Romney and Cain not conservative enough, says Santorum
October 18th, 2011
05:32 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney and Cain not conservative enough, says Santorum

(CNN) - The two frontrunners in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination aren't conservative enough, according to rival candidate Rick Santorum.

Santorum said Tuesday that former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were both lacking the conservative principles voters were looking for.

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"I don't think either of them have great conservative credentials," Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"Look at Herman Cain. He's putting forward a brand new tax for the American public. A national sales tax. At the same time that we're going to have an income tax and value added tax. That's not a conservative proposal in my opinion."

Santorum had a similar assessment of Romney, saying the candidate's record as governor of Massachusetts was littered with non-conservative decisions.

"I think Mitt Romney is someone who raised taxes, instituted gay marriage in Massachusetts when he didn't have to," Santorum said. "You look at Romneycare, it's is a huge government takeover."

Santorum was optimistic about his campaign prospects, saying he was still running strong despite declining campaign funds and lackluster polling.

"If you looked a month ago, you would have probably made the same comment to Herman Cain," Santorum said. "We're doing it the old fashioned way. When we're spending time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina."

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Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Ellen

    Rick Santorum has a statue of John Birch in his private chapel. Not Jesus but John Birch. I'm not kidding. I saw it!

    October 18, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Reed

    "I don't think either of them have great conservative credentials," Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

    I believe this is a misprint. Didn't Santorum say this...and not Cain? In any case, Rick Santorum was never a favorite of mine–until the last few weeks. I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat; I am moderately liberal on some issues and moderately conservative on others (as I suspect most Americans, truth be known, actually are) and make a effort to remain nonpartisan. The recent debates have give me a much different impression of Santorum than I've had over the years, watching him in the Senate. I agree with his social values and not so much with his neoconservative foreign policy stance. But, of all the Republican hopefuls, he seems the most coherent and wide-ranging in his knowledge. I think, if he were to play his cards just right, he could well step in and fill the void that the traditional conservative wing of the party is looking for. And that would tend to provide a balance against Romney as the moderate Republican's candidate of choice. In fact, if Romney were to choose Santorum as his running mate (not likely, of course), I might even vote for them.

    October 18, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Jim

    The guy is toast

    October 18, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. WiredweirdinSF

    I am so glad that the corrupt, inept, incomptent, union toady president has decided to use th power of the presidency and the taxpayers money to pander to the dope addled democrat liberals to reelect him. He has set a precedent that we conservatives can now use tax payer funds to campaign for our reelections, if we can lie as skillfully as he can. But then no group is as skilled at lying as democrat liberals.

    October 18, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    so I guess now the term conservative means you have to be a FAR right wing nutjob with little tolerence for anything different, be thin skinned, and not having much education and being real religious even though you don't always practice what you preach. FoxNews, right wing talk shows, and the Tea Party have really made the term conservative even more devisive than it once was. Thank God I'm a moderate.

    October 18, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. Reed

    What is working against Santorum–and why he gets so little attention–is that his two signature issues are not the ones at the forefront of the discussion this time around. Americans, even Repubicans, have largely modified their stance on social issues and have drifted away from the evangelical Christian perspective of the Falwell/Robertson days of old. And GWB's Iraq invasion gave neoconservatives a black eye they are still nursing. Santorum could be a real player in this election if he were put the social and defense matters aside for the moment and aim his guns squarely at jobs and the economy. He needs to lay out a plan that is in between Cain's and Romney's...and one that makes sense to both moderates and conservatives.

    October 18, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Ed DFWTX

    The GOP has been hi jacked years ago by these these so called social conservatives like Santorum. They are more concerned about bringing up wedge issues that bring fear and divide our country while putting lots of money in theirs deep pocketsSantorum believes we need to elect a conservative that will undo the economic, moral and social destruction this administration has unleashed on America Its the conservative repubs that got us in this message in the 1st place.. Obama 2012!

    October 18, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. PA Moderate

    To Reed: Thank you for your input...but it is obvious you are the one paid person on the ever shrinking Santorum staff.

    October 18, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. skarphace

    Santorum is way out of his league. This is why he always looks like a deer caught in the headlights. His frozen expression says it all: he doesn't belong here. As Vice President? If Biden can do it, anybody can.

    October 18, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. jefflz

    Cain's outrageous "take from the poor and give to the rich" tax plan is a minor complaint compared to his jokes about electrocuting people at the Mexican border. Cain may brush off electrocution of illegal immigrants as a joke, but this comment does fit in with his links to the neo-fascist Koch brothers. Not conservative enough for Santorum? What is he looking for? A right-wing religious Inquisitor?

    October 18, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Santorum isn't conservative.........he's grossly negative......about almost everything, except himself.

    We need to hear from candidates who want to tell us what they will do, to improve this economy, and this country.......and not who choose to attack the other candidates, just because they are the opposition. If you can't win on your own merits, you can't win........and Santorum is bringing nothing to the table himself, but talking points. That's a bore.

    October 18, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |