republicans in Congress—particularly GOP leadership on Capitol Hill—have blown, at least thus far, the response to President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.

“The cromnibus was cleaning up a mess created by Harry Reid and Barack Obama and the divisiveness that occured,” Santorum said when asked about the cromnibus bill, and how Speaker John Boehner and then incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell provided funding for President Obama’s amnesty. Santorum added:

You’re not going to see anything pretty come out of the next two years. This president is going to go out there and be as divisive as he’s ever been and be as intransigent as he’s ever been. I think it’s important that we go out there and lay out what we’re for. We have a clean slate right now and we can do right now. But I can tell you the thing that I’m most upset about right now is not just the level of spending in the cromnibus, but the fact that we didn’t take on what I think was one of the greatest assaults on the Constitution that we have seen in the history of the country, which was President Obama’s executive order on amnesty. This was not just another executive order. This was not just another presidential power play. This was a major encroachment on the Constitution. If every president has the ability to change every law unilaterally, then we have eliminated the need for a Congress and potentially eliminated the need for a court.”

Santorum went on to say that Obama has become like a “dictator:”

The president has become a little bit of a dictator. For the Congress not to rise up in unison, and I’m not talking about just Republicans—I’m talking about Republicans and Democrats—I don’t know how you sit there as a, this should be a bipartisan issue because, you know what? If this becomes a precedent, then the next president is going to be in a situation where they’re saying ‘ok, now I have this precedence, am I either going to use it or only Democrats use it?’

Santorum, a former member of Senate GOP leadership for six years—he was number three in the Senate, under both McConnell, who was the GOP Whip at the time, and then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist—said Republicans should have ground the U.S. Congress to a halt when Obama did his executive order. Santorum said:

I was in the leadership of the United States Senate for six years. I will tell you what I would have been advocating had I been in that room in November-December of last year. I would have been advocating a complete shutdown of the United States Senate. I would have said we are doing nothing. We are approving nobody. We are passing no bills. We are doing nothing until the president backs down. I would have gone to the House and I would have said the same thing. The only way we are going to get the attention of the American public on this critical issue is to make it different than everything else we’ve ever done. I’m not talking about shutting down the government. I’m talking about shutting down. Shutting down, period. No nothing. Simply go out and say this is an abuse to liberty. This is an abuse that changes the nature of who we are as a people and we are not going to stand for it. Embarrass Democrats.

Santorum said that Republicans in Washington, however, failed to lead on this issue, as they have on many others:

What happens is what happens all the time. I got to tell you, I was on occasion a victim of it when I was in the Senate. You think well, ‘I’ve got all these things I’ve got to do and I’ve got all these important issues’ and of course you do. You get caught down and think you can’t just focus on this because of all sorts of other thing, so instead of realizing and being away from it, looking at it from outside of the beltway, you can see how significant this is. Being inside the beltway, you tend not to look at it that way. You tend to see your job, your thing that you’ve been working on that you want to get done, and you don’t realize that what this president just did was change the entire game. He’s just rewritten the rules of the country. All these little things you’re working on mean nothing after what he just did.

Santorum will speak this weekend, along with several other potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates, at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.


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