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Watch: Santorum Struggles to Name Rubio’s U.S. Senate Accomplishments

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Thursday in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, was asked name any accomplishments of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the candidate he endorsed upon departing the race.

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Host Joe Scarborough repeatedly asked Santorum to name those accomplishments, to which Santorum called the query unfair given how government was divided between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, DC over his tenure as Florida’s junior senator.

Transcript as follows:

SCARBOROUGH: What — What — What do you list as Marco Rubio’s top accomplishment that made you decide to endorse him?

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, I would just say that this is a guy who’s been able to, No. 1, win a tough election in Florida and pull people together from a variety of different spots. This is a guy that I think can work together with people. That’s the thing I like about him the most, that he’s someone who brings people together. And at a time with — when there’s such divisiveness in Washington, I was looking for someone that can win this election and it wasn’t a divider, and I think that’s the problem I have with everybody else in the field.

SCARBOROUGH: So he can win, but he’s been in the Senate for four years. Can you name his top accomplishment in the Senate, actually working in the Senate doing something that tilted your decision to Marco Rubio?

SANTORUM: You know, here’s what I would say about that. My feeling on Marco is someone who has tremendous potential, tremendous gifts. If you look at being a minority in the United States Senate in a year where nothing got — four years where nothing got done, I guess it’s hard to say there are accomplishments. I mean, you tell me what happened during that four years that was accomplishment for anybody? I mean, it was a complete gridlock.

SCARBOROUGH: But —

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: Wait a minute.

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on, hold on.

BRZEZINSKI: This is — disturbing.

SCARBOROUGH: The Republicans have been in the majority for the past two years. Can you name one thing that he’s passed in the last two years?

SANTORUM: OK, Joe, look, the Republicans have been majority for one year and one month, of which, as you know, he was running for president primarily. The first four years he was in the minority and nothing got done. And by the way, what happened this year under the Republican that he is got done?

BRZEZINSKI: OK, so what’d he do in Florida?

SCARBOROUGH: Well, I can list some things that happened, but I’m not defending the Congress. I’m not being difficult here, I’m just asking you to name one accomplishment you think Marco Rubio —

SANTORUM: No, I’m just saying the problem is —

SCARBOROUGH: List one accomplishment, just one, just one, that Marco achieved. Maybe a bill that he wrote. Maybe a moment in the committee.

SANTORUM: All right.

BRZEZINSKI: Like, Jeb Bush ran Florida, Donald Trump built a company. Marco Rubio — finish the sentence.

SANTORUM: Yes, OK. Marco Rubio was, No. 1, the Speaker of the Florida House, which is not something that’s a minor deal. I mean, he was elected by his colleagues to be Speaker of the House. No. 2, you know, he spent four years in the United States Senate being frustrated like everybody else that nothing got done, and then you can’t point to him and say nothing got done and therefore he has no accomplishments. The problem is we have a president who doesn’t work with people.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, maybe he was for something.

SANTORUM: And you got no cooperation at all. So this is a bogus argument. You got a completely feckless Congress and you can’t say, well, he was there and therefore it’s his fault.

SCARBOROUGH: It’s actually not a bogus argument. All I’m asking is a simple question; I’ll ask it one more time. Don’t attack me, because we’ve been friends for a very long time.

SANTORUM: We have. And I’m not attacking you.

SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no. Let me ask the question one more time. List one accomplishment that Marco Rubio has achieved in four years in the United States Senate. It doesn’t even have to be a passed bill.

SANTORUM: Well, I know he included something that went after the insurance companies in the most recent omnibus. He fought for that, to stop bailing out insurance companies. That’s one thing I’m familiar that I just saw recently.

But — and again, he was on the campaign trail and accomplished that. The bottom line is there isn’t a lot of accomplishments, Joe, and I just don’t think it’s a fair question to say —

SCARBOROUGH: Can I ask you about you?

SANTORUM: — over the last four years where nothing has happened and then blame one person because he didn’t get accomplishments done. Neither did President Obama.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, I actually — you know what, Rick, through your ups and downs in the United States Senate, I can list several accomplishments that you have.

I want to ask you what happened — what in your campaign. We had you on early. You had a great message about blue-collar voters, reaching out to blue-collar voters, and I thought early on that you were going to be a guy to watch. And I actually tweeted yesterday I was mystified that you didn’t catch on in Iowa, because you’re every bit as effective or more effective in ’16 as you were ’12. What changed?

SANTORUM: The public changed. I think they’re looking not at someone with accomplishments and a track record, but someone who had a — who — considered someone who is an outsider, someone who could talk on the establishment, in the case of Trump and Cruz. And I think the case of Rubio he’s sort of anti-Trump and Cruz. Someone who looks like he has a, you know, a vision for this country that very much was like mine, which I appreciate. It’s the reason I’m endorsing him. I think his vision is very much in line with my vision and I’m looking for someone who can communicate that vision.

And let’s just be honest, he did a better job than I did. And I appreciate that and that’s why I’m joining the team. I think he’s someone who shares our values, my values, shares the values of working men and women. And, look, I — we’re going to work together and I’m going to make sure that we have a great team that can go to Washington, D.C., and get a lot of things done.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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