Rick Santorum Defends Va. GOP’s Loyalty Pledge: ‘Every State’ Can ‘Do What They Want’

‘Again, every state has their opportunity to do what they want’

NAUERT: "Donald Trump lashing out now to folks in Virginia who want to vote in the Republican primary. They have to sign a pledge of a sort. The Republican Part there not calling that a pledge rather calling it a statement. Trump is slamming this move on Twitter. Let me quote it for you. It says, 'Republican party of Virginia controlled by the RNC is working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters. BAD!'Then we got reaction from Mike Huckabee. Listen to this."
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HUCKABEE: "I think it's perfectly legitimate in a primary to tell people you need to register with our party if you want to help pick our nominee. Because this is not a general election. This is a party process. The parties are picking their candidate to go against the other guy. I think to say that there's got to be a registration, I don't have a problem with that. I would have a problem with it in a general election, but not in a primary."
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NAUERT: "Senator, what do you think of this?" 
SANTORUM: "Well, maybe this just a little bit of rookie mistake. Every state gets to choose whether they're going to have an open or closed primary."
NAUERT: "But this isn't a closed primary. This is just singing a pledge. It's not even saying, hey, Republicans, you have to be a member of the Republican party to vote in the primary. This is different."
SANTORUM: "Again, every state has their opportunity to do what they want. In Iowa you have to register as a Republican to vote in the Iowa caucuses. In New Hampshire four years ago 53 percent of people who voted in the Republican primary in New Hampshire four years ago weren't Republicans. So every state can do it their own way. To suggest that a closed primary is a bad thing or open primary is a bad thing, this is what states -- this is the flexibility that we give states. I happen to like closed primaries. I think Republicans should nominate Republicans, but I'm certainly willing to go out in New Hampshire and compete in an open primary where everybody who wants to vote can vote in the primary they want to. That's up to the states. And I don't know if you're a Republican. You should believe in state's rights."

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