Santorum warns voters of scary rhetoric
January 12th, 2012
01:22 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum warns voters of scary rhetoric

Springdale, South Carolina (CNN) – During a question and answer session here Wednesday evening, Rick Santorum was forced to be more candid than usual about Mitt Romney's chances in a general election.

After calling Romney the "establishment" candidate in his opening remarks and comparing him to Bob Dole and John McCain - two candidates who won South Carolina but lost the general election - Santorum was asked at the end of the event to be a bit more specific about the differences between himself and his competitors.

First Santorum dismissed Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich as politicians who have never won a state-wide race, and whose success has come at the hands of Republican voters in relatively safe conservative congressional districts.

He then criticized Rick Perry as a former-Democrat who has won statewide races as a Republican in Texas.

"How hard is that?," Santorum asked, before moving on to Romney.

"Governor Romney - he's run three races, lost two," Santorum said, touting his own electoral success in traditionally Democratic Pennsylvania.

"The first race he ran as a liberal, lost to Ted Kennedy. And he actually claimed to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on many issues when he did that. Secondly he ran as a moderate and got elected in Massachusetts - didn't run for reelection. And then ran for president as a conservative. So it's sort of multiple choice."

Santorum then scoffed at claims that Romney is the most "electable" candidate.

"I love this - so he's the most electable. Says who? Where's he ever proven that?," the former senator asked. "He's the most electable because the establishment feels comfortable with him. Right? That's it. Well they're not going to feel comfortable with me."

Elsewhere in his remarks, he repeated some of his favorite attacks on what he calls President Obama's "divisive" rhetoric. Santorum blamed the current national division on the president's failure to unite people behind a common vision.

"People have asked how can you pull people together? How can you break this partisan divide?," Santorum said. "I would make the argument, you did it the way Reagan did it. You remind us who we are. You make the choices. You don't go out and intimidate and scare people to get you to join your cause, like President Obama does on a regular basis."

But Santorum quickly shifted his tone, painting two rather frightening scenarios in which the listeners would be much worse off if President Obama was reelected.

The first scenario referred to the debt ceiling debate, during which Santorum said that the president used scare tactics to unite a divided nation behind his push for an increase of the nations borrowing limit without any other legislation attached.

Santorum recounted how the president urged voters to call their congressperson, warning welfare recipients and military spouses awaiting checks that their money might be late if the nation surpassed its borrowing limit. This, he said, was an example of how Obama and his administration are trying to lure people into being dependent on the government.

"This election's the most important election because after Obamacare goes into effect with the reelection of Barack Obama, ever single one of you will be on that list," Santorum said. "Call [your congressperson] or you're not going to get your health care. Call or you're not going to get that test, you're not going to be able to see that doctor. That's what it's all about. Getting their hooks into every single man and woman and child in America."

Later he described a scenario in which - under Obamacare - government spending would increase to such an extent that people would no longer be free.

"The average amount of quote 'government' as a percentage of the economy since World War II has been about 18% – on average," Santorum said. "We're now at almost 25%. And under Obamacare it's projected to go up into the 30's and some have even projected 40% will be government. Let me assure you, you will not be free. When government's controlling 40 cents of every dollar you simply - from an economic point of view you are simply not as free as when they are controlling half that amount."


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • South Carolina
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. hansdick

    What blather

    January 12, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  2. Liska

    I will feel freer when I have universal health care ( Like Norway, France, Germany. etc); I will not fear to loose my home due to illness. I will feel freer when the my library is open 7 days a week and not stripped of its socialistic dollars or privatized. I will feel safer and freer when the FDA is fully funded. When my bridges and highways and my infrastructure is maintained with my tax dollars and not left to profiteers. I will feel freer when we have a more noble and trustworthy balance between private and public systems so that my city, state, and national parks are not sold off to venture capitalists or to the Hiltons. You, Santorum are what scares me: you and the likes of you who want to privatize everything in America with the exception of with whom I sleep and ..... my choices for my womb.

    January 12, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  3. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Santorum wants to know why Romney is electable.

    The truth is Romney is only electable when compared to the rest of the Republican field. Ron Paul is a racist trying to hide his past. Gengrich is a womanizer that is a bit too crooked even for his own colleagues. Rick Perry couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the c and t. Bachmann's only business was being a professional faith healer before she found the Tea Party. Then we get to Huntsman and Santorum, neither of whom can muster enough support to raise a challenge to the above mentioned gaggle of fools.

    So, yeah, it does look like Romney is the only electable out of this mixed bag of losers.

    January 12, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  4. Reno

    Good Lord. I'd rather vote for Paul, or Romney, or Gingrich. But this guy's a lunatic.

    January 12, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  5. Sanctimouious santorum

    Glad Perry and Sanctimonious Santorum were in the bottom of the pack. Those guys would be making sure all women get scanned regularly to make sure they aren't pregnant and have microchips inserted into them so everyone knows they belong to a man. Less govt for Wall Street and other businesses, more govt intrusion in your bedroom. Santorum wants his kid to be able to be a mechanic if he wants, well home schooling on the public's dole will mean that he will be ready to sweep the floors. Auto Techs have to have more schooling than just high school in today's world and Santorum just wants to dumb down everyone so they will be in with the stupid crowd that votes for him. Glad PA voters knew him for what he really is and fired him. He had a "charitable" foundation that only spent 30% of the donations on real causes, the rest went into his pocket. And don't forget about his breakfast club on K Street in DC. He said he stopped when he got caught, but started it back up when the outcry died down. Kind of like Palin and her outfits paid for by the Repubs, went right back out and spent more. Bunch of hypocrites. Force people to have kids, but no money to pay for them. But it's okay for Santorum's wife to have an abortion because her kids would be left without a mommy.

    January 12, 2012 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  6. Midas Atreides

    I'm sorry, but if Rick Santorum thinks that this is more likely to happen to Romney (winning the election in SC but losing the US as a whole) than himself, he is delusional. JFK was elected because he wanted to divorce politics and religion. Santorum would seek to marry them again – if Santorum thinks that the US is LESS secular now than it was then, he is, again, having a delusion.

    January 12, 2012 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  7. Marie MD

    Speaking of rhetoric . hates gays, women have no voice, a family is better off with the dad who abandoned them in jail instead of in a loving same sex family. President Obama didn't have to tell anyone how we felt when the teapublikan congress wanted to screw over th working poor and the vanishing middle class. We can think for ourselves.
    You and your rethugs are the ones trying to get their hook into American lives and tell us how to live out lives because of your warped "christian" idea and values.

    January 12, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  8. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Santorum warns voters of scary rhetoric◄
    But if it's TRUE Santizorm then "What the Heck!?"

    Obama 2012!

    January 12, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  9. willie floyd

    As a Christian I do not want to live in a theocracy. I have never felt fear from our president-this man scares me. Our country was founded on freedom of religion-in my mind my fellow citizens have the same right to choose their religion the same as I have. In a perfect world, as Christians, we would love to have everyone choose our Saviour. It is NOT a perfect world. We send missionaries to TEACH Gods' word-not shove it down their throats or bomb countries that don't agree with us.

    January 12, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Santorum has some good points there. He is someone the social conservatives should have no problem with and can rally behind. I wish that they would do that. It would give Romney a run for his money.

    January 12, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  11. Irma in north Carolina

    Mitt needs to be brought down a notch or two, he thinks he is already in the white house.

    January 12, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  12. Common Sense

    This guy is straight out of his mind and completely, 100% whacked

    January 12, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |