Santorum: I still disagree with McCain on enhanced interrogation
June 7th, 2011
06:31 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum: I still disagree with McCain on enhanced interrogation

West Des Moines, Iowa (CNN)- Former Pennsylvania senator and –since Monday– Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is standing by comments he made regarding "enhanced interrogation" and Sen. John McCain's position on the technique.

Santorum caught flack just over two weeks ago when he said McCain, a former prisoner of war, "doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works."

"We have a very different opinion of how the enhanced interrogation program works and I've been very clear about that," Santorum told reporters Tuesday during his first trip to Iowa, adding, "We still have a disagreement."

Santorum has said he believes it was this type of interrogation that led to the U.S. take down of Osama bin Laden.

Santorum had offered a bit of clarification of his initial comments the same day he originally made them, calling it "outrageous and unfortunate" for anyone to infer his position equates to a lessened respect for McCain's "service to our country and all he had to endure."

– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.


Filed under: John McCain • Rick Santorum
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. ted

    Let's waterboard Santorum a few hundred times and see what he admits to. The guy is a jerk, especially when he takes on McCAin on a subject McCain knows about. Santorum is the typical jerk repukelican, kinda like Palin and Bachmann, neither of which are strong in intelligence themselves

    June 7, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Dal From California

    Senator I should say ex senator from Pennsylvania, you did not raise that question when we had a Republican President who did all those things and now you are questioning Senator McCain about it?
    Where was your mouth at that time. 2004 to 2008. What were you thinking at that time/

    June 7, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. Pat in IL

    Santorum is right, and that has been proven. "Enhanced" interrogation doesn't work, and is illegal. McCain needs to quilt using the "I was a POW, so you have to listen to me" stuff. That was a long time ago...in a different war, and under different circumstances. Let the current people deal with the current events.

    June 7, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Padraig

    Santorum made a mistake in referencing the knowledge of McCain but he is still correct. If enhanced interogation means saving one innocent life or a member of our military I am alright with it.

    You need to consider who you are dealing with. The Taliban and their atrocities on their fellow Muslin brothers have taken male captives into the public streets and have beheaded and castrated them. Heads put on poles in the streets. One of their other methods after torturing someone is to head them, put the body on the main street with their head in their lap. The thought is that the dead person will only see what the ankles of the passer-bys and a warning to others to fall in line.

    So the more liberal minded in our country are worried about what we do? We are not fighting with what we call normal "human" people.

    June 7, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. vikingslost

    Born in the USA.

    God Bless America.

    June 7, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Republicans - The "Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    This is why you won't and shouldn't be President. You don't have the good sense to simply DROP THE SHOVEL.

    You are in a HOLE. Stop Digging you IDIOT.

    June 7, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. haris b.

    This guy is longing for the old days of W and Dick. He has no chance of even making it past Iowa.

    June 7, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. C. Howe Yulikit

    You also disagree with the vast majority of scientists and people with measurable IQs regarding evolution. Good thing you will be dropping out of the race shortly after the second primary.

    June 7, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. annie s

    Why is it all the "Christians" favor torture?

    June 7, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. TM

    Tell you what Ricky, how about YOU go through the SAME "enhanced interrogation" that Senator McCain went through during his time in Vietnam, THEN you can shoot off your (hopefully less ignorant) mouth on the topic. Deal?

    June 7, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Steve, New York City

    Ah – Santorum – that's the American way (in your mind) – we should torture more detainees? I don't agree with all of McCain's positions (but on this one, he's got one heck of a leg-up on you, doesn't he)!

    More tiresome, vacuous comment from the extreme right.

    June 7, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. D-Nice

    This guy just doesn't know when to quit. You don't tell the guy who was a prisoner of war for years that he doesn't understand torture. It just goes to show how dumb Santorum really is.

    June 7, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Joseph

    Why do these clowns (still) call it "enhanced interrogation?" Torture is torture. Doesn't take a Sarah Palin to know that.

    June 7, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Patrick from Minnesota

    As much as I dislike McCain, I stand by ANY member of our armed services that was tortured relentlessly by the enemy, including John McCain. And to say he doesn't know how enhanced interrogation works is an insult to all our soldiers. SHAME ON SANTORUM!!

    June 7, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Kenny

    It's OK for former Senator Rick Santorum to disagree with or disrespect Senator McCain on the issue of "enhanced interrogation" since he is just one of the many Republicans that will not be elected POTUS in 2012. While I do not agree with Senator McCain on very much, in fact I disagree with him on almost every issue, I do respect and honor him for his servive to our country and I do respect his position on "enhanced interrogation" considering the fact that he has "first hand knowledge" of the workings of this form of interrogation". Santorum is simply added proof that IDIOTS other than Sarah Palin do walk among us.

    June 7, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    [Santorum: I still disagree with McCain on enhanced interrogation]
    And stating this should give me just a little more traction
    Because right now it seems I'm LAST on the totem pole
    And I'm tired of being alone in the bottom of this hellhole!!

    Give it up Santorum – it does not matter what you think because no one cares!!

    June 7, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    I tell you what there pretty Ricky.....why don't you allow yourself to be waterboarded and see if it's torture or not and see if the folks doing it to you can get you to say what they WANT you to say. A guy like you couldn't walk in John McCain's shoes if you had to. IMO you're pretty PATHETIC and as a normal Democratic voter I support McCain on this one.

    June 7, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  18. A disgusted former Republican

    What makes Santorum an expert on torture; his total lack of useful knowledge? This clown needs to go to Philadelphia and study the crack in the Liberty Bell. Maybe he will learn something.

    June 7, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  19. Guitar

    Another Republican hopeful that knows he doesn't have a chance in hell of getting the nomination for president. Just like all the others, (led by Ms. Alaska herself), they're all just cashing in and looking to walk away with millions in contributions. Both the legal kind and all the monies passed around behind closed doors. We seriously need to disband political parties and vote all independents in, who we can actually listen to, find out who we agree with, then vote for those who best suit our own scorecards, instead of just blindly voting party lines.

    June 7, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Guitar

    I would also suggest that Santorum undergo waterboarding himself and see how long he can last. By condoning torturing of prisoners of war, he is condemning our soldiers to the same, and worse. BTW, what branch of the military was it that he served in????

    June 7, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Almost 10 years later and over 3,000 killed on 911 and over 4,000 of our military killed , Santorum sounds like the fool he is. The body count doesn't support Santorum but then again he doesn't give a darn, he didn't lose anyone, he wasn't serving so don't attempt serving that up to American families who have lost loved ones.

    June 7, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. diridi

    Another nasty idiot to the discredit of America....shame...just do not vote to this idiot, he does not know what he is talking, may be he had beer....

    June 7, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    Santorum is sadly beyond ridiculous, lacking the decent sense of understanding.

    Sen. McCain is absolutely right on this issue from someone who endured the wrongs of enhanced interrogation (torture) that does not work. America is a member of the Geneva Conventions and should honor the commitment.

    June 7, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |