Santorum: Obama dividing country to win election
December 22nd, 2011
03:01 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: Obama dividing country to win election

Fairfield, Iowa (CNN) - Fresh off the heels of a coveted endorsement, Republican Rick Santorum displaying some newfound confidence Wednesday as he accused President Barack Obama of playing "Chicago politics" and dividing the country to win an upcoming election.

The President has been "painting a picture" over the last six months of an "us vs. them" narrative, Santorum said.

"Rich vs. poor," he went on. " It is classic class warfare. It's dividing.  It's a very divisive message."

The former Pennsylvania senator said the reason Congress hasn't gotten anything done is because the President is "trying to pit one group against another."

"It's pathetic.  It is beneath the dignity of the president."

Santorum's comments were in response to an audience member at a town hall meeting of about 60 caucus-goers in rural Fairfield, Iowa. The question was in regard to what the executive's role is when the legislative side isn't getting anything accomplished.

Also in his answer, Santorum said he believes what the country needs in times of gridlock is a leader who can rise above the blame game and who doesn't resort to calling people out by name.

He said he admired George W. Bush for his ability to take the high road in instances such as these.

Describing Obama's style, Santorum said "he is the most divisive, partisan, he'll pick anybody who says anything against him – you talk about thin skin, boom.  He's just right out there, and he'll just go right back at that person."

"That's not what a president does. You're above that. You're the leader of the country. You don't get involved in those things. You lead."

He continued with passion.

"But he's not interested in leading.  He's interested in winning.  He's interested in winning a political game.  Chicago politics.  And it's nasty.  And it's divisive.  And it is the reason we're not getting anything done. "

"All he's done is focus on damning Republicans by name, and running an election campaign instead of leading this country. "

Santorum said Obama has "proposed no ideas" except for "just tax the rich."

"It's not about taxing the rich to solve the problem.  It's about taxing the rich so you can pit the rich against the majority of Americans, so he can get their votes."

"This is who the president is folks.  It's not hope and change.  It's just radical change."

Wednesday was the candidate's last day of town hall meetings in Iowa until after the holiday break. He travels back to Pennsylvania Thursday afternoon for a couple of days of rest before the final sprint to the caucus finish line on January 3.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. bryan

    One should not talk...both he and his party have not only been using divisive and reactionary rhetoric in blatant attempts to do nothing but have this president fail, but have themselves created more class conflict than the democrats could every do...this man sickens me, get out of politics santorum you are a dinosaur and a relic of an era gone...ill continue to support and vote for my president

    December 22, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. zee

    Obama is dividing America for votes?
    Of course, Santorum isn't doing Anything like that.
    It's not like he's dividing everyone into "Americans" and "gays and heretics".

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhht... sure

    December 22, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. anagram_kid

    And the GOP candidates are splitting the party to lose an election.

    December 22, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Eddie

    What a joke of a candidate. What a joke of a man. The last time he was in Congress he was rubbing shoulders with Strom Thurmond, Bill Frist, Tom Delay, Trent Lott, Ted Stevens, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Barr and other hard right men who gave an unbelievable amount of valuable legislative time to stopping the march to freedom of gay Americans. They are the nightmare that just keeps on giving to this day. We are currently standing in a minefield of hate that these men created.

    December 22, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. william

    This new found confidence not withstanding but aren't Republicans supposed to outline what they will do differntly to solve pproblems??

    December 22, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Jason

    I've noticed that those who support Ron Paul do not live in fear. This is his greatest asset. Fearful people always want war and to spend problems away. Neither are productive to our fundamental values. The people who live in fear live a brainwashed life, and sadly, some are ok with that. The massive egos, false wealth, and ignorance that accompany this constant subconscious fear are truly massive in this country. This is not freedom. It’s self-isolation.

    December 22, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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