Santorum: McCain’s Support of Earmark Reform Won’t Solve Deficit Problem

January 6, 2012 - 6:27 PM
APTOPIX Santorum 2012

Patrons and media take pictures of Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum as he campaigns in a diner in Tilton, N.H. Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(CNSNews.com) During a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Thursday, Rick Santorum was asked what he thought about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) calling him a pork barrel spender.

Santorum said he was active in entitlement reform while McCain only focused on the “very, very small area of spending called earmarks, which is not going to solve the budget deficit problem.”

“Could you give me your opinion about McCain calling you a pork barrel spender?” a reporter asked during a campaign stop at the Tilt’n Diner in Tilton, N.H.

“Very simple. That I voted to cut spending when I was in Congress,” Santorum said.

“I was very tough in trying to keep appropriations counts down, and I also was very active on entitlement reform, which of course is where the area where the big deficits are, and I think that differentiated me from Senator McCain is I was the one actively going after entitlement reform, and John McCain focused on the very, very small area of spending called earmarks, which is not going to solve the budget deficit problem,” he added.

“What’s going to solve the budget problems are standing up and taking on these tough entitlement programs, which many members of Congress did not do, and I did,” Santorum said.

McCain endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination. Santorum added that Romney was also weak on entitlement reform, and he’s “not surprised that the two of them are working together.”