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Rick Santorum Compared Wisconsin Protestors To Drug Addicts

The former Senator's current rhetoric on labor seems toned down compared to what he said in 2011.

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Deflecting attacks from Romney allies that he supported "big labor" as a Senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum has sought to align himself with Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Governor whose efforts to roll-back public sector unions provoked a national battle royale.

Speaking in Bellevue, Wisconsin Santorum said "Gov. Walker ... is leading. He is leading this country with his courage, his ability.He is willing to stand up and fight the bullies. I come from southwest Pennsylvania. I represented the old steel valley of Pittsburgh. I know what it's like"

In 2011, at the heart of demonstrations against Walker's budget bill, Santorum went further, comparing those protesting at the state capitol, to drug addicts.

What these folks are in Washington is no better than a drug dealer,” Santorum said at a dinner Monday night, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. "They give you a subtle narcotic to make you feel better as you do worse."

With regard to the Wisconsin protesters, Santorum added, "They are acting like their drug is being taken away from them."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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