A Voice for Working Families in America — Senator Rick Santorum

A Voice for Working Families in America — Senator Rick Santorum

The Charles Mizrahi Show

A Voice for Working Families in America — Senator Rick Santorum

Listen on Apple Podcast

He’s fighting to restore America’s greatness … After a long, successful career in Washington, Senator Rick Santorum continues to advocate for blue-collar families — and America at large. This week, Senator Santorum joins host Charles Mizrahi to discuss draining the swamp, U.S. foreign policy and the 2024 presidential election.

Topics Discussed:

  • An Introduction to Senator Santorum (00:00:00)
  • America: A Safe Haven (00:07:46)
  • Recognizing the Truth (00:12:26)
  • Foreign Policy and Afghanistan (00:17:23)
  • Forgotten Horrors (00:26:41)
  • American Responsibility (00:33:15)
  • Sensibility in Midterm Elections (00:38:41)
  • The 2024 Ballot (00:50:00)
  • Upholding American Greatness (01:00:57)

Guest Bio:

During his time in Washington, Senator Rick Santorum was one of America’s leading government reformers, pro-life advocates and national security experts. After serving a four-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995, Santorum was elected to the U.S. Senate and represented Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007.

Today, Senator Santorum is a published author, advisor and chair to his grassroots organization, Patriot Voices. He’s also working with Convention of States to enact legislation that limits the power of the federal government.

Resources Mentioned:

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Read Transcript

RICK SANTORUM: America isn’t an ethnicity. It’s a set of principles. Here’s the most important thing that you have to understand: The left wants to change those principles. When they say “destroy America,” they want to change what America is. You cannot let that happen.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: My guest today is former Senator Rick Santorum. Rick served two terms in both the House of Representatives and Senate — representing the state of Pennsylvania. During his time in Washington, he gained a reputation as one of the nation’s leading government reformers, pro-life advocates and national security experts.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Rick and his wife, Karen, are also the co-authors of Bella’s Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I recently sat down with Rick, and we talked about why it’s so hard to drain the swamp, the problem with a weak U.S. foreign policy and his thoughts on the 2024 presidential election.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Senator Rick Santorum, thanks so much for being on the show. I greatly appreciate it. From the moment that I was told that you were going to be on the show, I was really excited. Because I have so many things I want to talk to you about.

RICK SANTORUM: Well, thank you. It’s a pleasure. And thanks for your great work for the cause. We appreciate it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Great, man. All right. Before our conversation, I learned that we have a very good mutual friend. And that’s Governor Huckabee. I saw you on The Huckabee Show. You were great. First of all, this guy is a statesman. He is such a good human being.

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah. Mike and I go way back. We were opponents. But he was the friendliest opponent that I’ve ever had in politics. Even though we were running at the same time in 2016, we commiserated a lot because we were going through the same things. In the Trump tornado, we were some of the things flying around in the air and hitting everything that was also flying in the air. So, it was a tough time.

RICK SANTORUM: But Mike is a salt of the Earth kind of guy. He’s a tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy. And as you said, he’s a terrific entertainer. He can really communicate because he’s a great storyteller. He’s got an entertainment flair to connect with people. That is rare in politics. So, he’s a great gift to our country.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And he’s genuine. He’s a genuine guy. He was over for lunch. We were in Florida, and we did some things together. He was the first guest on my show. I called him up and said: “Governor, I’d like you to be on the podcast.” I didn’t even have a podcast. I just had an idea. And he said: “Sure!” Thank God that it’s been successful since then. A large part has to do with him.

RICK SANTORUM: Good. I’m glad he gave you a good start. I hope I don’t end your career here.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: No, not at all. I waited for the heavy hitters before. So, don’t worry about it. You’re batting cleanup. I have so many things I want to talk to you about. But before we begin, how does a guy like you get into politics? We’re more or less the same age. We were born in the early 1960s. You were born…

RICK SANTORUM: I was born in 1958.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Right. So, I was born in 1962. That’s pretty close. We more or less grew up in the same time period. So, we saw the terrible years of Carter and inflation. We went through Richard Nixon. We both saw Reagan and the revolution that this country went through. And Washington was not a good place. How does a clean-cut guy like you — with Boy Scout looks — get into this game?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, I grew up in a somewhat unique environment. Both of my parents work for the Veterans Administration. And I was raised on post. You think of Army and Air Force brats moving from base to base. Well, back in the days when we were young, they were still VA posts. In other words, you had a veteran’s hospital. But you had families who worked there and lived on the post.

RICK SANTORUM: My parents met after the Korean War. But my father served in World War II, and my mom was a nurse. Long story short: They met, got married and raised a family on post. So, I lived the first 18 years of my life in public housing. I was around. My dad worked. My mom was a nurse at the VA. My dad worked with mental health patients. Obviously, PTSD wasn’t diagnosed back then. Drugs and alcohol — a lot of those things.

RICK SANTORUM: And so, I interacted with servicemen and women because I lived there. I didn’t realize it. Obviously, you’re young. That’s your only experience when you go on TV and see how people hated our men and women in uniform. For young people today, they find that hard to believe. But imagine police officers today. That’s how veterans were looked at when I was growing up. They were seen as dirty and corrupt.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: They were seen as “baby killers” after Vietnam. They were spit at. It was terrible.

RICK SANTORUM: Exactly. It was horrible. And here I was living on post and seeing these men and women — mostly men at that time. But these were great, heroic and wonderful people who were suffering so much from what they went through — whether it was physical or mental issues. And so, I was raised with the notion that our country was a great country, but there were people out there who I fought. And they were on the left.

RICK SANTORUM: I was raised a conservative — not because my parents were conservative. They were typical Americans. They weren’t political at all. But I was raised with the idea of loving our country because I had that experience with our veterans. And that sense of service — my dad was an immigrant to this country. He drummed in: “America is the greatest country in the world. You have to do what you can to protect, defend and serve America.”

