Santorum campaigns in Chattanooga

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigned in Chattanooga Wednesday, voicing hope he can repeat his 2012 win in the Tennessee presidential primary again in 2016, according to the Times-Free Press.

During an interview on WGOW’s “Brian Joyce Show,” and in a news conference afterward, Santorum aimed at reforming the tax code with a flat tax, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with state-run programs, tightening immigration laws, building the economy and strengthening America’s position abroad by defeating what he called “radical Islam.”

He made no mention of abortion, which earned him attention in 2012 when he tweeted that pregnant victims of rape should “make the best out of a bad situation.”

And he only mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on same-sex marriage when asked, saying court affirmation of gay marriage would create “a firestorm” and potentially could hurt religious freedom if churches were forced to perform such marriages.

Some of his message wasn’t exactly mainstream GOP. Santorum said the U.S. should increase the minimum wage by $1.50 over a three-year period.

“That would keep the minimum wage at about 5 percent of the work force. That has historically shown not to be inflationary,” he said.

But he added that has to come with an omnibus tax plan that would reduce corporate taxes, help businesses repatriate foreign funds and create a flat income tax.

Santorum was in town for the Hamilton County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner at the Chattanoogan hotel.