Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Meet the Press Transcript

MR. RUSSERT: Another issue that’s risen in this campaign, particularly in western Pennsylvania, is the issue of residency.
MR. RUSSERT: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had this editorial: “Five Santorum children have been home-schooled at their house in Leesburg, Virginia, through the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, an education paid for by the Penn Hills district to the tune of $38,000 a year, until it became apparent that they don’t live in Penn Hills.” They go on. “The [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] sent a letter to Rick Santorum at his home address, at least the one that he claims. Back from Penn Hills came the letter with a sticker from the U.S. Postal Service checked as ‘Not Deliverable As Addressed—Unable To Forward.’”And what people point to, and particularly the media in the western part of the state, is in 1990 when you ran for the House, you ran against the incumbent Doug Walgren, and ran this commercial repeatedly. Let’s watch.

(Videotape, 1990 Santorum campaign ad):
AD ANNOUNCER: There’s something strange about this house. It belongs to our congressman, Doug Walgren. What’s so strange? Instead of living in his own congressional district, Congressman Walgren lives in this house, located in the wealthiest area of Virginia.
(End of videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: And now the State Education Department, state taxpayers are going to have to—have agreed to give the Penn Hills school district $55,000 to compensate for your children’s’ tuition while they were in Virginia taking a cyber course. And based on that commercial...
MR. RUSSERT: ...isn’t that rather hypocritical of you?
SEN. SANTORUM: No, not at all. Look, look, first off, that commercial, you didn’t play the rest of it, that commercial criticized my opponent. First off, he never owned a home in the district, ever, in 14 years. Let me finish. He never owned a home for 14 years, never had a residence there.
MR. RUSSERT: OK, you own a home, but...
SEN. SANTORUM: Number one, I own a home and always owned a home.
MR. RUSSERT: But since you’ve owned your home at 111 Stevens Lane, how many nights have you personally spent there?
SEN. SANTORUM: I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve spent there. What I say is...
MR. RUSSERT: Roughly, roughly.
SEN. SANTORUM: I don’t know. I—what I, what I spend is...
MR. RUSSERT: I mean, a handful?
SEN. SANTORUM: I, I probably spend maybe a month a year, something like that.
MR. RUSSERT: A month a year...
SEN. SANTORUM: On nights.
MR. RUSSERT: that house?
SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, probably. I mean, the, the, the bottom line is that I, I have—I, I own a home there, I pay all—I pay my local taxes, I pay my state taxes, income taxes, I pay real estate taxes, and I have, and I can—and my driver’s license there, I vote there, my dentist is there. I mean, the bottom line is, yes, I have a job here in Washington, that’s what the people of Pennsylvania elected me to do. And I pay all my taxes there, and, and I want to be a father who’s with his children. And I own a home, I pay my taxes. My opponent didn’t own a home, and he didn’t pay his taxes. Number one.
Number two, and this is very important, he didn’t spend any time in the district. Not only didn’t he own a home, but, but the rest of that commercial was he only spent 28 days in the entire year in that district. I spend—I get to every single one of 67 counties of Pennsylvania every single year. I spent hundreds of days, thousands of days probably during my term—in Pennsylvania. There’s no one—you heard, you heard the—you heard Governor Rendell, no one works harder, no one spends more time, no one delivers more for Pennsylvania. The issue is not where I put my head. I put my head where my—I want my children with me, and that’s because I care about my six children and my wife, Karen, and I want to be a good husband and a good father.
SEN. SANTORUM: But I also have a record of being one heck of a hard worker for the people of Pennsylvania.
MR. CASEY: (Unintelligible)


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