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Santorum: Romney Focused Too Much On The Economy And Jobs

On this week's broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press' weekly web-only series "Press Pass," former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum joins host David Gregory to discuss possible 2016 presidential aspirations and how Mitt Romney failed as the Republican presidential nominee.

Santorum, a former Senator, complained that Mitt Romney didn't make abortion one of his central campaign issues and when the nominee was pressed on the topic he didn't adequately defend himself.

"When we play defense we lose. And Mitt Romney, John McCain if you go before that, refused to play offense. The President played offense. People were stunned. Republicans were stunned that he was going out there and playing offense on abortion, playing offense on Planned Parenthood," Santorum said.

Santorum said Romney's problem was not that he wasn't conservative enough, but that he wasn't able to "weave" his ideology "into the debate and the discussion." Santorum also observed that Romney talked about jobs too much during the campaign and didn't talk about other important issues to a country that is 92% employed. Santorum, in his own words:

SANTORUM: It’s not that he wasn’t conservative enough. Mitt Romney held the same positions that I did, but he didn’t weave them into the debate and the discussion. He didn’t weave them into what – ‘Here’s our vision for America, here’s -- let me talk to all voters.’ Unfortunately, I would say, Mitt Romney focused -- as well as he should have -- on the economy, but he talked a lot about jobs and jobs and jobs. Ninety-two percent of Americans roughly, you know if you, of Americans looking for work, according to the unemployment numbers, have a job. So, who are you talking to? I mean, people of that other 92 percent -- while they are concerned about their job and maybe improving their job -- are concerned about a whole lot of other issues -- national security issues, which again were sort of pushed to the side and that’s another area that I’ve been very, very active on. So, I just think we need a candidate who is comfortable in their skin with the positions that Mitt Romney said he held. It’s not that Mitt Romney wasn’t conservative enough in the positions he articulated; he just didn’t run a campaign on all those issues and bring them to the fore in a way that was convincing that he actually was going to do something on those fronts.

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