March 31st, 2010
09:50 AM ET
5 years ago

Santorum: 'Absence of leadership at the RNC'

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday he is 'disgusted' with the Republican National Committee for paying for an evening at a racy Hollywood nightclub.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday he is 'disgusted' with the Republican National Committee for paying for an evening at a racy Hollywood nightclub.

(CNN) – Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who is considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, said Tuesday he is "disgusted" with the Republican National Committee for paying for an evening at a racy Hollywood nightclub.

Speaking to a local Republican group in Council Bluffs, Iowa - his second appearance in the Hawkeye State this month - Santorum chided RNC Chairman Michael Steele and suggested that there is an "absence of leadership at the RNC".

"There is no excuse for people's contributions to the RNC to go to pay for this behavior," Santorum said, according to The Iowa Republican. "Frankly, I'm disgusted by it."

The RNC has since condemned the expenditure, fired the staffer responsible and promised that the money will be returned.

Santorum nevertheless criticized Steele for letting the controversial expense slip through the cracks in the first place.

"As a leader, you set the tone for your organization," he said. "If somebody who worked for my organization did something like this, they would be out of a job. It's not just that this happened; it's that someone saw this reimbursement and then approved of it.

"Chairman Steele might not have had personal knowledge about this sort of activity, but if that's the case, there is an absence of leadership at the RNC," Santorum added.


Filed under: Michael Steele • Rick Santorum
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. JR

    Give it a break, RIck. The GOP have continually shown that they can be publicly outraged and disgusted one minute, and the next, find themselves in some "racy" nightclub drinking away their woes and stuffing donated funds into a exotic dancers g-string...

    March 31, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. notfooledbydistractions

    Absence of leadership? It's a clown leading a pack of clowns, Steele is perfect.

    I thought lesbian bondage clubs were just the foundation of the 2010 version of the republican "family values" platform.

    The republicans can hardly criticize Steeles spending – he's just following in the decade old republican practice of recklessly spending other peoples money.

    March 31, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. john in binghamton NY

    Go back to your cave, we don't need you.

    March 31, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. William, from Cali!

    "disgusted"...I'm disgusted by the "one-sided absence of leadership in Washington, totally"...and I'm not running for any Nation high office; now or any time in our distant future...2012!

    March 31, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Michael

    Rick Santorum needs to go away. His Neocon ideals are not what this country wants or needs. I remeber during one of his campaigns for the sentae in PA when we was proposing raising the age to retire to 70. He was bad for government then, and that hasn't changed.

    March 31, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. jo

    As much fun as it is to watch the GOP tear itself apart, Santoram is an idoit. There is a reason, he got pounded in his last election. I would love for him to be a front runner for the Presidential nomination and talk about Education when he used tax payer money to ship his kids to another state. He hates Gays, too.

    March 31, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. djb

    how surprised can he be and who do you think he is fooling by acting that way........his grand old party is full of sleaze, always has been, always will be.

    March 31, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Rance

    Who says Republicans don't know how to have a good time?!

    March 31, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Anthony Heyward

    Good Luck Rick, but is you think that your going to run on a fear based, anti gay, anti health care, anti everything platform you've got another thing coming. All of this subtle hate that you party has spewed since Obama took office is going to be the straw to make your group as relevant as the Whig Party is today!

    March 31, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. shucks

    This is laughable. A presidential run in 2012. Remember Pennsylvania slick Rick. We voted you out for your little religious righteousness, and your absence of a residence in Pennsylvania even though you were using an empty house as an address to charge for your children to be cyber schooled in Virginia. Oh, thats OK, we will still vote for you to become president. NOT. LOL

    March 31, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    As bad as the RNC is, Santorum should definitely worry more about the 'Absence of brains in his skull'.

    March 31, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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