TODAY | October 03, 2012
>> former pennsylvania senator rick santorum is a former republican presidential candidate and author of the new book " american patriots , answering the call to freedom." senator, good to see you.
>> thank you, david.
>> talk about the book in a minute. let's talk about the debate. i spoke with governor chris christie on "meet the press" and he said come thursday morning the narrative will be completely different after the first debate. how so? what are you looking for tonight?
>> first off, having gone through debates in the primary, they are a big deal , and it's going to be a big moment tonight somewhere, and i think the narrative will change. what it will change to, i don't know, but i think the potential for governor romney to do well tonight i think is actually pretty good. i think expectations are very low. president obama is a much more dynamic speaker. i'm not dissing mitt romney . president obama , that's his strength, and i think the expectations are very high for him. i can tell you, going up against mitt romney is not a fun thing. he's -- he has the facts. he drills you. he stays, he's tenacious, and that's the difference between four years ago and this time. john mccain was very passive. let the president, candidate obama do whatever he wants to do. mitt romney will not do that, and here's the strength tonight.
>> here's the challenge. on the one hand mitt romney has to connect, needs a second look. has had a rough couple of weeks. everyone acknowledged that. needs to be specific about what a romney presidency would achieve.
>> we're not talking about accomplishing a lot. two or three things in an hour and a half to accomplish. one of them is to show he's in command, understands the job of the presidency and put barack obama on the defensive given his horrific record on the economy and on national security , and i think he will do that. i think he will be tough with the president. i don't think the president will react particularly well to that because i don't think the president gets people who are very tough with him very often, and i think that interplay i think will be the key moment of the night.
>> you see more people optimistic about the economy. you see the president's poll numbers improving with regard to handling the economy. yet you still believe he's quite vulnerable. the polls are tightening. why and where?
>> look, i think fundamentally the american public realize that barack obama has failed in his transformation of america . he came in, you know, with very lofty goals and saying that he was going to do all these things. he hasn't done any of them. the economy is in worse shape, the unemployment rate is in worse shape. national security -wise we're much more vulnerable. things are falling apart around the world in very key areas of the world, particularly with the middle east and with our ally israel. there's a lot of problems just right there that the american public is aware of. i think that's why you're seeing this race close, and ultimately mitt romney is going to win this election just because things are not -- barack obama can't close the deal that another four years is going to be any different than the last four which have not been good.
>> you come off the campaign trail and have written a new book, " american patriots ," about revolutionary america . why this subject, and why do you think the message resonates so much?
>> you were out there and talking earlier about the campaign trail. that's what i talked about. a lot of mitt romney , you know, i've listened to a lot of his speeches. he talks about the same thing. this is a foundational election. this is an election about what we are. well, who are we, and i think that's why i put this book out there, talking about who we are as americans, because barack obama has a different vision than our founders' vision of what america is to be, and that's fine. he wants to transform america , but from what to what, and this book answers the question from what, a country that believes in our founding documents of god-given rights and limited government and free people being able to form families and communities and build a great america from the bottom up as opposed to president obama 's view which is, no. you know, we can't do that anymore. it's not fair. we need the government to make those decisions and allocate resources and opportunity, not the people. so i think more of that talk, and i think, again, if you listen to romney 's speeches, he does talk about those things, but we're trying to reinforce that out among the grass roots , full.
>> rick santorum , good luck with the book.
>> thank you.
>> senator, thanks as always.