Trump takes hatchet to Santorum
February 20th, 2012
11:16 AM ET
2 years ago

Trump takes hatchet to Santorum

(CNN) – Donald Trump demonstrated Monday that he has no qualms about going after one of Mitt Romney's chief rivals, Rick Santorum.

"There's nothing - there's no gift, no Christmas gift, that could be given better than Rick Santorum to the Democrats," Trump said in a radio interview which aired in Michigan. Democrats, he continued, "are just salivating at that. And, you know, I don't think they believe it's going to happen. But boy, would they like it to happen because that would be an easy election."

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Michigan votes one week from Tuesday, and Trump is scheduled to take to the state's airwaves daily this week to speak on Romney's behalf.

The perception of electability was a major factor in deciding to endorse Romney, Trump said, and Republicans would be foolish to put forward Santorum as their nominee because "he basically has no chance" of winning.

"Otherwise, what's the whole purpose, what's the purpose of working, working, working, going out voting, doing your thing if the person has no chance of getting elected," Trump said on WSGW Radio of Saginaw, Michigan.

Trump considered a presidential bid himself, then nixed the idea, and in January tossed his endorsement to Mitt Romney. If Santorum were to win the Republican nomination, Trump suggested Monday that he would consider a run.

"If he doesn't, and I hope that doesn't happen," Trump said of a Romney loss, "I would say there's a good possibility that I would do something, yes."

The two have not appeared in public campaigning together since the event announcing the endorsement, but made fundraising phone calls together last week.

Shortly after the endorsement, which took place at a Las Vegas hotel owned by Trump ahead of the Nevada caucuses, Santorum suggested his recommendation carries little weight.

"I'm sure he just wanted some publicity for his casino down in Las Vegas," Santorum said. "I think the people of Nevada are smart enough to figure out who they're going to vote for and it's not going to be based on what Donald Trump recommends."

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Michigan • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Jon

    When all is said and done, the voters will have only one choice to make, either vote for whoever the Republican Candidate may be or bring in the debacle that will be a second term for Obama, or as it is more correctly called..."Jimmy Carter's third term."

    February 21, 2012 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  2. Roadkill

    Trump is a joke. Everything about the Donald is a joke. If it wasn't for his Dad's money he would be a bigger loser.

    February 21, 2012 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  3. matt

    I actually agree with Trump for once, which is rare. Santorum has ZERO change against obama, nor does Romney or newt gingrich. Ron Paul is the only guy who would stand any amount up against obama. Especially, if we go to war with Iran this year. Pauls anti-war/interventionist message would ring loud and clear. Ron Paul also wan'ts the federal Government out of Gay marriage, and abortion. Leaving those things up to the state to decide. Less Government, Ron Paul 2012!

    February 21, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  4. DCassidy

    Romney's lack of appeal in his home state, among others, is a clear indication of just how electable he would be in the disastrous event he were the GOP nominee. Rick Santorum has triumphed over the money and attacks like Trump's arrayed against him because of personal appeal, and the fact that he has a solid conservative record to run on. There is one, consistent and principled conservative in the race, Rick Santorum, and he's about to win Michigan and Ohio.

    February 21, 2012 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  5. Chuck Ladouceur

    That is why I am proud to be a Canadian when I see the clowns the Republicans are on the plattform. Not to mention the Alaskin/ Russian Queen Palin and New York's answer tp Dumbo, Trump. Yes we have our class Clowns here North of the 49, but we are far better off.

    February 21, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  6. Dan

    If "The Donald" truly wants to see Romney get the nomination than he should shut up and go back to his reality TV shows in NYC. "The Donald" can not do anything but harm Romney's fleeting chance of connecting with rural and working class Republicans. Either he is an idiot or it is just another vain attempt by Donald Trump to put himself in the spot light. Go home Trump and do what you do best squander all of that money that you did not earn and did not work for.

    February 21, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  7. Kevin Tirelli

    Anyone but Obama? Okay. And anyone but Santorum as well.

    Big Government Republican Republican or Big Government Democrat = Big Government no matter no you slice it.

    Worse, little Ricky will get us into wars that he would never have the guts and impose his own brand of theocracy.

    February 21, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. rika33

    Trump is a clown, so he fits well with the political class. None of them have any concept of the reality of day to day life in America. Santorum may be the exception.

    February 21, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. rika33

    Who cares what this guy thinks or says – non issue except for wonks.

    February 21, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  10. Ben

    Trump, you could have made a difference in the GOP primary, but you chose your TV show instead. Keep talking third party, you will get less votes than Ross Perot.

    February 21, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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