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. Cool headed

    Santorum, the Tea Party/Fox News flavor of the day, can't point to any leadership post or any significant success of his own outside his short stint as a junior senator, ala Barak Obama. Warmed over über conservative religious pandering is hardly a recipe for successful executive leadership. Ricky's just a front puppet in a ridiculous sweater vest, doing the bidding of a billionaire club. He's not qualified and he'd be a disaster as president; lucky for everyone, there's absolutely no chance of that actually happening.

    February 18, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  2. Mrs G

    I really don't believe Santorum is only around 50 years old. He surely lives in the year 1900.

    February 18, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  3. Jesus C.

    Santorum is no hero. Just a lot of hot air.

    February 18, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  4. OrangeW3dge

    This Santorum kid just proves the kind of person that he is every time he opens his mouth. I am embarrassed for him, but it doesn't seen to phase him at all. A bigger question then is what is he made of?, sticks and mud? Certainly not a human being inside there.

    February 19, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  5. Mars Attacks

    Santorum has has the balls to attack someone else over earmarks? With his history? The man has no shame.

    February 19, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  6. Robrob

    Looks like we've got a Republican knife fight! Obama must already be planning his second inauguration.

    February 19, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  7. michael

    Does this country really want this idiot leading it?

    February 19, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  8. TheTraveler

    True, Mitt Romney is no hero. Gingrich has no morals. Paul has no sense of reality. But you, Rick Santorum, are the Anti-Christ.

    February 19, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  9. Thomas

    @Little Jimmy Truth
    Obama already lost 2016 Summer Olympic Games bid for Chicago.

    It's all about the money , The Olympics were going to a BRIC country. There has never been Olympics is South America, Brazil deserves it. Also , the Olympics cost more then it makes. Only very few profit , and those contractors that do achieve through favoritism.

    Anyway , Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are both big on earmarks.

    Look at Ricks record in Pennsylvania.

    February 19, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  10. David

    These republican candidates are the ones to pick,if you want a manikin that will sign any bill that the radical right wants to pass. They have no original thought of their own. They speak the words of the radicl right and billionaires that are out only for themselves. I would vote for Josef Stalin before these jokers.

    February 19, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  11. Thomas

    Where is all the support for Santorum in the Senate?

    There is none .

    February 19, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  12. VoiceFrmLeft

    The GOP is in self-destruct mode, and none of the candidates notice it. The tea party is dwindling, the neo-cons are getting older and more irrelevant, and the religious right couldn't be more of a pariah if they tried. The moderate response to this: Mitt Romney, is about as appealing as smearing mud over your dinner and being forced to eat it. Yet, the GOP continues to believe they will unite and come out to vote in droves?!? I don't know who they're fooling, other than themselves.

    February 19, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  13. loren, Keene NH

    Really santiorium...isn't this attack a little low even for you? The Salt Lake Olypmics were probably the absolute best ones in years. American can give that fact to Romney, he took over a sure failure and made it a huge success.

    You are jealos and petty, Senator.

    February 19, 2012 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  14. dave

    If obamalite/MORMON is the nom i will be sitting out the gen election.

    February 19, 2012 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  15. diridi

    entire republican ideas are kooky ideas...o.k, bunch of nonsense they speak. so vote for Obama2012, and direct dem. ticket....please, nation is on right track.

    February 19, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  16. madmaninthemiddle

    Strange – most trial lawyers are democrats. Maybe corporate lawyers arr republicans ... But Republicans want Tort reform, which would cut off their $, so, as a group, lawyers are BIG supporters of Dems.

    February 19, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  17. DENNA

    Shut up you snot-nosed brat. You just think you are so special. Well, you are not. You may win the nomination from Romney, but you will never sit in the oval office. You are not good enough and you have successfully insulted most of the women in this country. Way to go Ricky Boy!

    February 19, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. Tutuvabene

    So what? Romney asked for money to bail out the Olympics and Congress gave it to him. Who is the bad guy here? Santorum is really scraping the bottle of the barrel, which doesn't make for a great president.

    February 19, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  19. Norma Vessels

    For all you who have posted, saying how Mitt Romney won't take any money while being President .. listen ..
    the man doesn't need any more money! He's made millions in the 'Market' .. his four sons are millionaires
    several times over, thanks to their dad! Mitt Romney could live several lives, and still have money .. he's
    not making any sacrifices.

    February 19, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. brian

    Sooooooooooo, let me get this straight INsantorum, is now claiming that saving the olympics was just a bunch of earmarks, but I thought he was proud of his earmarks, you see if you wait long enough the LIES they tell always come back to bite them, also whats with the Catholic Church doing meddling openly(notice I said OPENLY) in politics, lets remove thier tax exempt status and that will shut their mouths, and why when we need JOBS is this wingnut Santorum running around spewing crap about religion, and birth control, " look to the city of seven hills and there ye shall find the harlot of churches" I never heard that passage at any MASS I went to!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Ann

    The reason most moderate conservatives are trying to back Romney, and not Santorum or Gingrich, is because Romney has the best possibility to move Democrats who are on the fence with Obama towards the right. Both Santorum and Gingrich will keep them voting straight tickets for Dems, but not Romney – he can win.

    February 19, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Canadian Jim

    Mitt Romney: the other Democrat.

    February 19, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. Anonymous

    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.
    ======================

    Good spin. Fact is, the guy invested in foreign accounts knowing full well he wanted more than anything else to become President of the United States. Guess investing IN AMERICA was too much to ask of him. So all of his hype is just that ... hype. Mitt Romney could care less about AMERICA. He proved it by his own actions.

    Not one of the candidantes from the right care about AMERICA more than they care about themselves and their political rhetoric. They each have their own agenda and each of their personal agenda's isn't about promoting AMERICA...

    February 19, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. Sorensen

    Sanatorium is so full of crap. He is against womens rights, gay people, contraception, etc. Anyone with that kind of
    really sick and perverted opinions will never get elected to anything. The man is fundamentally sick and stupid.

    February 19, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    Santorum is an unstable man
    You realize that when you go away for a while then come back and try to understand
    Where he is coming from?? Sometimes he sounds like a self-righteous freak
    Something in his head is not calculating – every time he opens his mouth and speaks

    Scary – and Santorum isclimbing in the polls – Wow!!

    Obama 2012

    February 19, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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