RICK SANTORUM: And so, that was that experience. I became a Republican because the people who respected veterans were Republicans. The people who didn’t were the other side — not because of philosophy or anything else. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction of having grown up in it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: A few weeks ago, I had General Mari Eder on the show. She is one of the few female generals in the United States Army. She served for 37 years. We were talking about that. She joined in 1977. And I asked her: “How was it?” And she goes: “We were advised to not wear our uniforms in public. And in Europe, we were told not to go out alone because they were getting beat up.” That’s what our service people were going through at the time.

RICK SANTORUM: We forget. I mean it’s like forgetting 9/11. With every generation, if you didn’t live or experience it, it didn’t happen. That’s sort of where we are right now. And of course, you have people like Howard Zinn — who retell history. And then, we end up teaching that to our children. So, they don’t even understand what the real dividing lines are here in America, what made this country special and what we have to reclaim if it’s going to be special in the future.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Where did your father come from?

RICK SANTORUM: He was from northern Italy. My grandfather came here in 1923. Mussolini came to power. And he was very anti-fascist, so he pulled out of this beautiful, idyllic town on the shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy. It’s a tourist place. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. He had a job. Every time I tell people who are familiar with it, they ask: “Why would he ever leave there?” He didn’t want to live under fascism. He worked in the coal mines until he got his citizenship. And then, he brought the rest of the family over in 1930.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: My grandparents — from one side — came here from Russia in 1922. I loved history. And I used to speak to them a lot — especially my grandfather. I asked: “Why did you go?” And he said: “Charles, you don’t know what the czar was like. The czar is always terrible! We were promised utopia. It was even more horrible, and we were lucky to get out of there.”

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I remember this so vividly — especially since we’re Jewish. He said: “We were never allowed to vote. Always vote.” And he voted in every single election. He goes: “It’s my privilege to be in this country and vote. Never, ever take that for granted.” And my mom’s mom was the same way.

RICK SANTORUM: I know we have immigration issues here — particularly with the southern border — which are wrong, and we need to stop. But there is also something beautiful about having people come to this country from countries where there is fascism, socialism and totalitarianism and appreciate what we have. I think we have a lot of people in America today who don’t understand what they’re doing.

RICK SANTORUM: You now see the left wanting to increase the power of the government, establish speech codes and saying that speech is violence — and violence in defense of our principles of speech. Right? Those are the things that you see.

RICK SANTORUM: When I was growing up, the books we read were 1984 and Animal Farm. Those are the things that you look for in a government that is dishonest. They’re telling the people: “We can take care of everything. Just give us more power, and we’ll solve all problems.” That’s a lie. That’s just false. No government in the history of man has solved all problems.

RICK SANTORUM: America is great because we’ve had limited government. We allow people, markets and families to solve our problems — and don’t depend on someone else to do it. But that is always the siren song. And if anybody is singing it right now, it’s the progressives in Washington DC. They’re singing the siren song. Give us more money. Give us more power. Let us pass one more bill. Yeah, everything we did didn’t work, but that’s because we didn’t do enough. It’s not because it’s wrong. It’s just that we need more of it. And it’ll work if we get more of it.

RICK SANTORUM: Believe it or not people buy it. And we have to do a better job of telling the truth.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. I have two things that spring to mind. One is that I saw a study that showed 50% Fortune 500 CEOs are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Isn’t that amazing? Where else in the world does that happen? There’s no way.

RICK SANTORUM: A child of an immigrant ran for President of the United States. So, there you go. It doesn’t happen anywhere else. And that’s one of the great things about our country.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And No.2: They’re standing at the border. They’re digging tunnels. They’re taking row boats. They’re giving everything to come here — not to North Korea, Russia, China, Germany or England, but to the United States of America.

RICK SANTORUM: And it’s overwhelmingly people of color.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: This racist country, right? This racist country.

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah, this systemically racist country, right? This is a horrible country for people of color. And yet, Haitians are going through the jungle and risking death to come to this systemically racist country. The frustrating thing for me is that it’s so obviously true what we’re saying. And what the other side says is so obviously a lie. And yet, it seems hard for us to convince people of the truth. That’s a very disconcerting thing in America today. Recognition of truth is becoming more and more difficult for people.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I want to tell you my personal opinion on why I think that is. I was thinking about this last year when New York was burning. And socialism was even presented as a possibility that was better than capitalism. It was just a joke. That’s why I was on Governor Huckabee’s show in October of last year. We were talking about socialism versus capitalism. To even put them in the same sentence or even discuss that is ridiculous.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I think the reason is because sensible, logical and rational people left the universities. We handed it over to the liberals and the leftists, and we’re getting our comeuppance. Every society that wanted to take over, what did they do? They forgot about their parents. They went straight to the kids. You indoctrinate the kids, and you own them.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: During New York’s BLM riots, they were tearing down New York. They were all taking pictures and videos on iPhones! That was not created by a socialist government but by an entrepreneur in this country! And we’re such a bad place. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

RICK SANTORUM: I wrote a book back in 2004/2005 called It Takes a Family. It was in response to Hillary Clinton’s book It Takes a Village. I talk about what has happened over the past 50 years — and actually longer when it comes to higher education. You’re right. The left took over higher education. We went off and wanted to make money. And they packed the professorships and academia. Like it or not, most of the new leaders in our country over the past 40 and 50 years have all come through institutions of higher learning. And they’ve gone through that propaganda mill that is higher education.

RICK SANTORUM: That was the first thing to go down. The second thing to go down was Hollywood. Hollywood used to be a place that would enforce American values. It would do propaganda films in the 1940s and 1950s. And then, that changed. Hollywood has become as woke — or more so — as academia. I forget who said it, but someone said: “Give me the storytellers, and I will control your country in a generation.”

