Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Compares Medicaid, Food Stamps, Other Social Welfare Programs To Fascism (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:
Republican presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum addresses a crowd at the Stoney Creek Inn on January 3, 2012 in Johnston, Iowa. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum addresses a crowd at the Stoney Creek Inn on January 3, 2012 in Johnston, Iowa. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Riding high off his strong showing in the Iowa caucus, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum took some time in his closing speech to compare social welfare programs to fascism.

The former Pennsylvania senator drew upon his grandfather's experience during Benito Mussolini's tenure in Italy (video starts at the 50-second mark) and linked Medicaid, food stamps and other U.S. initiatives to the authoritarianism experienced by his relative back in the 1920s.

"One wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more Medicaid and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs and passing Obamacare to provide even more government subsidies. More and more dependency, more and more government -- exactly what my grandfather left in 1925," Santorum said.

Two weeks earlier, Santorum made similar comments, noting that Obama's Affordable Care Act could be the "death knell" for America. He referenced the same story about his grandfather, citing worries that the United States could become the same "kind of country" as fascist Italy.

At that point in mid-December, Santorum was struggling to draw crowds, speaking to some audiences in the range of 20 people. But his late surge in Iowa came through when it counted.

In the closest caucus ever, Santorum fell a mere eight votes shy of Mitt Romney on Tuesday. He vowed that his strong performance signals "game on" for the race to securing the party's 2012 nomination.

Around the Web

Rick Santorum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rick Santorum: States Should Have Power To Ban Birth Control ...

RickSantorum - Twitter

Rick Santorum | Facebook

Iowa caucus results: Mitt Romney beats Rick Santorum by 8 votes

Rick Santorum and Medicare: Last Ryan-backer left standing?

Rick Santorum's Top 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements

Santorum links black people, public aid programs

Jon Huntsman heartened by Rick Santorum's rise in Iowa

Rick Santorum: Ron Paul is 'disgusting'