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Inside Politics

Five questions with Rick Santorum


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Senator Rick Santorum is the GOP Conference Chair.
SPECIAL REPORT

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania spoke to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night about the importance of traditional families, faith and welfare reform. Shortly after his speech, Santorum spoke to CNN about the convention themes and the possibility of a run for the White House in 2008.

CNN: What's your assessment of the convention so far?

SANTORUM: I think it has been great, the messages have been right on and the messages are delivered in a great style and effectiveness to the American public.

CNN: What are you looking forward to Wednesday night?

SANTORUM: I had the chance to talk to (Democratic Senator) Zell Miller today. I just have so much respect for that man. He has a way of communicating to the average person in America in a way that is very homespun and sincere. And I think he will do a terrific job tonight.

CNN: What do you think about the balance between the conservative and moderate messages at this convention?

SANTORUM: I would like you to point out a message was not conservative. The media has been focusing on the messenger not the message. The message has been right down the line where most Republicans are -- and I would argue most Americans are. It has not been a message that would not be reminiscent of the Democratic Party. It is a message that has been right in the mainstream of the Republican Party. There hasn't been anything that Rudy Giuliani said or Arnold Schwarzenegger said or John McCain said that I wouldn't have said and would have been proud to say.

CNN: What do you think is going to be key going forward from here?

SANTORUM: I think we're going to have a lot of energy coming out of here. I don't know what the polls will say. I don't think that matters right now. But I think you're going to see a lot of energy and enthusiasm of the people who are here and the volunteers around the country. I know in Pennsylvania there's a lot of energy right now, and I think we're going to pull that off.

CNN: In 2008, do you want to be on that stage accepting the nomination?

SANTORUM: I'm worried about 2004, and then shortly thereafter I will focus my attention on my re-election in 2006, and we've got a long way to go from there.


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