2015-09-22 11.45.59
Santorum during meet and greet beforehand.

(Des Moines, IA) Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) spoke at the Iowa Historical Building as part of the Iowa Caucus Consortium Candidate Series.  He is the fourth candidate to have participated in the event. Santorum gave brief remarks, and spent more time with Q&A.

Santorum highlighted his emphasis on manufacturing and how the middle class is being hollowed out.

“Republicans are at their peril if they don’t recognize the reality of what is going on.  The numbers are the numbers and we have to have policies and programs that reach in and say we understand the problems here and we want to do something about it,” Santorum said.

“I focused in on creating opportunities in the sector of the economy that does the best job historically of employing people of all levels of skills. It’s exciting for me because we now have the ability to compete in manufacturing like we haven’t before,” Santorum added.

Santorum spent more time answering questions.

He launched back into his manufacturing them when he was asked what he would do to address the shortage of middle-skilled workers, workers with a high school diploma, but no more than a 1 to 2-year training program.

He said he has found the biggest problem manufacturers have is that they can not find good people.

“The elites in this culture, including the President, talks down this kind of work,” Santorum noted.

“We need a President who will say America can get back on top again we can be the number one manufacturer in the world. It is a way to help our CO2 emissions globally, it’s a way to put Americans who are struggling right now back to work, and we talk about the importance of making things here.  We show by visiting, as I do, the workplace. Most people have a perception of what a manufacturing plant looks like. People go out with dirt all over their face, their fingers are marled and have oil and grease. No! People go in and they work in Polo shirts and they program computers and you can eat off most of the floors in some of these manufacturing facilities. There is a lot of clean manufacturing that goes on. Manufacturing is high-tech, is the way of the future. It is, as many people say, it is a combination of using you head and your hands, and that is much more rewarding than it is to sit behind a desk all day long,” Santorum stated.

“Having a presence out there saying it is part of the American obligation, if you will, to get our economy going is to get young people, I hate to say, not necessarily go to college, to go to Penn State or Iowa State or wherever else and get $200,000 in loans or whatever it is going to be particularly if you are going to be an out-of-state student. Go to community college, get a training program, and you can still take additional classes in addition to your training program, your basic liberal arts curriculum, for a more well rounded education. Get into those training programs, go to work, go to school part-time, in most cases the employer is going to help pay for that education. Then you have a change in attitude, more than anything else, more than any federal program, a change in attitude about what is a good job in America and what the role of colleges and universities is going forward in America given the incredibly high price of a four-year education right now and the really questionable value for a lot of kids, particularly for some of the kind of degrees that are coming out. I think a President who focuses on that can be a game changer for our economy,” Santorum said.

Santorum broached numerous topics, particularly during his Q&A session watch the videos below to see his full remarks, Q&A session and press avail he held afterwards.

Watch remarks below:

Watch his Q&A session.

Watch press avail below:

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