Santorum: 'They're trying to Huckabee me'
October 29th, 2011
03:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: 'They're trying to Huckabee me'

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Rick Santorum told a crowd of Republicans Saturday he will make no apologies for speaking out against abortion, defending traditional marriage, and for stressing his positions on other social issues.

Then, the GOP presidential candidate coined a new phrase for a political tactic that, he explained, is used to tar and feather social conservatives.

"If you look at the debates, every single moral, cultural question has come to me first," Santorum said at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies in Des Moines, Iowa.

"I was in a conversation with [2008 GOP presidential candidate] Mike Huckabee the other day. I said, 'Mike, they're trying to Huckabee me.' They're trying to paint [me] into that box that you're the social conservative candidate and ask you all these social conservative questions."

"Well as far as I'm concerned, bring it on...I am not ashamed for standing up for life, family and faith which are the foundation of our society," Santorum added.

In the 2008 GOP primary, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee was seen by many as the most socially conservative candidate. Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa Republican Caucuses.

The former Pennsylvania senator's emphasis on his core social values is sure to appeal to a group that could help his campaign. Santorum's presidential bid is currently beset with at least a trio of political misfortunes: low name ID, poll numbers and fundraising totals.

But some solid debate performances, along with the most visits to Iowa of any GOP candidate this cycle, could help Santorum's standing. He has vowed to visit all 99 counties in the state, something he'll accomplish by the end of next week, he told the audience.

"One of the things I hear from people is, 'Oh Santorum, he's a good guy. He's a solid conservative. He's on my list. But you know, he can't win,'" Santorum said. "If you look at all the people in this race, look at the guy who's actually won. Look at the person who's actually been in a state that's a swing state that's going to determine this election."

Santorum won two terms to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate.

Another strategy that could improve Santorum's standing and visibility: continued criticism of the Republican frontrunners.

To that end, Santorum once again took aim at Mitt Romney.

While reiterating his frequent criticism of the Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling that allowed for gay marriage in the state, Santorum said, "Guess who didn't rebuff the courts. Governor Romney. Governor Romney issued those marriage licenses – ordered people to issue marriage licenses in contradiction to the constitution and the statutes of Massachusetts."

–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Dan in FL

    It's not conservative to try and legislate your personal religious convictions. That would be a liberal use of big brother government. People who are questioning Santorum's convictions are trying to determine if he knows where the line between his personal life and pubic service is.

    October 29, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. RINO Bil

    Rick Santorum = yawn.

    Rick Santorum's campaign – comotose moving towards moribund.

    October 29, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Sorensen

    Nobody really gives a damn about whatever he says anyway. Somebody nice ought to tell the poor fellow.

    October 29, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Kenny

    One of the main problems with Rick Santorum is his desire to force his religion on the remainder of the nation just as the Republican party wants small government. They want it small enough to get into a woman's womb and control what she does with it.

    October 29, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. sturmyarcher

    TO: Rick Santorum, Please find another job. One that does not address your morals. My feeling is that they conflict with the ideas of the majority of Americans

    Thanks.
    Alvis Hurd

    October 29, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. CLALLEN

    These GOP stories are starting to shape up as the Ignorance in Full Parade (IFP) campaign of 2012. I'll be watching for the entertainment value as this silly pageantry is trotted out by the likes of Santorum, Perry, Bachman, and the others of their ilk. Keep it coming!

    October 29, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. SteveinPA

    Nothing tars and feathers this man more than his own mouth and extremely rigid viewpoints. We were lucky enough to rid PA of his direct impact. Thankfully his poll numbers show that the country as a whole is not buying his extreme beliefs either. We have far too much polarization as it is without such a backward "thinker" in any position of influence in government.

    October 29, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"Well as far as I'm concerned, bring it on...I am not ashamed for standing up for life, family and faith which are the foundation of our society," Santorum added.◄

    I hate it when these far-right – think they're right – Republicans pull in how the "foundation of our society" is the basis they need to live by. They DID NOT live by NONE OF IT in many ways in the past – just like there was NOT "truth and justice" for all Americans!!!

    We all came to America differently and all of our foundations are DIFFERENT. We are all Americans with different background and we all enjoy our FREEDOM, life and family – but in a different way. NO ONE should force the way they LIVE on anyone else and that is the problem of the Republican party!!!

