Mitchell Reports | January 02, 2012
>>> rick santorum has all the momentum coming out of the last couple of days. he was even on a campaign bus for the first time, not the pickup truck that he's been traveling to all 99 counties in iowa. i caught up with him in india know la this weekend.
>> we've done 360 some town hall type meetings and done all 99 counties, did that awhile ago. a lot of that is paying off. i think people are now taking a real close look at who they're going to support, mixing and matching. i think we're doing better. we're starting to come out better in that equation.
>> you call yourself and your new advertisement a full spectrum conservative . why are you a full spectrum conservative and not mitt romney .
>> well, i think i understand how all of the issues like national security and economic issues and social conservative issues really do blend together. they're not really separate issues. they really blend together. there's certain foundational principles upon which we base our country. and those values are promoted through our foreign policy , they're promoted through our economy, through how we live our life and our culture. but they're not like different sets of issues.
>> why are you more conservative than rick perry or ron paul or newt gingrich ?
>> i think it's a combination, again, of having that holistic view and having consistent principles that flow through everything. i mean, i believe in american exceptionism, i believe in america's values, those traditional values of our country that are established in the declaration of independence . we need to promote those free markets and free people . we need to promote strong families and strong faith. we need to promote those values overseas in our foreign policy and if you look at my record, by and large, i've done that.
>> newt gingrich is blaming his collapse in the polls on the attack ads and there is a lot of evidence, 49% of those ads were directed against him. is there something wrong with a system ta permits super pacs anonymously to go after and be negative while candidates like mitt romney fly above and stay positive and don't get the blowback or the blame? for so much negative advertising ?
>> the big problem is campaign finance reform which limited contributions directly to candidates. when you limit contributions directly to candidates, hen people find other ways in which to participate in the political system .
>> do you think it's been unfair to newt gingrich ?
>> you know, unfair? i don't know. i mean, i was with newt the other day at the debate, and we came and talked right afterwards just a bit on the stage. and he said, what did you think? i said, well, i would have appreciated a few questions. he said, well, you can count your blessings you're not getting them.
>> you served with him in congress.
>> when you're in the center, that's what you get.
>> why are so few, in fact none of the people that he served with this congress, why do you think that he doesn't have the support from people who served with him as you did in the house?
>> yeah, you know, obviously newt when he was speaker had some issues. he had some issues with respect to his conservative governance. as you know, there was an attempt to try to move him out, and then of course, he had some of these ethical concerns. so i think a lot of folks you know, are concerned about what the new newt, whether he's going to be different in a sense than the old newt.
>> you say you're the most electable to go up against barack obama . yet, you lost pennsylvania by 1 poin points -- by 18 points.
>> good lesson learned.
>> can mitt romney make the point he would be more electable and get independent or cross votes.
>> where has he ever exhibited his ability to get independents or democrats running as a conservative for office? he's never run in a general election as a conservative . i have five times and have won four. all it wasn't a particularly good election year in 2006 when 23 of 33 republicans lost. five congressmen in the state of pennsylvania lost. so the we lost the house of representatives by a huge margin. it was a -- we lost the governorship by more than i lost.
>> do you think this year your position on abortion, the only exception being to save the life of the mother and you did sign the pledge on the personhood amendment which would possibly outlaw some kinds of contraception, do you think that that position is too conservative or too stringent to be a mainstream position for the american people in a general election .
>> i would say most people in america respect life. and want to be a welcoming society when it comes to life. and i think it's an important role for a president to and any leader to stand up and accurately reflect what the facts are. and the fact is, that at the moment of conception, we have life. and that we have courts who have said that we are not going to recognize that life as equivalent to other life. that's -- obviously the courts and the american people can say we're going to choose how to value life differently depending on where that person is, maybe how sick they are, whatever the case may be. i've certainly been tough on ron on his foreign policy . it is one that you know -- is he qualified to be commander in chief? just on the issue of commander in chief, he comes from the dennis kucinich wing of the democratic party which is not a place where i would want my commander in chief to be. the problem is, barack obama in his second term i fear would not be much better.