RICK SANTORUM: All of the storytellers — primarily in America today — are people who tell lies. They tell lies about culture, human sexuality and how markets, economies and the government work. And as I said before, they’ve been encapsulated by these two great institutions. Throw the news media on top of that — which is now completely a propaganda arm of the left. You ask: “Why can’t people recognize the truth?” Well, it’s because they’re lied to all of the time. And it’s hard. If what the norm is a lie, it’s hard to recognize the truth as it is.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Howard Zinn’s textbook is A People’s History of the United States. And Das Capital is taught in colleges as an alternative government — even though they just put aside one hundred million killed between Mao Tse-Tung and Stalin in the 20th century.

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah, they just did it wrong.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: To me, that’s arrogance. I think someone said that there were 42 cases of socialism practiced in the 20th and 21st century. All of them got it wrong. But we know how to do it right. It’s absolutely amazing.

RICK SANTORUM: It is arrogance. People ask me: “Why are you conservative?” And I say: “Conservatism is the recognition of looking back and seeing what the essence of human nature is and what works — and trying to keep that in place so the next generation has an opportunity to have things work well for them.”

RICK SANTORUM: I would say conservatism isn’t an ideology. It’s a practical guide to understanding the essence of human nature and how government and media institutions work with the individual and family. And it’s about constructing a system that has proven to be the most successful in giving people and families the best opportunities to succeed and be happy. That’s what conservatism is. It’s nothing more than that.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah, that’s a good definition. I like that. So, let me get right to it. You were in Congress. You were in the Senate. You were part of the swamp. You were part of the Legislature. You were part of Washington. You know how things work there.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Now, I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood. My father was a warehouse manager. Two doors away from me was a sanitation worker. Across the street was a schoolteacher. We were the salt of the Earth kind of people. There were truck drivers. And on hot summer nights, we used to sit on someone’s stoop. The men would drink beer, and kids would have iced tea. They made every problem that New York and the government were going through — they took these complex, so-called problems, and they solved them. It was simple, and it made all the sense in the world.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: The reason I bring that up is because we recently saw the Afghanistan retreat. I had Ambassador John Bolton on. I couldn’t think of the word. He goes: “No, it was a retreat. We retreated.” First of all, you don’t put a line in the sand, say “August 31st” and box yourself into a corner. Secondly, you don’t take the troops out without telling your allies and getting everything in place. These are simple things that someone sitting on a stoop in Brooklyn, New York can figure out. Why the heck can’t Washington?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, I don’t think that they couldn’t figure it out. It’s about what your objective is. And Joe Biden’s objective was to keep a political promise and do so with no American casualties. He didn’t care whether or not the Taliban took over. He didn’t care what happened in Afghanistan — as long as he could get his political win. You have to understand that I’ve seen this with the left for as long as I can remember. They don’t care about what’s going on around the world. If they did, the left — which is in favor of women’s rights — would be protesting what’s going on in Islamic countries or Africa. But they don’t. Why? Because all they care about is themselves.

RICK SANTORUM: Let’s understand this. Joe Biden cares about himself. He cares about his own political future. And so, what he did was put together a plan that he thought would give him minimal risk and maximal benefit. I win. We get out. I can say we got out. We didn’t lose any troops. And by the way, the thing that I’m most concerned about is not getting out of Afghanistan — other than to keep a promise.

RICK SANTORUM: But by getting that political capital from getting out and not having anybody killed — if you take all your troops out before the Taliban is anywhere near you, you’re not going to get anybody killed. And so, that’s what he decided to do. The generals said: “Wait a minute, you’re going to have all this mess.” I don’t care. That’s their problem — not mine.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Let me interrupt you for a second. I can’t wrap my head around this. You’re talking about a guy who’s been in government for more than 40 years. He’s not a stupid man. Because he’s in that position. I have to give him some credibility. You don’t just fall into that position. He has his political savviness. You’re telling me it’s that simple?

RICK SANTORUM: There’s a combination of things. I can get in deeper. Bob Gates said this, and I always did [too]. And he’s been quoted often for saying this. But I have to tell you: I said it many times before Bob Gates ever said it. I served with Joe. I served with him for many years. And I saw him. I battled with Joe on national security many times.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Tell us what Bob Gates said.

RICK SANTORUM: Bob Gates said that Joe Biden has the most experience of any president — or vice president at the time — in history. And he’s been wrong every single time on national security. And it’s true. Every single time. There isn’t one case where he got it right. So here is Joe Biden thinking: “Well, it won’t matter.” Because again, he doesn’t understand. I think you give him too much credit for knowledge. I think he’s someone who only looks at what the impact is on his ability to get bills passed. He’s got these two bills.

RICK SANTORUM: Remember, this was August. September was when they were coming back into session. They were going to start dealing with the infrastructure and social welfare bills. And he wanted to win so he could have the wind at his back and get Democrats to push through five, six or seven trillion dollars in new spending and create a socialist republic in the United States. That’s what his objective was.

RICK SANTORUM: As the old saying goes in the military: “You have a plan, but the enemy has a vote.” And in this case, our ally has a vote. And the ally and enemy both did things that turned out to be devastating. And, by the way, it’s not unpredictable. Anybody with a brain should have figured it out. Most of the military advised the President not to do this. But again, he didn’t care because he didn’t think anyone would get hurt.

RICK SANTORUM: And let’s be honest. If there was a way for him to get people out without having to send the troops back — if we left a few Americans behind…

RICK SANTORUM: As you can see, we’ve left Americans behind. And the media has moved on. There’s no hue and cry about the fact that there are Americans still in Afghanistan. That he figured right. But what he figured wrong was that no one would get out. He figured we’d have a few weeks or months. By then, the people would be afraid, and they’d get out. And yeah, there’d be some Americans who were mad. But the media is on my side. No one would pay attention. And I’d have a big win.

