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Rick Santorum In 2008: "What We Need Is A Government Mandate!"

How about that.

Posted on February 20, 2012, at 11:57 a.m. ET

Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum often attacks the individual mandate, a signature of Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's health care plans, as a mark of government overreach. But the former Pennsylvania Senator isn't against big government mandates entirely.

Following his 16 point defeat from the Senate in 2006, Santorum penned a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In one column "Reducing U.S. oil appetite This is one cause that could be helped by smart mandates and taxing," the former Senator came out in favor of government mandates for fixing American oil dependence.

What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be "flex-fuel vehicles" - that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.