    Obama 2012

    October 29, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Sounds like he caught it - Palinitis --

    They're out to get me. Look how mean they are to me. I'm a christian so I hate everyone.

    Poor babyyyyyyyy!

    October 29, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. nina

    Santorum has low name id?? I could have sworn there are about 35,000 'likes' for the top google result of his name.

    October 29, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. NoTags

    Go home Santorum, you're finished.

    October 29, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Jim in MS

    Santorum is a loser. The people in Pennsylvania voted him out of office. With his social views, he would have done better in the 1952 presidential race. Americans no longer feel the way he does.

    October 29, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. bj

    Sir you have no iidea what the term means given your birthright. For those of us who experienced one of the most shameful periods in America, we know what that term really means and the effects on an entire community. What next? "We Shall Overcome?"

    October 29, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Dixie

    Mr. Know-It-All. Tell me one more time how religious you are. You have no understanding or compassion for women, gays, the elderly, or those without insurance, etc.

    October 29, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. DENNA

    Then, the GOP presidential candidate coined a new phrase for a political tactic that, he explained, is used to tar and feather social conservatives.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I love how the Republicans and the Tea paint themselves as "social conservatives". What does that even mean? While they are certainly conservative, they are not even remotely social. They are the most stuck-up, self-satisfied bunch of people in the world. They have somehow gained the idea that they are the boss of everyone else and that their way of thinking is the only way. If the Republicans want to survive to occupy the White House another day, they need to dump their Tea Party anchor. "Social Conservatives" are people who have not been touched by real adversity, i.e., illness, loss of job, homeless, etc. and just plain bad luck piled upon more bad luck. If they were, they would know better than to practice this nonsense.

    October 29, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Keith

    Can somebody please explain the difference between a conservative and a total control freak, I simply can't see it. Seems like all they want to do is run other peoples lives.

    October 29, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. Paul

    Fiscal conservatism and social conservatism are antipathetic to one another. How one can keep a straight face saying the government should have a very limited role in individual lives – while at the same time urging a strong (imperial) military, a conflation of religion and the state, and state regulation of social issues, has always been beyond me. Santorum – talk to Barry Goldwater. Though he's turning in his grave.

    October 29, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. kuewa

    Santorum: The "poor me" candidate who has no qualms about persecuting others as long as people pay attention to him. After all, it's all about santorum, isn't it ?

    October 29, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    When are these hypocrites going to see that we don't want government in our bedrooms? We don't want them fixated on marriage laws. We need jobs, for God's sake.

    October 29, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Since Rick brought up Huckabee. . . I watched his Fox show for a while, but turned it off because he was not being truthful. My question to teavangelicals, if a born again Baptist minister will not tell the truth, and gives up his integrity to earn big money from Fox, isn't he showing qualities of the devil?

    October 29, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. keeth

    What about personal responsibility? If people aren't listening to your message, maybe that's your fault?

    October 29, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. greencollarworker

    If you want to know more about Santorum, just google him. The first entry tells you everything you need.

    October 29, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. ED FL

    Santorum ,Bachmann,Perry and Cain are not going to win the GOP nomination,That leaves the philandering Newt who will dump his wife for anyone, Romney who will probably win the Primary and get swamped by OBAMA. Paul will go home and look ion the mirror and say wait until next election ,Iwill win that one or the one after that however he won't qualify due to his age. Who is Huntsman? CNN will once again have very little to say or do when the Big Boys get into the Fials.

    October 29, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. USMaverick

    Mike Huckabee actually has some real ideas and thoughts for many problems we face today. You, Mr. Santorum, have none. Nada. Zip! Don't flatter yourself by "huckabeeing" yourself! Not in the same league. Not Close!!!

    October 29, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Strategic Bob

    Rick, Rick, Rick,

    There not trying to "Huckabee" you. They're trying to smear you with santorum. But when one is as backward, ignorant and bigoted as you are, it does not take a lot of effort to make you look bad. You are doing a fine job of that all by yourself. But if you really want to live in a country where the power of government is used to compel people to live by the dictates of a single religion, why don't you just move to Iran? Hell, they don't believe in evolution, science, an oblate sperhoid earth or any of the other advances in knowledge brought to us by the enlightenment that you are so opposed to. you would fit right in with that ignorant, narrow-minded crowd.

    October 29, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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