RICK SANTORUM: The problem is that things moved faster than he thought they would. And he got caught with having to put troops back. And that’s where things turned into a mess. Once you send troops back, the media has to cover it. They didn’t want to cover it. Let me assure you: CNN, MSNBC and CBS didn’t want to cover what was going on in Afghanistan. They had to because there was a mess unfolding in front of them. And as soon as they could stop covering it, they did.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah, I’m sorry to say that you’re right. You sort of disappear off the faces of the paper. Just today, I saw that the interpreter — the translator who saved him — got out. The fact that this person had to beg and plead to get out after so long — two months later or so — was sad. It’s nothing more than that. It just sad.

RICK SANTORUM: I hate to say this, but I was working with people during this time. And I’m still working with folks to try and get people out of Afghanistan. The one thing I heard over and over again was our government was the greatest. It wasn’t the Taliban that was the problem. It was our government. And again, you go back to the fact that they never prepared. I hate to say they didn’t care. But they didn’t do what was necessary to make sure that these people — who were going to be killed by the Taliban or other groups in Afghanistan for what they did in supporting America or by converting to Christianity. Whatever vulnerable group it was, they didn’t care. And the bottom line is that the media wasn’t going to make them care. They weren’t going to cover any of this — and they’re not covering it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: At the time, I saw that the Wall Street Journal and New York Post were covering the soccer team. The Wall Street Journal was giving a play-by-play of the Afghan girls soccer team that was able to get out. It was harrowing. They went through sewers. People were killed. It was horrible. The females who were judges, lawyers and musicians — and the young 17-year-old kid fell off an American airplane. He wanted to play soccer. You’re really telling me that he didn’t care?

RICK SANTORUM: No. What would give you the impression that he did? Look at his speeches throughout the whole time. He was emotionally checked out. He did not care one bit. He cared to survive. That’s what he cared about. He wanted to survive because he needs to be a transformative president. He needs to show Barack Obama that he isn’t an idiot and can actually do things. This was just a bump in the road. And if you cared, then you would actually have to do something about it. He obviously didn’t do anything about it — and he won’t do anything about it.

RICK SANTORUM: Afghanistan is over. It’s a non-story. He’ll never talk about it again. If the Taliban raises his head up — or if whatever group within Afghanistan starts to project power — we’ll do a drone attack and kill some allies of ours. We’ll claim victory, and the media will ignore it. That’s just the way it goes.

RICK SANTORUM: When I was in Congress, I thought: “How easy it is to be someone on the other side.” I can understand the attraction. It’s so easy to be a person on the left because you’re not held accountable for anything you say or do. The media will always cover for you — unless you become a liability in some way. They’ll always take care of you. With everything you want to do, you’re going to have a band out there.

RICK SANTORUM: They’re trumpeting what you want to do because it centralizes more power in the government. And because of that, it gives the national media more power. Because if all the power is in Washington, and you’re the people communicating to the American public about what goes on in that city, then you are just as powerful as the government.

RICK SANTORUM: And again, when it comes to the left, there’s only one word you have to understand. One word. Everything else doesn’t matter. “Power.” That’s all that matters. They believe that they are the people who should have all the power because they’re the ones who will do what’s right and good for America.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: During the Trump administration, someone I know said that the Democrats, liberals and leftists were the “adults in the room.” What’s even crazier is that they actually believe this crap. And you know, where was the squad? Where was the outcry when ladies who weren’t wearing burqas were shot in the face or had acid spilled on them? But when it comes to demonizing Israel — a democracy. And they’re voting against the Iron Dome — a defensive weapon that prevents the slaughter of men, women, children, Arabs, Christians and Jews in Israel. They’re against it.

RICK SANTORUM: It’s because Israel shares our values. They share these ideas of Western democracies. And these people are against those values. They find them to be oppressive. They find them to be bigoted. Just go down the list of their crimes against humanity. So, if you are an ally of America, you are the problem. And we need to oppose you.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. I think it would be crazy if you told me this a year and a half ago. I’d say you’re a little off the deep end. You’re one of those…

RICK SANTORUM: I’ve been saying this for 20 years, and people have said that to me. I remember that, when I wrote the book, people said: “You’re just exaggerating. You’re crazy. You’re one of these right-wing nuts.”

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah.

RICK SANTORUM: I’ve had people read the book and say: “Yeah, you were not only right, but you actually didn’t go far enough. It’s actually even worse than what you said it was going to be.” And again, I was considered a kook when I wrote it. But it’s obvious. And part of the reason that it was obvious is — No.1: All you have to do is look at history and what happens to countries that head down the path that we were headed. But also, I served with these people. I know what they believed.

RICK SANTORUM: The idea that Barack Obama or Joe Biden believe what they believe now — and they believed something different 20 years ago. No, they didn’t. Twenty years ago, they believed what they believe today — and what you’re hearing today. They just knew that they couldn’t say it 20 years ago. They knew that the public wasn’t ready to hear what they believed, so they said what they had to say. They even voted the way they felt they had to vote. Oh yes, I support the institution of marriage — until I don’t and can admit that I never did. And this is how I always felt, but I couldn’t say it back then because I wouldn’t have gotten elected.

RICK SANTORUM: So, again, if you understand that the hard left in America actually represents the Democratic Party and has for a long time — particularly those in elected office. I’m not saying those in the American public. But I’m saying the folks who take the time and energy to win elective office in the Democratic Party — and who are successful — are hardcore leftists and have been for a long time.

RICK SANTORUM: And, again, you didn’t hear it. You have a few honest leftists like Bernie Sanders. I always have a lot of respect for Bernie Sanders. It’s not because I think he’s right. I think he’s absolutely crazy. But I gave Bernie Sanders credit because he was willing to admit what he actually believed. And everyone else would agree with Sanders but would never admit it because you couldn’t be a socialist and get elected in America — until the Soviet Union fell. Once the Soviet Union fell — and the boogie man who was always there to remind the American public about how bad socialism was — within a generation, people forgot what it was. They forgot what happened there.

