Santorum: Romney earmarked his way through the Olympics
February 18th, 2012
11:26 AM ET
3 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.

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Obama budget proposal under fire in GOP address

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

    Santorum wants autocratic theocracy in America yet condemns Iran for a similar type of government. What's next, calling Pres. Obama a Muslim? Oops, the Tea Party has been there, done that. Conservatives in the US are no longer tolerant, cooperative and moderate. They are intolerant, obstructionist and radical. Maybe they should go live in Iran...

    February 18, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. 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 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Amusing... Romney talking to the Tea Party enthusiasts about the 'Bridge to Nowhere...' Correct me if I'm not mistaken, that Bridge was the brainchild of an Alaska REPUBLICAN congressman, pushed through with helpd from the seniormost REPUBLICAN senator of the time, and embraced by the Tea Party favorite, Sarah Palin, who has tried her best to make them forget that shameful part of her history... Lucky for her, the Tea Party has very selective memory

    February 18, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Mike

    it is interesting Romney balst Rick on earmarks, blames the federal defict inpart on Rick, but Romney doesn't tell you he took what 1.3 Billion to bail out Salt Lake City games ( those who claim well it was a great event at a time when the country had been paying odwn debt under Clinton, at a time when the country was billions into 2 wars adding to the debt this one event should have been bailed by the tax payer, he also doesn't ell you that Romneycare uses a Medicare loophole to get millions extra a yearto pay for the program, that Romney used another loop to get millions to get a balanced budget . Mitt loves to point and point but always fails to disclose he has done the very same thing ..... the word hypocrisy comes to mind when hear the name MItt Romney... my disclosure by the way I voted for him in 2002 for Governnor, lived for 4 years under him, thus will not make the same mistake twice............

    February 18, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Debby

    Santroum for Pres. yeah okay. He is a loose cannon when he opens his mouth.

    February 18, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Little Jimmy Truth

    Obama already lost 2016 Summer Olympic Games bid for Chicago.

    February 18, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. yogi

    Santorum is blaming Romney for using earmarks, because he is so intimately familiar with them.

    February 18, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. DJB

    Mitt Romney did an outstanding job in leading the Olympics. In case Senator Santorum forgot, 9/11 occurred just a few months prior to the 2012 Olympics. There was a high concern for security and that is why the funds were requested. Don't you remember when the tattered American flag was carried into the opening ceremonies? The United States was showing that it would not be intimidated by would-be terrorists. Senator Santorum should apologize for his remarks.

    February 18, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Mt man

    Obama wins again. In a landslide. All of these republicants are a joke and none of them waste any time pointing out each other flaws to the world. The obama camp has to do almost nothing. These idiot conservatives are doing it for them.

    February 18, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Matt

    @globalzero:

    Mitt paid all taxes on his foreign accounts, in fact if they were American based investments/funds his tax liability would have been exactly the same, just bc they are foreign does not mean they are not reportable or not taxable. I am sorry you don't understand how these things work, if you did you would probably make a better informed decision on your vote. That doesn't mean you wouldn't vote for the same person you would now but at least you would have made a fully educated decision at that point.

    Anyway, do a little reading on these things vs just relying on the TV, ads, and the bias media (and yes FOX is also very bias, just like CNN and MSNBC) it will give you a greater appreciation of all the candidates regardless of their political affiliation.

    February 18, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Zane

    Almost all that extra money was needed to protect the SLC games after 9/11 happened; they needed security. Santorum is no hero, he was voted the "most corrupt" senator in 2006 by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. It is a shame that too many conservatives would rather vote for the "most corrupt" rather than a Mormon (because that's the only reason Romney isn't winning every primary, his religion).

    February 18, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. JackWelchHasMoreMoneythanRomney

    The Mitt Rmoney problem is Mitt Rmoney. He's like the worst back-seat driver who will not shut up. He talks nonsense on the auto bailout. He talks nonsense on China Policy. He talks nonsense on Taxes. He Keeps his money offshore. He speaks with no idiomatic understanding of America and so he seems to be a talking robot. He's a mormon who baptized his dead anti-religious father-in-law and so he has no respect for other people's beliefs. (if he has no respect for his father in law, do you think he gives a shilling about YOU?) He's a salesman who tells every customer what he thinks they want to hear and so he is on every side of every issue. He's a plutocrat who is more foreign to Americans than he is native. He can not win because he is a weasel.

    February 18, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. RINO Bil

    Rick Santorum is revealing himeslf to be nothing more than a nasty little man with no leadership qualities whatsoever.

    At least Mitt Romney has accomplished some things of actual value.

    February 18, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. candycane

    All of the GOP candidates talk from both sides of their mouth, so NONE OF THEM are heros!! This is the worst years of Republican Political Candidates in more than 50 years!!!

    February 18, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    All this back-and-forth among the GOP presidential candidates doesn't change one FACT:

    None of them offer our country except anger, fear, hatred and division, along with economic, military and foreign policies that are PROVEN FAILURES.

    President Obama's policies kept us from going into a Great Depression; we've had 23 straight months of private sector job growth; the housing market had 5 straights months of growth – the first time since 1995; GM is alive and bin Laden is dead; another potential terrorist attack was thwarted; President Obama wants to invest in our country, her people and our future; we have real healthcare reform which makes sure you don't get dropped by your insurance when you get sick; unnecessary/duplicate regulations and agencies have been eliminated.

    The list of accomplishments of President Obama and his administration goes on and on and on ... The Repubs got NOTHING!

    The only sane choice to continue moving our country forward: Obama/Biden 2012

    February 18, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. ambrosec

    Any one who thinks Santorum will win PA raise your hand.

    February 18, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. nrc

    Proud Member, Romney has never accepted a check for any of his Govt positions so you will not have to worry about your tax dollars paying him. He donates it all back to the Country. Nice try, he pays his fair tax. Think about ths, he paid $6,000,000.00 in taxes alone! I thank him for that!

    February 18, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Carlos

    I am an independent, and would vote Romney. If he is rejected by the GOP, I would just as well vote Obama.

    February 18, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Larry in Houston

    @Proud member of "Global Zero" !!! WoW !! I got chills down my spine after reading what you just posted !! I've been hearing This From a Heck of a Lot of Republicans down here in Texas !! ( I've Never Voted for a Republican President) ( but I have voted for a repub in city council elections)

    I hope Lots of people read your comment !!

    Vote Democrat 2012

    February 18, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Harold Scott

    From outward expression it appears as if Santorum has a desire to Govern according to religious doctrine. We must hope and make every effort to avoid his type of Governance.

    February 18, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Sanctimonious

    If self-righteous hypocrisy was an Olympic sport, Santorum would be a five time gold medalist, and world record holder.

    February 18, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. ron

    Santorum is exactly what he says others are........a Mudslinger.
    Mitt Romney is a great American and led our Olympics after 9/11 with great expertise.
    Rick Santorum just LOST my vote.

    February 18, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. yogi

    @ThinkAgain, great post. I wish our Republican friends will read it, but it might be too much in asking them to read your entire post.
    Obama 2012.

    February 18, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Scott

    Shush all you democrats criticizing Santorum! He's completely unelectable, so we want him to be the nominee!

    February 18, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. ralph

    I like Santorum, but he'd better be careful. The record clearly shows that Romney sought government earmarks for security reasons, not as a bail out. Rick is hurting his chances with desperate statements like this.

    February 18, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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