Romney: Santorum not fiscal conservative
February 17th, 2012
05:42 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: Santorum not fiscal conservative

Boise, Idaho (CNN) - Mitt Romney unleashed his harshest public attacks to date on his surging rival, Rick Santorum, during a rally in Boise Friday.

The former Massachusetts governor told an audience of more than one thousand people that Santorum was not a fiscal conservative, and accused him of contributing to the rising federal deficit during his time in the Senate.

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"I know that Sen. Santorum is getting his moment in the spotlight now, which is a good thing. I hope people take a very close look at his record," Romney said. "He voted to raise the debt ceiling five different times without compensating cuts. And he's a big proponent of earmarks."

Romney added: "If you want a fiscal conservative you can't vote for Rick Santorum, 'cause he's not."

The GOP candidate has not directly criticized Santorum in campaign events in over a week.

However, Romney's campaign and an outside group supporting him have applied increasing pressure on the former senator, who is riding on a wave of momentum after a trio of wins in early voting states Feb. 7.

Earlier on Friday in Ohio, the state's attorney general Mike DeWine announced he was withdrawing his support for Romney in favor Santorum.

Reporters questioned Romney about the news after his Boise event.

As staffers urged the governor to move along, Romney smiled at reporters and walked away.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. drp146

    I don't care whether Santorum is a fiscal conservative or not. I won't vote for either one of these guys. The Republican party lost me with Bush Jr and I have seen NOTHING from them since to change my mind.

    February 17, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. john smith

    Maybe Rick should grab a SEVERLY CONSERVATIVE Granola Bar so he to can sleep live and eat consevatism.

    February 17, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  3. Ricardo

    Romney, please grow up

    February 17, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Matt

    Oh and the truth on big spending Rick is starting to drip out. Rick Santorum loses in a landslide in the general election, sane people who want to cut DC spending will not vote for Rick and independents will run away from him and back into the arms of Obama.

    Time to get serious GOP voters, this election isn't about who likes Jesus best but who can run the country best.

    February 17, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. Scott

    The problem isn't just Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney is also not a fiscal conservative. Just about every Republican in office is not a fiscal conservative. Most of them are big spenders. Dick Cheney said during the Bush Jr. administration that deficits don't matter. Republicans spend just as much as Democrats do. Ross Perot was correct that both political parties support big spending and big deficits.

    February 17, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. packerfans

    Come con Vote for Mitt Romney can save America!!

    February 17, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. ROMNEY IS A FISCAL CONSERVATIVE

    He turned a 3 billion dollar budget deficit in MA into a 2 billion dollar surplus in 4 years, without raising taxes, but rather by eliminating unecessary waste.

    He will do the same thing in Washington. None of the other politicians have the skills to make this happen. Their forte is in passing bills and increasing spending... not trimming fat.

    We need Romney. Wake up America... we are about to drive off of a fiscal cliff.

    February 18, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  8. Lin McKay

    I don't know who would be the best GOP candidate but it honestly bothers me that Rich Santorum wants to be the candidate even though he has a three year old daughter with serious and life-threatening illness and apparently is living on borrowed time. Santorum can run in four years or even eight years but he will never get back the time he misses with Bella while he is campaigning. I read where he compared himself to Lincoln. That left me cold. He is no Lincoln. Sadly, I also think his wife has some early baggage before she met Santorum and fear it will come back to haunt him if he should get the nomination. Santorum can't beat Obama and that is the first goal. None of these candidates seem to want to do the good for the party. It is all about them.

    February 18, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  9. floridaman

    Go mitt don't worry you will still win the nomination....

    February 18, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  10. helenecha

    Interesting! The state's attorney general Mike DeWine gave up supporting Romney one of the hopeful challengers of the GOP candidates.

    February 18, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  11. eric_z

    I just do not see Santorum doing well in the debates against Obama if he is the nominee. He is just too weak. Obama will clean the floor with him. Gingrich in the best choice to go head to head.

    February 18, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  12. julien vergara

    Newt still fighting and waisting money. We dont want a president with a dirty mouth. No class

    February 18, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  13. Kevin

    Name me one Republican who is fiscally conservative? They all are responsible for running our nation's debt up under Bush.

    February 18, 2012 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  14. TRH

    After debating many of Mr. Santorum's supporters I tend to think that they will vote for him because he believes that god's laws and civil laws should be one in the same. They don't seem to be concerned about much else in Mr. Santorum's platform.

    February 18, 2012 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  15. Lucky18

    Romeny, the Bishop of the LDS Mrmon church, who baptised his "Dead" father-in-law, who was an aethiest his entrie life, should not be poiting fingers at anybody.
    He's a waffling, flip-flopping, core conservative wannabe, moderate/liberal from Mass. He was called a "liar" by Newt Ginrich, a first in presidential politics.
    Romeny is a "bottom feeder" of the first order. He should firtst get down on his knees and ask forgiveness, from those he's maligned by his atack on their ability to work!
    As far as "Staples"...They got big way after he left Bain!!! He had very little to do with it!!!

    February 18, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  16. .

    It doesn't matter who runs against Obama in November. Obama will have to face the American people on his quasi socialist record.
    ha ha ha ha.....

    February 18, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  17. QZ

    The winner of the presidential campaign will be either Ron Paul or Obama.

    February 18, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  18. John

    Six reasons why Mitt R-Money is already history:

    “Corporations are PEOPLE, my friend!”
    “375,000 isn’t a lot of money (to make in one year).”
    "The banks are scared to death. They're feeling the same thing that you're feeling."
    "I’m not concerned with the very poor... that’s not my focus."
    “I’ll bet you $10,000, right here, right now….”
    “I’m SEVERELY Conservative!”

    And there’s only going to more foot-in-mouth moments the longer this goes on…

    February 18, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. diridi

    Neither is good. Romney says big, he stashed money in Cayman island, Bermuda, and swiss, the other idiots wants to bomb Iran and send you to WAR. This is what Repiglican strategy....

    February 18, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  20. Charlie from the North

    Oh okay that's the problem. Rick Sanatorium is not "conservative enough". To quote Jerry Seinfeld : "Oh sure, and you want to be my latex salesman/"

    February 18, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. Uthor

    Please continue to destroy each other, fellows; point out every negative thing you can think up about each other. It's extremely helpful for our President's re-election, and it will save the Democratic party a ton of money if you take care of the negatives yourselves.

    February 18, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Larry in Houston

    too bad that the DNC cannot come up with somebody – but with the current crop of GOP'ers – and if they continue to listen to Sara Palin – I mean, doesn't she want this thing to go ON for the next several months ? She says that they need to be Vetted more ? I mean, how many Months has to go by, with them constantly fighting each other, before they are "Vetted" ?? I wonder if Palin wants this thing to go on After Super Tuesday – or after June ? In my opinion, the Longer it goes On, that means that Obama has a better chance to get re-elected.

    VOTE DEMOCRAT 2012

    February 18, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. stevecord

    How can romney say santorums not a fiscal conservative when he can hold a quarter between his knees

    February 18, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. bilk7

    The guy who turned over taxpayer's money to the police unions in Massachusetts (look up the Quinn Bill) is saying Santorum isn't a fiscal conservative? Well, I guess it would take a non fiscal conservative to know another.

    February 18, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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