RICK SANTORUM: There’s no longer a constant presence of how horrible socialism is in the minds of the American public. And guess what? Now, you can go and recast socialism into something that’s nice, warm, cuddly and teddy-bearish and turn it into a new thing. We can do it better. We’ll do it differently. And we can now be honest about what we’ve always believed but never would admit because it wasn’t popular to do so.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: A few years ago, when Bernie Sanders came out with his announcement that he was going to run for president, he did it in the apartment building — in Brooklyn — where he was born. It’s where he grew up. And one of my sons happened to be by a friend’s apartment — who happened to be in that same building. He stuck his head out the window and saw the U.S. Secret Service and Bernie Sanders. And he sees a group of Russian Jews — because Russian Jews mostly live in Brighton Beach. He sees them shouting at Bernie Sanders: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. We lived under communism.”.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: My son then asked me: “What’s going on?” And I said: “Jeff, these people actually lived what this guy wants to have here. They know how evil it is, and he’s just not getting it.” You’re right. Here’s a guy who took his honeymoon in Moscow. And then we have de Blasio — who took his honeymoon in Havana, Cuba. You’re right. They’re showing their true colors. They always told us what they are. It’s all these other ones who are coming out and joining the bandwagon of what they always felt.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: What gets me is this so-called “squad” — which cares so much about rights for everybody. Dennis Prager was on the show a while back. He’s a guy with courage. He was talking about this for 30 years on his show. And I said: “Dennis, maybe I’m getting this wrong here. Tell me what the left’s goal is.” And he said: “The destruction of the United States.” Maybe I was a little naive. I didn’t want to believe it. But as time goes on, my goodness, it continues to crystalize.

RICK SANTORUM: Well, you have to understand what he means by the destruction of the United States. There will still be a United States. It just won’t be the United States that we know.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah, that’s right.

RICK SANTORUM: The country will still be here in some form or fashion, but it won’t be the country we know. You could make the argument that it is not the country that we were born into. It’s something that I’ve given a lot of speeches [about] lately. And I’ve had pretty frank discussions with the folks that I’ve been talking to. I’ve said: “When you and I were born, it was the greatest country in the world — maybe the greatest country in the history of the world.” We were at the zenith of American power and influence. And we were a country that was good and moral.

RICK SANTORUM: Now, did we have problems? We did. And in fact, the 1960s was actually a terrific time for dealing with that vestige of discrimination and systemic racism that certainly was in many areas across this country. And so, the civil rights movement actually showed America at its greatest — in my opinion. Martin Luther King was a pastor. If you look at the people who were involved in the civil rights movement, they were people of faith.

RICK SANTORUM: Who was marching with Martin Luther King? Rabbis. Jewish leaders. You saw people of faith standing up there, and they had the freedom to do it. Now, obviously, in the south, they didn’t have the freedom to do it. But the rest of the country saw and condemned it. And they were obviously successful.

RICK SANTORUM: You have to look at that time in America when the best of us came forward and stood up for injustice and our founding principles. All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with inalienable rights. That’s what the civil rights movement was about, and that’s what America’s been about. We weren’t perfect, but we kept trying to get better and better. And once we were sort of at the zenith of that, that’s when things seemed to come off the rails.

RICK SANTORUM: So, just when you were at the height of what you thought was the great American moment — we were a world power. We stood against communism and the all-powerful totalitarian state. We stood up for the little guy, the underprivileged and freedom. That’s when things turned. That’s when we started to turn on ourselves.

RICK SANTORUM: It’s been sort of a tragic story over the last 50 years. We’ve seen this cultural revolution that’s occurred in our country. And here’s what I say to people who are our age. People ask: “How did it happen?” And I always answer in the same way. I say: “Go look in the mirror. It happened because you let it happen. We were here.” I can’t say: “Well, someone else was…”

RICK SANTORUM: No. I was here. I was in charge — if you will. We all were. We were in charge of our families. We were in charge of our community. We were in charge of our businesses. We were in charge of our friends. We all had relationships, and we didn’t do what the other side did. The other side had a passion to change. It had a passion to tear this country out by its roots and make a new country. We were keenly fat, dumb and happy. We thought: “We’re the greatest country. Let all these people do what they’re doing. It’s not going to change what America is. Let these crazy people say what they want to say. They’re just crazy.”

RICK SANTORUM: They’re not crazy anymore. Bernie Sanders was crazy. But now, he’s the leader of the Democratic Party, and nobody says he’s crazy anymore. And that’s because we sat there and didn’t fight. I can tell you about issue after issue where we capitulated — even before we tried to fight.

RICK SANTORUM: What I would say to your listeners is: We all have a responsibility. As Ronald Reagan said: “Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.” We’re that generation, folks. We’re living it. And if you want to continue to go down in the history of America — it’ll be rewritten — as the generation that lost this country and last, best hope for the world, go ahead. Sit at home, play video games and do your thing. Make sure you take care of yourself, and don’t worry about the rest of the world. But you’re not only going to have to answer to history but to your children and grandchildren about what we’ve done.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: You know what gives me hope? It’s Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. They’re self-destructing. Every revolution feeds upon itself, and they are going to start feeding upon themselves now. Sensible people have another shot in 2022 — the midterm elections.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I was on a talk show a couple of weeks ago. They were asking me about finance and this and that. Where are interest rates going? Where is the economy going? It’s one thing. We have 2022. It’s less than a year away. It’s our responsibility to put sensible, fiscally-responsible people in office. If we don’t, shame on us. So, we have that opportunity a short time away.

RICK SANTORUM: I live in Virginia. And here in Virginia, we have an opportunity in 2021 — in a few weeks — to have a governor’s race. That will be a bellwether if a Republican can win the governorship. And the Republicans can take back control of the House of Delegates here in Virginia.

RICK SANTORUM: So, yeah, there’s always an election. But one of the things I think we do — as conservatives — is just worry about elections and let the rest of the culture drift into oblivion. We can’t do that. You can’t elect woke capitalism. You can’t let universities continue to lie to our children and indoctrinate the next generation. You can’t let the propagandists on the national media get away with it. You can’t support these folks. You have to go out and resist. And resistance means supporting businesses and organizations. Start your own. But fight back against all those tourists.

