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EXCLUSIVE: Rick Santorum on John Boehner, Immigration, and the Pope

GOP presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) spoke exclusively to Breitbart News during Friday’s Values Voter Summit, reacting to the breaking news that House Speaker John Boehner resigned, slammed fellow GOP presidential candidates on immigration, and talked about Pope Francis.

Breitbart News asked Rick Santorum what he thinks America has to look forward to regarding the Congressional budget and if Planned Parenthood was defunded.

“It looks like we look forward to surrender,” Santorum answered. “Speaker Boehner looks like he has made a deal to move funding without stripping out Planned Parenthood. You have the leader of the Senate—Republican leader—saying he wasn’t going to shut down the government, so you have the leader of the House, leader of the Senate—Republican leadership—saying we’re not going to fight.”

Rick Santorum added that it’s “hard to organize a battle plan when your generals are saying no battle.”

He said that many people say they will fight, but when the time comes, “They don’t fight and win.” Adding, “One of the things I have a track record of is fighting and winning on pro-life issues.”

“I’m disappointed. In fact, sort of ticked off that we’re not even going to have a fight on this issue that is sitting there for us to have,” Santorum explained. “These Planned Parenthood videos are an opportunity to open up the world’s attention to the horror of abortion. And for me—if you elect me president, let me assure you, we will defund Planned Parenthood, and we will take this issue to the American public.”

Breitbart News brought up the increasing percent of the millennial generation identifying as pro-life.

“Here we have an issue that’s actually in sync with young people, and we’re not willing to fight,” Santorum said. “It’s very frustrating.”

Santorum explained that the Republican Party has chosen past candidates that “fit in with the establishment” and tell conservatives “don’t talk about these issues.”

“The bottom line is that we’ve nominated two people in the last two elections that decided to play defense on the issue of abortion, life, marriage and what did it get us?”

“We send someone out who can only play defense. Well, guess what? We’re not going to score any points and we’re not going to win any games, and that means you’re not going to win any elections,” Santorum challenged.

“I’m a pretty good quarterback of the offense on these issues,” he added, saying that is what America needs right now.

During Rick Santorum’s speech at the Values Voter Summit, he also discussed immigration in addition to Planned Parenthood.

“Immigration is one of the issues that cuts across and gives us an opportunity as Republicans to get voters who otherwise would not support us. And I’m excited about the opportunity to talk on immigration about how we help working men and women get better jobs in America,” Rick Santorum told Breitbart News.

He said the Republican Party has candidates in the race—Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who are for more legal immigration and want to double the number of legal immigrants.

“Senator Cruz wants to increase the number of H1B visas by 500 percent,” Santorum explained. “I mean, this is a program that right now is under scandal because we are bringing people in who are supposedly high-skilled workers—computer programmers—and they’re displacing American workers.”

“These are important issues that some of our candidates are on the wrong side of, and I think is a real impediment for us to be able to make the case to working men and women that we’re on their side,” he added.

Rick Santorum also discussed the Pope’s visit, saying that what Pope Francis is doing is a “beautiful and very wonderful thing.”

He said that the Pope is teaching Christian principles, such as the “obligation we have for our brother” and to “care for the poor.”

“All of those things are very much part of a Christian message that have strong appeal to those who don’t necessarily listen to a Christian message,” he explained.

Santorum said he doesn’t believe Pope Francis should be labeled a “lefty.”

“No, he wants to introduce people who don’t listen very much to what a Pope or any other religious leader says, to issues that they are in agreement with, but he’s weaving it into a broader theme of this is God’s plan for the earth and the world.”

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