Santorum says he was bolder than Ryan on entitlement reform

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R), who will announce his run for the White House on Monday, blamed Social Security reform for his loss in the 2006 Pennsylvania Senate race. 

Santorum touted his stance on Social Security as bolder than that of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has championed a controversial Medicare reform proposal.  

As he prepares to launch his presidential campaign Monday in Pennsylvania, Santorum said he had a credible path to the GOP presidential nomination despite losing his last contested election.

"What people are looking for is someone who has stood by their principles in good times and in bad," he said during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Santorum noted that 2006 was a tough year politically for Republicans.

"I stood up and I didn't back away," he said. "I didn't back down on trying to reform the Social Security system. President [George W.] Bush, you know, went out after the 2004 election and said, 'We've got to do something, because Social Security is unsustainable.'

"In an election year, I went out to the floor of the United States Senate with [South Carolina GOP Sen.] Jim DeMint and started arguing for reforming Social Security. Not even Paul Ryan and his budget now, in the face of trillions of dollars in deficits currently, had the temerity to step forward and say we have to do Social Security."

Santorum continued, "Yeah, I did some things that were very unpopular. But if you look back at what I did and when I did it, people can say, 'You know what, he may have lost, but he didn't flinch. He stood by what he believed in and he continued to fight through the end.' "

The former two-term senator is set to formally declare his presidential ambitions at an event in front of the Somerset County Courthouse in Somerset, Pa.

"We're going to be in this race and we're in it to win," he said. "And we're very excited about what the future holds."

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