RICK SANTORUM: When you go to work, don’t put up with the crap. And you say: “Well, you could be fired.” Try firing you now. There are not a whole lot of people looking for your job right now. This is a good time to say: “You know what? If you’re going to play this game, I’ll go find a job somewhere else.” At some point, people have to say: “I’m mad as hell. I’m not going to take it anymore.” And they have to make sacrifices. That’s the thing. Everyone says: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” And then, you go to work for Google. Well, no. Don’t go to work for Google. Or if you do go to work for Google, don’t do what Google wants you to do and comply with their woke-ism.

RICK SANTORUM: The other side did this for decades. They were the grease. They were the cog in the works — making trouble and causing problems. We don’t do that. We say: “I’ll keep my head down. I want to keep my job. I have a family.” Yeah, I get it. But what’s that family going to be growing up in America if you don’t stand up for the truth? What are they going to learn from you if they learn that you just go along with whatever your pastor says — who you know is not telling the truth about this new way of looking at culture, business, community or your school board.

RICK SANTORUM: At some point, freedom dies because people don’t stand up for freedom. There’s no freedom that has ever existed that didn’t come with sacrifice. It’s not a naturally-occurring thing in humanity.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah, point well taken. You have to stand up and be counted. It’s difficult. It’s easy to do the right thing when there’s not much on the line. But when it’s your money, family or position on the line, doing the right thing is a hard thing to do.

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah, it is. We have a society right now where — because of these things right here — everybody wants to be liked. They want people to say nice things about him and think they’re great. No one wants to be shunned on social media or spoken badly about. Being famous and being liked are the most important qualities. It’s not the most important thing. Having the world love you should not be your goal in life. Being one of the people who helped save this country should be a lot more important than that.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: You know what else concerns me? You sat next to him, and you know a lot more than the average person. Joe Biden’s foreign policy. Is there a foreign policy? What’s the game plan?

RICK SANTORUM: If you go back to what Dennis Prager said about destroying America, one of the ways you destroy it is destroying its credibility around the world. And if America is not seen as a force for good — and right now, I don’t think we are — then we have no responsibilities. And if we have no responsibilities — if no one is looking at us…

RICK SANTORUM: This is one of my concerns with the American right. We see this increasing movement on the right to say: “It’s not our job to be the leaders of the free world. It’s not our responsibility to be the policemen.” I don’t know of anywhere where we’re policing anything. In every place we are, we’re there for our own national security interests. We’re there because that helps keep us safe.

RICK SANTORUM: And by the way, the police keep us safe. Policing is a dangerous job. But it’s not the most dangerous world. Being out there and stopping crime from happening actually is fairly safe — as opposed to being involved in active wars. That’s very unsafe. And so, we can withdraw — which is what we’ve seen from this administration. But you’re going to end up paying a heavier price for not being there and keeping the peace.

RICK SANTORUM: The defund the police movement — the analogies are incredible. Pull the police out of a neighborhood. What happens to the neighborhood? It’s not a place you want to go into, and people get hurt. And that doesn’t just stay in the neighborhood. People outside the neighborhood get hurt.

RICK SANTORUM: That’s sort of the same thing. We’re in a neighborhood. You can either stay in the neighborhood where you know things are problems — and keep a presence there to make sure that you’re keeping a lid on them — or you can pull out. That’s what the left seems to love to do — and unfortunately, some on the right. You end up with a bigger problem than you had in the first place.

RICK SANTORUM: To answer your question directly, Joe Biden and the left’s idea is to discredit America around the world and relieve us of our responsibilities to have any expenditure of funds. So, we can take those funds and buy more votes here in the United States. This is the lens. Look at any Democratic campaign commercial. Every Democratic campaign commercial is trying to buy you. They’re saying: “We’re going to tax somebody else, and we’re going to give you a whole bunch of stuff.” Do people really believe this?

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yes.

RICK SANTORUM: Does anyone really believe that there is a Santa Claus? If you just give the government a little bit more money — five trillion dollars isn’t enough. We need six. But if you give us that six, then everything will be OK. The idea that people believe this — if you give them more money, your life’s going to be better. I hate to say it, but it has worked. It works. If you promise something for nothing, there are a lot of people out there who are willing to take it.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. I’ve seen that in the last year. I’ve seen people. This is great. I get a check every week or month not to work. Government loans. It was great.

RICK SANTORUM: Did you ever ask them? Are they happy?

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Happy? I don’t know if they’re happy. But I always ask them: “Where do you think they’re going to get this money from? We’re just going to see this in taxes. You’re eventually going to have to face the man and pay it back. And it’s us who are going to be paying it back.”

RICK SANTORUM: I agree with all that. But the problem with that argument is that it requires looking into the future and making moral judgments. Whereas, I think the simpler thing is: “How’s this working out for you? Are you happy? Does the fact that you’re staying home, not working, someone’s paying you and you’re being taken care of make you happy? Do you feel fulfilled? Do you feel like your life is meaningful?”

RICK SANTORUM: You need to ask that question because the answer is obvious. Look at the rates of depression and mental illness — and the tremendous unhappiness — that we have in this country. Arthur Brooks is a friend. He wrote this nice little book. I encourage you to read it. It’s about earned success. People, in order to feel happy, have to feel a sense of accomplishment. We aren’t just people who [think]: “Give us our food. Give us our drugs so we can just exist.” And all of the sudden, we’ll feel good about that. No one feels good about that.

