Former U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum arrives to address delegates during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fl. Aug. 28, 2012
Jason Reed/Reuters

Santorum: Shutdown wasn’t ‘smart,’ killed Cuccinelli’s campaign

Updated

According to Rick Santorum, the GOP approached the implementation of Obamacare all wrong. 

“Everybody knew this wasn’t going to work coming out,” the 2012 Republican presidential contender said during an appearance on Monday’s Morning Joe. “To know that, going into this October 1 and to have it be just a fight between Republicans instead of focusing on what was clearly going to be a problem was not a very smart thing to do.”

The 16-day shutdown also hurt Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for Virginia governor.

“There’s no question about it. I live in Virginia and Ken could not get on message till the last ten days.”

“Because of the government shutdown!” Joe Scarborough interjected.

“The government shutdown,” Santorum said, nodding.

“We had a circular firing squad going on in Washington,” Santorum said of his party. “It was just painful to watch people – both camps trying to do the right things but ending up just shooting each other.”

But the GOP can capitalize on Obamacare, but they need to present alternatives.

“Saying no is not enough,” Santorum said. “There are plenty of good ideas out there, there are plans that are being implemented on state level…John McCain had a healthcare plan in 2008!”

And while the former Pennsylvania senator is out of politics for now, is he considering running to head up his party again?

“I love what I’m doing right now,” Santorum said of his current occupation working on faith-focused films, but side-stepped the question answering with a grin, “I was in Iowa last week, we had a great screening in Des Moines!” 

Morning Joe, 11/18/13, 9:42 AM ET

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Government Shutdowns, Obamacare and Rick Santorum

Santorum: Shutdown wasn’t 'smart,’ killed Cuccinelli's campaign

Updated