Santorum Rejects Conservatism: "A Country Is A Country, It's Not A Compilation Of States"

August 30, 2011 4:04 pm ET — Julia Krieger

GOP presidential longshot Rick Santorum may tout his Tea Party street cred, but today on Texas WPAP radio he basically told the conservative movement to shove it. Amid a rant against frontrunner Rick Perry, in which he warned that legalization of gay marriage in New York could lead to polygamy, secession, and forced sterilization, Santorum declared: "[Y]ou know, a country is a country, it's not a compilation of states."

SANTORUM: And just because the states have the right to do something — for example, would Rick Perry say it's OK for the state of New York to pass polygamy? Would Rick Perry say it's OK for the state of New York to pass forced sterilization? Would they be able to secede from the union? States have the right, potentially, to do all of these things. But I would suspect that they have — I could add a lot more, by the way. But he would not say, oh well yeah, it's OK with me if they do that. No, it wouldn't be OK. If you think it's something that's wrong, then it's not OK for them to do

[...]

This country has the moral foundation upon which it must — our society must rest and we shouldn't give that right to, you know, a country is a country, it's not a compilation of states.

Listen (full transcript here):

Santorum vaunts himself as someone who is able to "get conservative things accomplished," while admonishing federal programs like welfare and Medicaid. For example, he told Political Correction in June, "I support turning Medicaid over to the states." But when it comes to gay marriage, Santorum seems to have no moral quandary with completely abandoning the basic conservative principle of state sovereignty trumping federal government.

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