Trump takes hatchet to Santorum
February 20th, 2012
11:16 AM ET
8 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. billsf

    The more the republicans speak, the better Obama looks!

    February 20, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. sbssue1

    It is too bad Jeb Bush didn't sign up for the job. He is and was a great governor. He kept everything at an even keel. Santorum is too radical.................All Catholics don't think his way, trust me.

    February 20, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Jim in San Mateo

    This Republican race is getting loonier and loonier. Santorum is so far off to the right he makes Atila the Hun look like Ted Kennedy. Romney has taken every position on every issue and despite having more money and more infrastructure than the rest of the Republican field combined times ten, he can't close the deal. And now the idiots have come out in favor of Romney. I'll be his campaign manager is shuddering at the thought of Trump campaigning for Romney.

    I'm thinking about voting for Santorum so Obama can coast to an easy win.

    February 20, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. pacchardon

    Trump said something I agree with (a first). Santorum has no chance. However, Trump has less.

    February 20, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Homer4Romney

    Dear Sen Triky Ricky,

    If Trump would have endorsed you, you would be begging him to help you campaign. Since he endorsed one of your rivals now you are discounting it. You and Newt whine too much!

    February 20, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. allens

    even someone as crazy and screwed up as trump, onows santorum is a trainwreck for america (not that he cares of course)

    February 20, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Aaron

    Santorum still thinks this is a values election. It just isn't. It's about the economy and nothing else. Santorum is stuck in last decade's culture wars. He thinks his move to the front is proof people still care about the culture war, but I suspect it has more to do with low GOP voter turnout. The extreme right wing are the only ones showing up to vote and they are the only ones still pushing the values agenda. Everyone else has "economy!" on the brain. And everyone else isn't showing up to vote because they aren't excited about their choices.

    Santorum is wasting his time talking about things like reinstating "don't ask, don't tell", but no one cares about that because (a) it's over with and the military didn't melt down, and (b) the only thing people care about right now is jobs! Santorum is trying to make this election about religion, but all people care about is the national debt. Santorum is talking about marriage amendments, but what people really care about is the cost of fuel. Santorum's brain is trapped in the 90's and there's no way he'll win.

    February 20, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Darrin

    Trump's a goof but he's absolutely right, Obama will easily crush Santorum, if elected the Repub. candidate. Santorum's a nice guy but lives in the dark ages, has no executive leadership experience and will reverse the clock of technology, human rights, etc. by 100 years.

    February 20, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Lardeau

    That windbag should butt out.

    February 20, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Mike

    I feel cheated. I clicked on the headline "Trump Takes Hatchet to Santorum". Trusting that I would read a riveting account of a violent interaction in which Donald Trump physically attacks Rick Santorum with a hatchet, I read on. Nothing of the sort occurred. Please change the headline to "Trump goes on irrelevant political tangent".

    February 20, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. BJ

    Trump is an idiot. However, he is right on this topic. Santorum will have zero support beyond his Tea Party/Evangelical fans. He's just the latest flavor of the month. As people learn more about Rick he will become less and less electable.

    February 20, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Another Bad Hair Day for the GOP.

    I suggest the Hair Club for Men with Daddy Issues.

    February 20, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Patriot

    This clinches it for 'Saintorum,'

    February 20, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Donald Cole

    Take it from THIS DONALD, Donald you are backing the wron dog in this race. Romney will not be the nominee. He did better in '08 than he's doing this time around. I don't know if Rick Santorem will be the nominee eithet, but he WILL get my vote in the Texas Primary, whenever the hell that will be, with all the phony challenges to tha redistricting. The thing that really has me shaking my head though, DONALD, is that you are out there crowing about how unelectable Mr. Santorem is. With all of your money and bluster and you entourage of hangers on and wanna-bes, when you had your chance to strut your stuff, you folded; cut and ran . . . while Mr. Santorem hung in there and is beating the big money boys with something the rest of you can't match : CHARACTER and COURAGE. That's why The People are voying for him. We'll see how it all turns out in November. In the meanwhile, Mr. Trump, would you consider doing us all a favor? You already quit the race. Save your money and take a vacation. We have enough on our hands without having to listen to rants from you about electability. God bless you and God bless America.

    February 20, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Jimh77

    I seldom ever agree with anything "The Donald" says, but in this case, I agree with him 100%.

    February 20, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. PJ/TX

    pod says "no more taxing the working man and give to the lazy people" – "entitlement junkies"
    *****************
    So, are you talking about:
    1. The "entitlement" that allows those who are able, to give anyone $13,000/year, tax free, thereby a family of
    five can receive $65,000/year, tax free, or
    2. The "entitlement" shown in Bloomberg's "10 Ways to Not Pay Taxes Legally", first requirement being "you have
    to be wealthy, or
    3. The "entitlement" of 15% tax rate on capital gains?
    Are these the "lazy" people you are so against? The tax evaders or those who live in poverty, unable to earn
    enough to even pay taxes, much less give their money away, tax free.

    February 20, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Gladys

    My voting choice is (1) Romney, or if forced to (2) Obama. Which option will you provide for me?

    February 20, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    â–ºTrump takes hatchet to Santorumâ—„
    TRUMPet speaks when he's full of boredom
    He can HATCHET all he wants but it doesn't change the facts
    That MITTens – come November 6 – would also be HATCHED!!!

    Obama 2012 – Because there is NO other solution!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. 111Dave111

    Are you kidding me – Donald Trump in Michigan? Donald Trump in Arizona? What are his negatives in a blue collar, manufacturing state? What are his negatives in the conservative or independent SW? Do you hear the flushing sound Willard?

    February 20, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. drdiane50

    The Donald – the gift that keeps on giving...and giving...and giving...

    February 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    sbssue1 wrote:

    It is too bad Jeb Bush didn't sign up for the job. He is and was a great governor.
    -------------–
    Yeah, too bad the radical right wing voted him out of the Republican party.
    Have conservatives conveniently forgot? That's why he's not in the GOP race.

    February 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. sbssue1

    Aaron, I sure hope you are correct! He's already telling women what they can and cannot do. He's back in the ages where women were thought to be barefoot and... What a horrible mess. I will have to cast my vote for Obama if Santorum gets the primary.

    February 20, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Paula

    Well at least ann can take consolation that radio spares her and willard another dreaded photo op like the one in vegas. if trump really wants to keep romney from losing more votes he needs to close his mouth and open his check book

    February 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. liz48

    I am amazed this man gets any press...shows how fallen the US is. Santorum was the only one apart from Gingrich who agreed to participate in his much hyped debate, which never was. He threw Gingrich under the bus and supported Romney, who he was very critical of when Romney refused to participate in the debate. I recall the disparaging remarks he kept making about Romney. Now he is a supporter of Romney and he has the audacity to criticize Santorum.

    I have no respect for this silly piece of humanity...I guess he will "run" for the nomination in 2016!!! if he is still around and his ratings are flopping...

    February 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. SSampson

    Trump may be rich... but he certainly anywhere near the top of the list of people who are successful – he just has too much money to fail totally –

    He is not relevant – never was – just a publically insane bigmouth.... Why he is even considered newws is beyond me...

    Donald !! – go away – get a haircut.... but please.... start at your neck an work down.....

    I'd rather listen to Nancy Grace or be castrated with a blender....

    February 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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