Santorum: Romney earmarked his way through the Olympics
February 18th, 2012
11:26 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: Romney earmarked his way through the Olympics

Columbus, Ohio (CNN) – It had been a pretty tame week for Republican Rick Santorum in terms of new attack lines on opponent Mitt Romney, but that ended Saturday morning. Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, came out swinging, saying Romney's efforts to rescue the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games were not all he has made them out to be.

“One of the things he talks about the most is how he heroically showed up on the scene and bailed out and resolved the problems of the Salt Lake City Olympic games,” Santorum said, as a few in the tea party audience chuckled. “He heroically bailed out the Salt Lake City Olympic games by heroically going to Congress and asking them for tens of millions of dollars to bail out the Salt Lake Olympic Games - in an earmark. In an earmark for the Salt Lake Olympic Games.”

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His comments came as he went into his common riff: that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is unfairly attacking him over the issue of earmarks.

“One of his strongest supporters, John McCain, called it potentially the worst boondoggle in earmark history,” Santorum said. “And now Governor Romney is suggesting ‘Oh, Rick Santorum earmarked’ as he requested almost half a billion dollars in earmarks as governor of Massachusetts to his federal congressmen and Senate members.”

“Does the word hypocrisy come to mind?” he added.

The Romney campaign was quick with a rebuttal.

“Sometimes when you shoot from the hip, you end up shooting yourself in the foot,” said spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “There is a pretty wide gulf between seeking money for post-9/11 security at the Olympics and seeking earmarks for polar bear exhibits at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Mitt Romney wants to ban earmarks, Senator Santorum wants more ‘Bridges to Nowhere.’ ”

Santorum was speaking to a room of tea party enthusiasts in Columbus, Ohio. He was kicking off a busy day on the trail in the battleground Buckeye State, with another rally in Columbus, and later, one in Akron.

It all comes on the heels of what the campaign considers a pretty major endorsement Friday - that of Ohio attorney general and former Romney backer, Mike DeWine.

Also see:

Gingrich suggests candidacy rests on Georgia

Obama budget proposal under fire in GOP address

Friess apologizes for birth control comment

Six members withdraw from Waters probe


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Rick Santorum
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Linda

    I'm a democrat and if I had to vote for a Repblican (which I have in the past) I would vote for Romney, I will not vote for Santorum, he is to radical in his belief on religion, womens rights, and he doesn't know the first thing about resolving the economy in this country, he doesn't know the first thing about foreign policy, he is all about social issues and he will not be able to seperate church and state......this man is a kook, he is the reincarnation of Sarah Palin in male form......they are using every negative thing they can against each other which will play in the favor of President Obama.....so keep it up and GOP....what you sow you shall reap.....you wanted Obama as a one term president but you are handing him his second term on a silver platter.......

    February 18, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Valentina

    It's disturbing that social conservatives can't see through this guy Santorum. Are you guys that naive? Santorum is a loser, he surely lost BIG in Pennsylvania in 2006, and you think he'll be able to win this November considering that his wacky and out-of-touch views about women will force them to flee to Obama? If you do, then there is no argument to be made about it with you. Bottom line, you – the social conservatives, will be the reason the GOP lost the election in November. Plus, this new attack strategy againt Romney's handling of the Olympics that Santorum is employing right now, will backfire.

    February 18, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Ann

    Every time Santorum opens his mouth he says another stupid thing. Salt Lake City Olympic games were a big big event. Combining all 'good' things Santorum did for this country cannot equal the success of that one event.

    February 18, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Larry in Houston

    @Linda – Romney will probably be the eventual nominee, I'd say. and I also agree with you, I used to vote for the person & what his or her credentials were, but now days, I'm Voting a Straight Ticket.

    February 18, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    So to get this correct, Romney used $1.3 billion tax payer dollars to bail out the Salt Lake games, and is opposed to tax payers bailing out the auto industry, but is OK with tax payers bailing out big banks and Wall Street.

    February 18, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Tealiban

    I hope Santorum gets the GOP nomination. That will ensure it's a cakewalk for Obama.

    February 18, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. el17

    Santorum is no saint.

