Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Says U.S. Moving Towards Fascist Italy

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RICK SANTORUM 2012 HEALTH CARE
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Tuesday that the passage of the Affordable Care Act could be the "death knell" for America.

"What got me into this race was Obamacare. I'm no history professor like Newt Gingrich, but I am a little bit of a student of history," he said at a medical supplies company in Waterloo, Iowa, according to ThinkProgress. "And I've seen what that, I believe, final death knell will be to America of having government control that very critical aspect of our life, which is access to the care that we need to stay alive."

The former Pennsylvania senator suggested that the United States could become the same "kind of country" as fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini. Santorum's grandfather left the country in 1925.

"We are ever-gradually -- and not-so-gradually in the last couple of years -- edging our way toward the same kind of country that my grandfather left," he said.

Santorum also recently used his grandfather's story to criticize bishops of the Roman Catholic Church -- of which Santorum is a member -- for calling for comprehensive immigration reform including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. His grandfather left behind his son, Santorum's father, and worked for five years in the U.S. before bringing his family over.

"What are we saying to all the families who are doing it the right way, who are separating from their families, who are making those sacrifices and then we say well, everybody who broke the law came here and we're going to let you in and those folks, well sorry you're chumps, you played by the rules," he said in an interview with the Des Moines Register.

He also raised the specter of Mussolini last May, saying that his uncle "used to get up in a brown shirt and march and be told how to be a good little fascist." He added, "I don't know, maybe they called it early pre-K or something like that, that the government sponsored to get your children in there so they can indoctrinate them."

Santorum has made far more campaign stops in Iowa than any other Republican candidates ahead of the Jan. 3 caucuses, but garnered just eight percent of likely Republican primary voters according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.

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