Santorum: Ryan's budget doesn't go far enough with cuts

Rick Santorum signaled partial, but not total, support for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) 2013 budget plan, which was approved by the House earlier Thursday. 

During a speech in California, which the Santorum campaign billed as a "major" foreign-policy address, the presidential hopeful signaled that while he supported Ryan's plan, it didn't go far enough slashing government spending.

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"It's $5 trillion dollars over 10 years," Santorum said. "We need 5 trillion over five years."

Santorum's comment marks something of a departure from previous statements he'd made on support for Ryan's plan while touting his own economic proposals. He had previously stressed his unwavering support for the similar budget proposal from last year. 

The prior version of Ryan's blueprint has acted as a sort of conservative litmus test, especially because of its plan to change Medicare into a voucher system. The current budget plan adds a private option instead of altering the program altogether.

When Santorum unveiled his own economic proposals, however, he seemed to up the ante in terms of cutting federal spending. Santorum's speech was the first time during such a high-profile event for the campaign that he highlighted the differences between his plan and Ryan's.

When he shifted to foreign policy, Santorum mostly reiterated past attacks on President Obama. He said Obama was too soft on Iran and was not working hard enough on nuclear deterrence. Santorum also accused the president of not adequately supporting Israel.

Santorum kept up his accusations that Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, is not a true conservative. Since one of Romney's top advisers suggested the campaign could reset itself for the general election like an "Etch a Sketch," Santorum has pushed the idea that Romney switches his positions too quickly and too often.

Santorum said that with former President Reagan, there was no "Etch a Sketch" policy on dealing with other nations.

Finally, Santorum signaled he had no interest in leaving the race, even as Romney continues to rack up delegates and high-profile endorsements. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a Tea Party favorite and the most popular name on Republican vice presidential shortlists, endorsed Romney on Wednesday.

"We're not going to concede to the moderate establishment that it's over," Santorum said.

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