    February 18, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Dearest Linda, I am an independent. I have voted for 1 republican President in my life. I have voted even in 2008 for a Republican for my county Sheriff. He has done a wonderful job and the people that work under him love him as a boss. I will now stand very strong with President Obama in 2012. I cannot stand for the candidates that are running how are so full of miss truths.

    I stand on my feet 8 to 10 hours a day to earn my pay. I love my job cut if you think I would let ANY of my taxes go to pay the salary of a President Romney that hides his fortunes overseas. The rest have no interests in women's issues and could care less education, fair taxation, or the environment.

    February 18, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Ambrose Smith

    But I thought Santorum was proud of his earmarks. What gives?

    February 18, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. Lenny Pincus

    Rick Santorum, speaking to radical right wing Catholics: "we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it." So vote for him and help him establish Catholicism as the US religion.

    February 18, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Pete/Ark

    I love it when the spoiled children start calling each other names...

    February 18, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Glen

    Santorum is certainly no friend of Women! He doesn't think they can serve on the front lines in the military, need no controceptives, must stay at home and Homeschool the children etc. What a jerk!! How could any female vote for this dark mages male pig. He cannot beat OBAMA in the general election- it would be a landslide for the democrates.

    February 18, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. p

    President Obama in a landslide!

    February 18, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. ron

    “Sometimes when you shoot from the hip, you end up shooting yourself in the foot,” said spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “There is a pretty wide gulf between seeking money for post-9/11 security at the Olympics and seeking earmarks for polar bear exhibits at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Mitt Romney wants to ban earmarks, Senator Santorum wants more ‘Bridges to Nowhere.’

    February 18, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Katie

    OBAMA 2012!

    February 18, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. CG

    Oh great, the old "Bridge to Nowhere" applause line. I guess they don't realize that when Palin first coined the phrase, she was being a big fat hypocrite herself, because the record clearly shows that she was originally FOR the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. And remember that in the end, she rejected the bridge but kept the money. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Santorum, but at least he doesn't seem to choose pandering over personal integrity as much as most of the politicians out there.

    February 18, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Sigh

    To Proud Member of Global Zero. I bet Romney would decline a salary as President. As governor he took no salary and being charge of the Olympics he took no salary. You are upset about paying him, but are willing to pay all the other politicians?

    February 18, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Here here Linda. Well said. The only good thing about unhinged GOBP wingnuts is that they never see it coming.

    February 18, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. A Savy Woman - Ann Bunch

    I have started to refer to Santorum and his right wing supporters as "Taliban Lite."

    February 18, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Punisher2000

    Ricardo: Mitt worked at the Olympics for free. When was the last time you worked for free? As a matter of fact your charity giving is only 2% of your income. So don`t try to convince people you are the hero. You are rather the zero.

    February 18, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Ed Fl

    The more Romney and Santorum talk to and about one another the better Paul looks .The best thing about this is that the country including the women hating GOP'ERS keep talking the better Obama looks and improves his chances to win a second term. The G for Grand, O for obstetriician, and P for Pity have delivered a new term for Obama. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Dave

    I can guarantee that this slimeball mormon had these washimgton politicians already to give him this massive Earmark that was SEVERLY terrible ethics way berfore the tradegy. Yes he is that much of a SLIMEBALL for blaming it on 911. What a pathetic, NON-AMERICAN thing to tell people.

    February 18, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Jim Colyer

    Something is wrong with Santorum.

    February 18, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. bribaby

    It's interesting that only democrat leaning people are commenting on Santorum. I'm not sure any of your comments have any credibility since you wouldn't know what a conservative would or should look like. Just for the record, I think he's a very good candidate. And, apparently, I'm not the only one. That's why the democrats are so nervous. But I give you credit for spin.

    February 18, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. A Savy Woman

    Given the views of Rick Santorum and his right wing supporters regarding contraception and a host of other family issues that should be personal, I realize that they have something in common with the Taliban. I have started to think of Santorum and the religious right in this country as "Taliban Lite." It seems they want to take us back to several hundred years where men control decisions that effect the lives of women, where men are the supreme decision makers. How dare they think they know what is best for me and my family.

    February 18, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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