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March 9th, 2012 12:21 am
Santorum Private Interview in Mobile

Rick Santorum spoke in Mobile tonight at a dinner for the Alabama Policy Institute. I got a private five-minute interview with him before the dinner. Here’s how it went:

Q: “This is narrowcasting. You look at the [exit] polls and you are doing great among some groups but you are not doing well among two groups: single women, and people making over $100,000 and a lot of them are just over 100 thou, small businesses, not manufacturers but retailers. What do these groups not understand about your economic message that you would like them to understand?”

Santorum: “My economic message is, we’re cutting corporate taxes for everybody to a flat tax at 17 /12 percent, we allow complete expensing — a very very simple and fair tax code that allows the small business guy and the large guy to pay the same rate at the same simple tax form that they have to fill out. That to me is about as pro-small business — and the same thing is, we cut the top rate [on individuals] to 28 percent so those who are not corporations but file under the individual returns will have a tax rate of just 28 percent. Make it a very very simple tax code as far as deductions are concerned, just five deducations. Again: simplicity, predictability, all of those things are very growth-oriented and with lower rates. I’ve also pledged in this campaign that I’ll repeal every single one of Barack Obama’s high-cost regulations that cost over $100 million…..

[segue: crosstalk about single women and "media narratives"]…

I am about equal opportunity. If we give people the opportunity to rise in society, then people will be able to rise by themselves. We’re talking about lower taxes and less regulation and a society that is nurturing. And people say, ‘well, you’re just for families,’ well, families are important to our country, families are important so we have stable communities where moms and dads are together raising children — and that’s a good place for people to live, not just those families but single women and others.

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Q: “The second narrowcast question is, is there anything that people on the Gulf Coast might want to know about you, any national interest you’ve perhaps that might have particular local relevance to people in Mississippi and Alabama?”

Santorum: “Energy is obviously a very important issue. We believe the Gulf is an area that has tremendous promise, underutilized, all sorts of opportunities out there for expansion of oil and gas exploration; and the administration has not opened up and has not supported  opening it up. And that’s opportunity for jobs, here along the Gulf Coast.

You know, I think one of the other things that I know is important here is national security. And I’m the only person in this race who has said I will not cut the Defense Department. Flat-out, absolutely no way. In fact, it’s the only department I pledge will have an increase in spending, because we want to make sure that the benefits and salaries for men and women in uniform continue to go up as they should be with inflation…. and assuming no nuclear Iran, we are looking at a defense budget that is going to go up, modestly, and we’ll invest in making sure we will be the best trained, best equipped, and the best led military in the world — by far.”

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