Santorum rebuts Romney attacks
February 9th, 2012
03:21 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum rebuts Romney attacks

Oklahoma City (CNN) - Following an energetic rally here on Thursday, Rick Santorum pushed back against a recent spate of criticisms from GOP rival Mitt Romney.

"Governor Romney's campaign has been about serially tearing down but not offering any kind of vision about what he wants to do for this country," Santorum told reporters.

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"He's not going out and talking about his record as governor of Massachusetts. He hides from that record."

On specific criticisms that he asked for earmarks as a senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum defended his record, pointing to specific earmarks he requested that have helped the military. Admitting he'd probably made some mistakes in the process, overall Santorum defended earmarks as a productive way of allocating federal funds.

"I understand people don't like earmarks because of the abuse of it, but there are legitimate reasons when the President of the United States isn't doing the things that are right, then the Congress can have oversight and said you're wrong," Santorum said. "When it was abused, I said stop it, and I'm for stopping it."

Santorum turned the criticism back on Romney, saying that his continued attacks show and unwillingness to talk about the problems facing the country.

"This is the gotcha politics of Mitt Romney," Santorum said. "It's not interesting to talk about the issues. He's not interested in talking about the issues. He's interested in trying to pander and make political sauce, when there's real substantive issues about how we're trying to change this government, and he's on the wrong side."

In recent days Santorum has criticized Romney for running on his business experience, saying that the country doesn't need a "manager" it needs a leader. In return Romney has criticized Santorum's lack of management experience. On Thursday, Santorum said that more important than management experience is "leadership experience," and he pointed to Romney's political appointees as governor of Massachusetts as evidence of poor leadership.

"The folks that I've surrounded with myself while in office and the people that are surrounding ourselves now are strong principled conservatives," Santorum said. "They are the ones that are going to be on those departments, managing those departments. We are going to get the best possible conservative. Look at Gov Romney. Look at his appointments. They were not conservative."

Also see:

Santorum targets Obama, Romney at raucous Texas rally

Bachmann: Santorum win a 'shot across the bow'

Gingrich looks to Super Tuesday lift

McCain blames turnout (not Romney) for Tuesday results

Romney: Rivals are 'Republicans who acted like Democrats'


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Oklahoma • Rick Santorum
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Poor Mittens. A six year quest for an office he will never hold.

    February 9, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. CoJo

    oooh, interview from Wolf and Ron Paul; Ron Paul states if you look at all the stuff Santorum has voted for, a lot of it has been big government.... why haven't the tea party picked up on this??? laying down of the job again....

    February 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. DaveinSC

    The whole lot of them condemn Obama for dividing the country and congress. Does anyone see anything form any of these candidates on easing the vitriol that exists in congress now? Negative television ads, both against each other and against the Democrats are not a way of pulling the country together either.

    February 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Santorum sounds more like Texas Gov Rick Perry, a real airhead. It's desperate times for Republicans because as a result they are making desperate irrational decisions and Santorum is just adding to their desperation.

    February 9, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. John

    Hey GOP how is that Tea Party wing of your party coming along. Hey America had enough yet........

    February 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. supercharger

    Bfin...
    I have been had great interactions with LDS folks for the last 20 years. They are some of the most upstanding, disciplined people that I know. That being said, I wouldn't consider any of them my friends and that's not by my choice. The only LDS guy I knew that was accepting of my different beliefs (including being able to have a beer after work, drink coffee and not stockpile 3 years worth of consumables in my house) was a Jack. I saw him have a spiritual crisis, leave the Church, date a non-approved woman and then come back after his mother died. Sure, the Church "welcomed" him back, but it was clear that he was never treated the same. That conflicts starkly to the religion I believe in, which focuses on forgiveness of sins. Avoidance of sin is the LDS staple, not forgiveness.

    February 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. supercharger

    I'm pretty sure that 99% of the non-LDS people of this country have made a mistake at some point in their lives. What does that mean for US, when a Mormon is running the country?

    February 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. edog

    I heard the only reason the Salt Lake Olympics, that Mitt keeps bragging about running, was a success was because the Federal Government threw over 1 billion dollars in tax payers money as a grant.... Now look at him rail against using Tax papers money...

    February 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    That piece should read the re butts are going after each other.

    February 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Bfin

    @supercharger I understand what your saying, but I lived in south, and was bombarded by bigotry, II had the same experience among evangelicals. I personally try hard to be open minded, We are all human we have some in our church that might be more close minded but most are trying love and accept everyone. Btw the LDS church is based on forgiveness. I just think it's funny that people can say we are judging others, while they are judging us without any knowledge not directed at supercharger.

    February 9, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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