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Santorum Likens Obama Administration to ‘Drug Dealer’ Santorum Likens Obama Administration to ‘Drug Dealer’

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CAMPAIGN 2012

Santorum Likens Obama Administration to ‘Drug Dealer’

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, shown here at a town hall meeting in South Carolina earlier this year, likens the health care law to a new addictive drug meant to make people dependent on government programs.(DAVID GOLDMAN/AP)

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum compared the Obama administration to a drug dealer who wants to get Americans hooked on entitlement programs to expand his power.

Santorum said the president’s health care law is a new addictive drug.  “That’s how they see you, as people, to get hooked like a drug dealer -- someone to become dependent on them. And once that happens, they got you,” Santorum said during a speech to several hundred people at Grace Church late on Sunday. “America is changed forever. No country that has socialized medicine has ever gone back the other way, no country that has lost its freedom has ever regained it.”

 

In 2010, Santorum made a similar statement about President Obama, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a speech to the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee’s dinner, according to the website Buzzfeed. Santorum is well known for his biting, sometimes over-the-top political rhetoric, which has prompted members of his own party to question his electability in a fall matchup with Obama.

In other remarks at the church, Santorum also drew contrasts between himself and GOP rival Mitt Romney ahead of Oklahoma’s primary on Tuesday, part of the Super Tuesday sweepstakes. He noted that he has never supported government mandates in health care, while Romney did as Massachusetts governor.

Explaining why he believes that increasing taxes on the wealthy would not reduce the nation’s deficit, Santorum said that the rich would just move their money offshore and used Romney as a hypothetical example.

 

“My tax rate was about 27, 28 percent. Governor Romney’s was half that amount. I’m not criticizing that.… He can take his capital gains, and he can take his investments, and move them offshore, move them someplace else. I’m not saying he would do that, but I’m saying a lot of people could do that and would do that if the government suddenly started taxing them more.”

Romney does maintain offshore assets, according to his financial disclosure statements and tax returns. And while his wealth dwarfs Santorum’s, the former senator from Pennsylvania makes roughly $1 million a year, according to his tax returns.

Santorum also slammed Romney for owning multiple homes, saying “I don’t live that kind of life. I have one home state.” But in fact, Santorum has two homes in two states, one in Pennsylvania, where his political base is located, and one in Virginia, where he has a home in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.

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