RICK SANTORUM: You can say: “Well, it’s easier.” But I don’t think people are happy. They may exist. But we’re meant to do more. We’re meant to interact. We’re meant to achieve things and be our best selves. What the Democrats are proposing is not that. They’re proposing dependency — a reliance on someone outside of yourself for your own well-being. And that’s a dangerous course.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I think it was President Eisenhower who said: “You can get three meals and a cot in prison, but you were made for much more than that.” I think you hit it on the head when you said “exist.” I think if you ask people if they’re happy or not, that’s a choice. But the thing is they’re existing. You’re getting food on your table. You’re getting rent. But this country didn’t become what it was by people who just wanted to exist.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: My grandparents came here with nothing — just the clothes on their backs. And they built. And it was a sense of accomplishment to build for the next generation. It’s just amazing. All the technological innovation. The biggest companies are all here. Why are they here? It works. This system works. And we’re trying to snuff it out. It’s sad.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: All right, so you have to make me happy here. So, 2024: What does that look like to you?

RICK SANTORUM: At this point, I really don’t think it matters whether or not the Democrats pass something. The President thinks he has to pass this infrastructure bill, and he has to pass this other bill. And if he does that, everything will be better.

RICK SANTORUM: I think the worst thing that can happen to the Democrats is that they actually pass these things. Because if they pass these things, what’s going to happen is you’re going to see inflation take off even more. And for whatever benefits they’re going to throw at people — because the amount of money they’re spending is going to be less. They’re going to have to phase in their programs.

RICK SANTORUM: People aren’t going to see or recognize it. Certainly, by 2022, they’re not going to have any idea what the Democrats “did for them.” It’s temporary. It’s fleeting. What isn’t fleeting is going to the grocery store and seeing the prices of eggs or milk go up.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Try to go buy a car. Try to go buy a house.

RICK SANTORUM: My daughter — bless her heart — just bought a car. She had two or three cars to choose from. There aren’t any cars. She basically had to pay the list price. They knocked $1,000 off. They just did it because, if you negotiate, they have to give you something. Otherwise, you’re not going to buy it. But she paid top dollar for a car. She’s married. She’s searching for a home. People are paying more than what they’re listing. It’s insane! And if you think that continuation — inflation is going up. It hurts energy.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: The New York Post had a front-page article the other day that the present inflation is costing the average American — not the rich class or the 1% — $175 a month. And that’s not including New York. It’s costing much more. Come to New York and see what grocery prices are. Rent and houses. It’s absolutely staggering.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Just to give you a quick example: Right before the summer, I got a Tesla. And my son said: “You have to get one of these electrical boxes so you can charge the car.” I called up an electrician, and it so happens that it’s probably the most expensive thing. He said that my electric box was on the other side of the house, so he had to bring a part…

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Anyway, he said: “That’s $2,200.” And I said: “Wow. Could we negotiate that?” He goes: “Yeah. Next week, it’s going to be $2,600 because copper prices are going up.” So, I said to my kids: “This is what happened in the 1970s. This is what happened under Carter. Whatever price you paid, you were happy because tomorrow it was going to go up. You don’t know what kind of existence that is. It’s terrible!”

RICK SANTORUM: And energy is even worse because for low- and moderate-income people, energy is a huge part…

CHARLES MIZRAHI: They’re getting killed.

RICK SANTORUM: They’re getting killed right now.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: And we didn’t hit winter yet!

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t think what the Democrats do matters. I think their goose is cooked. The only way we could mess it up is if Republicans somehow do what the Democrats do — overplay their hand or do something really stupid like cave on a debt extension bill.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I don’t think that’s going to happen. But here’s what I’m seeing. And you know much more than this. If President Trump decides to run again, how do you see that playing out? He’s making every indication that he is going to run again.

RICK SANTORUM: Whether he’s running or not, he has to say he’s running — or at least give every indication that he’s running. If he gives an indication that he’s not running, he becomes less relevant. And if there’s one thing Donald Trump does not like to be, it’s less relevant.

RICK SANTORUM: So, whether he runs or not, I don’t know. I think that, right now, I would say the chances are probably 51 to 49 that he does run. But let’s wait and see. A lot of things could happen. And 2022 could be a good year. You could see a lot of gubernatorial candidates — guys like Ron DeSantis and others who are up for election. They could come off a really strong election and be in a good position.

RICK SANTORUM: Trump brings a lot of positives in the sense that he’s someone who put forth a strong agenda that was pro-growth. He’s the one who tackled COVID-19, got the Operation Warp Speed and did amazing things. We can tell the truth — not what the media is telling people right now as far as Joe Biden solving COVID.

RICK SANTORUM: Whether or not Donald Trump’s runs — whoever wins the Republican primary is going to create a clear choice. We’re not going to nominate John McCain. We’re not going to nominate Mitt Romney. We’re going to nominate someone who’s going to provide a clear alternative to whoever the other side is.

RICK SANTORUM: This is what I’d say to President Trump: “In a sense, you’ve won already. Because whoever the nominee is, they’re going to be more like you than John McCain.” That’s a win for the country, in my opinion. It’s a win for the party. I would say to him that he does need to run. Unlike DeSantis or Kristi Noem — there are a lot of folks out there who are thinking of running. And they’re mostly governors, by the way.

RICK SANTORUM: We’re going to have a strong, principled candidate who, because of Trump’s influence on the party, is going to end up winning the nomination. And they won’t have the baggage that Donald Trump has. I voted for Donald Trump. I support Donald Trump. But Donald Trump has a lot of issues that drive away a lot of voters. But his policies don’t. And a modulating style would not. So, we’ll wait and see what he does. But either way, I would make the argument that Trump is going to be on the ballot in one form or another.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: It’s the Republicans’ game to lose. That’s it. It’ll play out.

RICK SANTORUM: I don’t know who the Democratic candidate is going to be. I don’t think it’s going to be Joe Biden. I’m not even sure he’s going to make it through the four years. And it certainly won’t be Kamala Harris. She’s less popular than Biden.

