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Rick Santorum Defends John Roberts: He "Has Not Been A Disaster"

"Let’s just be honest. He’s no David Souter."

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum offered a defense of Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday, arguing that "with all things being equal, there are lot worse people you could have picked."

Speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, the former US Senator from Pennsylvania said that he would have preferred that President George W. Bush, who nominated Roberts, have nominated John Michael Luttig to the Court. Still, he contended that Roberts "has not been a disaster."

"John Roberts has not been a disaster as a Supreme Court justice," Santorum said. "Let's just be honest. He's no David Souter. So I mean, with all things being equal, there are a lot worse people you could have picked, and George W. Bush didn't do a bad job in picking Justice Roberts. He could have done, obviously from these cases, could have done a little better job. But you never, you can't know for sure how everybody's going to deal every case."

Santorum's comments stand in contrast to the scathing criticisms of many of his GOP adversaries, including Sen. Ted Cruz, who told BuzzFeed News in an interview that Roberts "put on an Obama jersey" in writing the Supreme Court opinions on the two landmark decisions involving Obamacare.

Santorum further said that even he and Justice Clarence Thomas "don't agree" on "some things," "so you can't have a perfect record."

"And there's probably cases that you know, that conservatives would rule one way and I might have--" Santorum said, before cutting himself off. "You know," he continued, "there's some things Clarence Thomas and I don't agree on in some of the rulings he makes. So you can't have a perfect record, because nobody's the same."

Here's the audio:

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Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.

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