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. Steve

    Odd coincidence here...the best reason for a polar bear exhibit is the recognition of the impending extinction of the bears due to global warming. "Does the word 'hypocrisy' come to mind?"

    February 18, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Nick

    This guy Santorum is a religious nut and is full of hate. If Christ has to come back to earth, he will denounce the pack of them.

    February 18, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. obvious

    The Middle Eastern crisis will deepen and Sant-orum will win the 2012 Presidential Election.

    February 18, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Republicans will care about bailing out common people when the press starts reporting about it. The press was going nuts over the Olympic bid, so Romney helped out. It didn ,t come from his pockets and it gave him favorable press

    February 18, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Kelly

    I LIVE in Massachusetts where Romney is from. He is as sneaky as they get. Don't believe everything he tells you in his commercials. My fiance and i both work full time jobs, and still struggle severely to make ends meet thanks to Romneys tax bills he enlisted in Massachusetts. That man does not care about the working class population. He made millions by robbing the people in his own state and buried the money in overseas accounts. When he was in Massachusetts, i never saw that man smile once. Now that he's running for President, he's playing the "oh i really care about americans" act. A rich guy like that has no idea what the real world is like. You vote for Romney because of the propaganda you see on TV. Live in Massachusetts for a while and you will know the real truth and see the extent of what you are asking for by having him as president. I pray for all of us if he is in charge of an entire country. Please Americans, do your homework first...He will defend the rich and hurt the poor and middle class people of this country.

    February 18, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Maeve

    Oh, come on, Ricky! Let the light of God's sweet love shine through! All this bad-mouthing you're doing...all this chest-beating and sanctimonious finger-wagging...It's not very Christian of you! And don't forget, you have a few less than honorable money grabs in your own history: getting the state of Pennsylvania to pay for your kids' home-schooling they get in Virginia. Shame on you!

    February 18, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Irene

    LOL Even an idiot like Santorum comes off looking less hypocritcal than Mr. Inevitability.

    February 18, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Squigman

    The fact that many reptiles resort to canibalism and eat their own young, should be of no surprise. The republicans, seem to have adopted this trait as a possible road to election success. Funny: republican/reptile, they seem to be related somehow.

    February 18, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Bailing out industries to save the workers is not something Republicans care about. Bailing out banks so the lawyers and bankers can pocket the money and then foreclose on houes that they will sell when the market rebounds for an incredible profit is something Republicans are for. Almost all of the bankers and lawyers are Republicans.

    February 18, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. CatLib

    Well, why Santorum has to put up for the childish behavior of romney?
    Romney is so in love with earmarks that now it has turned against him!!!

    February 18, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Fred Riek

    I am so imopressed with this field of Republican candidates. I will be happy with whomever they pick as their standard bearer. Each of them has made it perfectly clear that they do not deserve to be President. They all have helped ensure that Prsident Obama will be there to continue working for us for an additional eight years. If I were a Republican running for office, I would first run from identifying with any of these would be Republican nominees. As another mentioned, I, too, will be voting a straight ticket.

    February 18, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Keith

    These guys really need to slow down. There's only so fast the Obama Campaign can take notes on all this stuff.

    Oh wait! I just realized the sneaky Republican strategy. Supply such a massive amount of dirt on all the Republican candidates that the Obama Campaign could not possibly sort through it all and decide what to use and what not to use.

    February 18, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Keith

    The ad production cost savings these guys are providing the Obama Campaign are truly amazing. The Obama Campaign isn't going to have to actually produce any ads from scratch. They just need to re-broadcast the material already generated by the Republicans.

    February 18, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Keith

    Vote Sanitorium!!!!

    February 18, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. dagoberto

    Santorum is a radical. He looks like Gringrich 2.0

    February 18, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Bev

    if rick really cared about the republican party he would go home he will never win i don't agree with romey on some issues but i do believe he is the only one who can beat obama & get this crazy spending under control this is our biggest problem not only for us to face but our children & grandchildren

    February 18, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Dave

    What needs to be bailed out is the true results from Maine, We all know Ro-money did not win, however he bought & rigged it cause those fine people voting as we speak are overturnig the results that were already said to be done. How can you give results WHILE PEOPLE ARE STILL CASTING THERE VOTE!!!!! If we find out that it was Mittens that is guilty of this then he should go to jail!!!

    February 18, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. patrick

    the republican sold out our country when a tax & spend liberial democratic prez gave them a balance budget & a surplus economy. they are always acting as if the defeict, a balance budget & smaller goverment matter to them when they are not in control, this is the holy grail to them. we never had a smaller goverment not once when they are in control, they got a balance budget 4 years in a row& and a surplus economy what did they do with it? they are such a hyprocrit all they can do is try and run on social issue

    February 18, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Just Say No To Flipper

    Let's wait for Rmoney's "accounting" for this "money for post-9/11 security at the Olympics". Smells fishy.

    February 18, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. oman

    Over the past 30 years, it seems whenever there was a republican president in office. there were recessions or little to no job growth. If you want stagnation in the ecomony and division among the population, vote republican.

    February 18, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Penobscot

    Santorum will get trounced by Obama....

    February 18, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. fsmgroupie

    jees i hope santorum picks palin for his v.p.

    February 18, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. bornfree

    Proud member,
    You won't be paying a salary for President Romney because he has said he will not take a salary as president, just like he did not take a salary when he was Governor of MA or when he ran the Olympics…Mitt Romney is a true public servant.

    February 18, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. BrianKimball

    His comments on Chewstroke Dott Comm were completely different.....Make up your mind...better yet, go away.

    February 18, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. pc

    newt will never get my vote! he needs a pin stuck in him to deflate some of that hot air that is popping his jacket open. i also have voted republican as well as democrat in the past but this crew is a pure ugly joke,obama gets my vote. santorium is a disgrace to women an romney is to plastic to win over any voters although i think he is the best out of a barrel of rotten candidates.

    February 18, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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