RICK SANTORUM: They’ll come up with someone else. But here’s the beautiful thing. Whoever they come up with — whether they’re moderate or conservative — it won’t matter. It’s going very clear. Whoever the Democrats put forward — they put forward their most moderate candidate, and he turned out to be left of Bernie Sanders. So, the idea that the Democratic Party can hide who it is from the American public — that day is over, and that’s a good thing.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: I totally agree with you. Fool me once, maybe. But you don’t fool the American people twice. This country is built on a lot of pragmatic thinking. We might get it wrong every now and then — like you mentioned about race — but the greatness of this country is that it’s a self-correcting nation. We had slavery. Women weren’t allowed to vote!

CHARLES MIZRAHI: We do get it right more often than we get it wrong. And when we are wrong, we work to get it right. And that’s really the greatness of this country. Here in New York, before you had Giuliani and Bloomberg, you had Dinkins. Now, de Blasio is going to give the next governor a good stretch because we saw the progressive side, and we saw that it doesn’t work. It’s just terrible.

RICK SANTORUM: It’d be great. That would be a huge turn of events if someone like Lee Zeldin could win the governorship in New York. Those are the kinds of big changes that could make a difference in 2022 and 2024.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Looking forward, you can’t find them. But looking back, you’ll say: “Oh, that was it?” And it’ll probably be something inconsequential that we’re not even talking about. And it’s not even on the radar. It’s going to be a turning event that no one saw or predicted. But we’re going to say “that’s it” because that’s the way politics works.

RICK SANTORUM: Yeah. And I would say one more thing. It’s just a reminder that we’ve had backlashes before. We had a backlash in 2010 to Barack Obama and Obamacare. But if we aren’t prepared for two things — No.1 to govern after those backlashes. I look back at 1994. That was the first revolution. It was the first time — in 40 years — that the Republicans won the House of Representatives. We won the United States Senate. I was part of a group of nine senators. We had a ten-vote majority. We had 55 Republican senators.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: How old were you when that happened?

RICK SANTORUM: I was 36.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: You were 36? That’s crazy. Looking back, isn’t that amazing?

RICK SANTORUM: I always say that I’m the most blessed man that I’ve ever met.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Holy smokes. That’s crazy.

RICK SANTORUM: I was in the House when I was 32, and I got elected to the Senate when I was 36.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Wow!

RICK SANTORUM: But here’s the difference: We governed. Even though we had a Democratic president, we governed. We passed welfare reform. We passed some tax changes. We ended up balancing the budget. We pushed conservative policies that we campaigned on.

RICK SANTORUM: And what happened after 2010 is that we couldn’t govern. Obama wasn’t going to help. And when we finally got back in control in 2016, we didn’t govern because we weren’t prepared. We allowed Obamacare to stay in the books. We couldn’t come to an agreement. We couldn’t get our act together and govern.

RICK SANTORUM: We had a small majority, but we had a majority that could have done something. We did nothing. And that’s very important. We have to learn that, if we’re successful in 2022, we won’t be able to govern. President Biden will block everything. But if we do what we did in 2016 — which is to win the White House back in 2024 — we better be ready to govern. We had better be ready to show the American public that we can bring both sides together and get some things that the public would like to see done.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. Great point. All right, Senator Rick Santorum, thank you so much. I loved it. I could speak to you for hours here. You give me some hope, and I love you for that.

RICK SANTORUM: I know that you have it. But what I want to give your listeners is: America is the greatest country in the world. Most countries that get to this point in their evolutionary cycles decline and fail. I am not one who believes that America is going to follow the course of every other civilization in the history of man. We’re different from any other civilization in history. No country was founded on our principles. All of these countries [that came] before were basically authoritarian regimes. They were governed by kings and emperors. There was no commonality. There was no common…

CHARLES MIZRAHI: There was no common cause.

RICK SANTORUM: I would say America is not an ethnicity. You’re a hyphenated American, right? America is about believing in a sense of values and principles. That’s what makes us Americans. People come here and become Americans. You can go to Russia, and you’re not going to become a Russian.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Go to Sweden. It’ll take years. Look at Japan. These countries take decades. You can’t do it.

RICK SANTORUM: But you can come to America and be an American.

RICK SANTORUM: America isn’t an ethnicity. It’s a set of principles. Here’s the most important thing that you have to understand: The left wants to change those principles. When they say “destroy America,” they want to change what America is. You cannot let that happen.

RICK SANTORUM: So, I want to give people hope that we can recover. But we can only recover if people are willing to stand up and take responsibility. It’s your fault. What am I going to do about it? Maybe it’s just your own family. Maybe it’s about talking to your own children to make sure that they’ve got their head screwed on straight when it comes to these things. Maybe it’s working within your church or synagogue. Maybe it’s working at your place of business. But whatever it is — big or small — you’ve got to do something. Because what’s happening right now is not working.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. Wow. Good point. Where can my listeners find you? Where are you spreading that great stuff?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, I’m working with the Convention of States, so you’ll see me out there talking about the Article V convention and trying to make structural reforms in Washington, D.C. to take power away from Washington. So, you can follow me there. Or, you can follow me at Patriot Voices — which is my PAC. We get involved in a whole host of issues. We’re much more on the cultural side and the blue-collar conservative movement.

RICK SANTORUM: I wrote a book — many years ago — called Blue Collar Conservatives. I think that laid out the principles of how Donald Trump won and how we can form coalitions of working men and women who still have the values that made America great. And see the elites as trying to change those values. We’ve got to align and work with them to restore those American principles. So, you can find me in either place — Patriot Voices or Convention of States.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Outstanding. Keep fighting the good fight. God bless you, and keep doing great work. It’s really been a pleasure. I have to have you on the show again — if you’d like to come on — because this is great stuff. All right.

RICK SANTORUM: Thank you.

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thank you!

CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thanks for listening to this episode of The Charles Mizrahi Show. If you’re a new listener, welcome! If you’ve been listening for a while, we’re glad to have you back. Either way, we’d love to know what you think of the show. Please leave a review if you listen on Apple Podcasts. Reviews make it easier for others to find the show. You can also see the video of the interview on The Charles Mizrahi Show channel on YouTube.

 

 

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