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Santorum Says He's Ready to Take on Ron Paul at Convention

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By Anugrah Kumar , Christian Post Contributor
June 11, 2012|12:11 pm

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Sunday he was ready to take on Texas Rep. Ron Paul and his libertarian supporters if they look for a "platform fight" at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

  • Rick Santorum
    (Photo: Reuters/Darren Hauck)
    Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum addresses supporters at a rally in Sheboygan, Wisconsin March 24, 2012.

"I like the platform that we have right now," Santorum, who has 267 delegates pledged to him so far, said during an interview with ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, amid speculation that Paul might use his delegates and supporters to influence the direction of the Republican Party in the August convention.

Santorum, who quit the race for the nomination in late April and later endorsed Mitt Romney, said he was "concerned" that Paul, who is still technically a candidate and has over 200 delegates, was "looking for a platform fight." He said he wanted to make sure "that we have strong, principled conservatives there who stood with me in our primary fight to go there and counterbalance the effect of the Paul folks."

Romney clinched the 1,144 delegates necessary to secure the GOP nomination last month, but Paul and his supporters are planning on a strong showing at the convention. Paul recently said his delegate count gives him "a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP." Paul believes in a non-interventionist foreign policy and decriminalizing drugs, and says government should not have a role in some of the conservative social causes that Santorum advocates for.

Santorum suggested the battle between him and Paul will not take away the focus of the convention. "We're focused on trying to do what we can to help Gov. Romney, help candidates all across this country by rallying conservatives, getting them excited about this race and the importance of it," he said. "And that's really all I'm focused on right now. And I wish Gov. Romney the best, and I'll do whatever I can to be helpful to him."

Last week, Santorum said in Illinois, "I want to make sure that the folks who represent the values that I did during this campaign are also able to come to that convention and have their voices heard. I certainly have encouraged everyone to support Governor Romney as I have, but there are a lot of other issues at the convention other than just voting for the nominee."

Paul's campaign released an email last week, saying that apart from the delegates they will send several hundred additional supporters to Tampa "who, while bound to Romney, believe in our ideas of liberty, constitutional government, and a common-sense foreign policy."

 

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