January 25th, 2012
12:03 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum says Obama SOTU pandered to blue-collar workers

Naples, Florida (CNN) - Speaking to a crowd of more than a thousand people at the First Baptist Church here the morning after the State of the Union, Rick Santorum praised President Obama's focus on manufacturing and said that it proved he was the right candidate to defeat him in November.

"I was very excited at the president's speech last night," Santorum said to laughter from the crowd. "I actually was because the President of the United States made the case for Rick Santorum to be the nominee of the Republican Party."

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Santorum's campaign has long focused on trying to revive America's manufacturing base, going so far as to zero out the corporate tax rate for manufacturers and processors in an effort to spur factory construction. The president also emphasized manufacturing in his address to Congress, and Santorum said that means he recognizes that blue-collar workers are key to his reelection.

"What did the president lead with," Santorum asked the crowd. "Now remember we all know that this was a purely political speech. This was a speech designed to go after different voter groups that he thinks are key for him to win the election. We all agree with that? Okay, what was the first voter group that he went after, the one that he spent the most time on? The one he was going to do the most to help? Manufacturing. Blue collar workers."

Pointing to his previous electoral successes in largely blue-collar Pennsylvania, Santorum regularly makes the case that he's the only candidate who'd be able to attract those voters in a general election contest against the president. At many events he contrasts that record with Mitt Romney's success appealing to moderates in Massachusetts and Newt Gingrich's record of holding on to a conservative Congressional district in Georgia.

"Barack Obama knows the key to this election are the swing states in particular in the industrial heartland of our country," Santorum said. "The Reagan Democrats, those blue-collar democrats who swung for Ronald Reagan and provided a 49-state victory."

In pivoting back to the issue of values, Santorum said that Obama "knows his policies are destroying and making it difficult for those folks to get employment. And he also knows that they are the ones who are on the bubble as to what direction they are going to swing. He also knows that these folks for the most part don't agree with him on some of the core values issues."

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Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    Nowhere else could the 1% create so much wealth or enjoy so much wealth. And if they go some one else will step up very quickly to take their place – the wealthy that you seem to worship so well have no where to go or they would have already gone. Please leave and take your idols with you.
    Apparently their (and your) only allegiance is to their money, not our country.

    January 25, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    mom4hope

    We all know Santorum and the Republicans only think pandering to the rich is acceptable.
    ---------

    you are primarily right on this. However, they also use the religion angle to keep the not-rich but gullible sheep in the fold

    January 25, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Keith in Austin

    Anyone who sincerely believes that the GOP only cares about the RICH is either already blinded by their own pitiful envy or totally uninformed! Liberals who spew this ongoing Obama/MSM propaganda paint themselves for what they truly are; rigid ideologues, dependent on Nanny Government for handouts, or just plain stupid! What category do YOU fall under? Care to comment Wire, Rudy, GI Joe, Diridi, Greedy, Obamamama?

    January 25, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Alan J

    Yeah Santorum ain't that a shame? When you and those other three clowns are trying to appeal to the Big Money Criminals how are dare the POTUS go and speake about the middle class and poor people! You can pack it in and go away Blah Boy

    January 25, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. anagram_kid

    Mr. Santorum said, “This was a speech designed to go after different voter groups that he thinks are key for him to win the election.” Tell you what Mr. Santorum, when you are prepared to stand in front of a group of Atheists and explain why you think you religious beliefs should be used to dictate other people’s behavior, I will believe that you are not just pandering to a base yourself.

    Obama 2012 – Because there is too much left to be fixed failures of Regan/Bush/Bush(Chaney)

    January 25, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Hey,
    Let's hope the Jobs Picture gets better this year! If not Obama can Tax the Rich out of existance. However all those Blue Collar folks will be taxed out of existance also.

    January 25, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Jay

    How do you spell Santorum? L-o-s-e-r.

    January 25, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Gobama

    Santorum accusing Obama of "pandering"? Santorum panders to all of the evangelicals spreading his anti-abortion, anti-gay rhetoric like he's the next Jesus Christ. Obama clearly painted a vision for this country to get back on its feet by reviving the culture of the American worker. If Santorum wants a church-run country, why not run for Prime Minister of England and leave us alone!!

    January 25, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Laverne

    Thanks goodness since you and your colleagues pander directly to the 1%. If this gig doesn't work out for Santorum, maybe he can get one of those blue-collar jobs Gingrich talk about being a janitor or something!

    January 25, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Jilli

    "I actually was because the President of the United States made the case for Rick Santorum to be the nominee of the Republican Party."

    I believe there's a typo there – it should read..."I actually was because the President of the United States made the case for Rick Santorum to be the nominee of the Christianist Party."

    I don't think mr. santorum has realized yet that it's 2012, and that the US is not a theocracy.

    January 25, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Orchid333

    None of these jokers running for the GOP nod is going to beat Obama. Except maybe Ron Paul, but of course the GOP won't give him the time of day. So, onward and upward.

    January 25, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. tigerakabj

    Sasha, these guys take pride in ignorance and hypocrisy. If President Obama defended the belief that the earth is round, they would accuse him of being a marxist neo-Galileo whose trying to push his fascist leftist taoism on this country for believing the earth isn't flat.

    The best thing to do is laugh at them and vote their rear ends out in November. They need a good time out for about 40 years.

    January 25, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. R

    "Santorum says Obama SOTU pandered to blue-collar workers"

    Of course, and Santorum will pander for as many votes as he can too. It's an election year, and the only thing politicians care about is pandering for the most votes they can get. Although that's really just a formality, because we all know a vote has been replaced by a dollar bill as being more important.

    I'm still amazed to see how many people, who vote either Democrat or Republican, have not come to that realization yet.

    January 25, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. WatchDawg

    Truth and Nothing but the Truth...for the GOP / Tea PartyObama's track record over the last 3 years do NOT back up this statement and a majority of Americans do not believe that statement. Obama has clearly shown us he is the most divisive President in our history and has NO CLUE about how our economy works. The only way this country will turn around is shortly after his departure from the Whitehouse.

    You are starting to sound like the broken Fox News record...nothing you ever print is substantiated...have you even looked up the term devisive? I'm sure if you did...there would be a remarkable resemblence to you and your mindless drivel...

    January 25, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Phil in KC

    We know who the Republicans pander to – the wealthy & big business. Obviously, speaking to a group of working class would not set well with those folks. The next thing you know, they'll think they have rights and start demanding fair treatment.

    January 25, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Susan Booth

    Rick Santorum panders every freaking day to right wing extremists. Whatever!

    January 25, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Hongli

    Keep dreaming Rick !!!

    January 25, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. unsub

    the SOTU was excellent!

    January 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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