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. Texas Bubba

    If you were a smart Republican then you would vote for Romney in the primary, because Romney has the best chance of taking out Obummer. Don't be a fool!

    February 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. You've Lost Your G---mn Minds

    Ranger Rick will not win the nomination.

    February 20, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. drdiane50

    Santorum isn't trapped in the 90's – he's regressed way back to the 50's. Anyone who would opine that birth control is dangerous has really lost touch with reality.

    February 20, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Someone needs to clue in the Big Ego that between him and Mr. Frothy, the Frothy Ayatollah appears to be the saner one. And that's not saying much.

    February 20, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. In the hunt

    Has anyone LESS RELEVANT ever commented on an election campaign? CNN please use your space in a more meaningful manner in the future, "the Donald" chump Trump represents HIMSELF and it's ALWAYS tied to cash for his pockets. Donald....as any kind of spokesman for the American voter, YOU'RE FIRED!

    February 20, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Cleareye

    Trump is a fraud, both politically and businesswise. He opposes Santorum only because he does not recognize an honest man. I disagree with almost everything Santorum says but I would choose him in a foxhole long before Trump. The man is just a cheap media hound, desperate for attention, and doomed for additional humiliation.

    February 20, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. bnfl

    Trump and Romney ticket !! Two businessmen is what we need in America. The last thing we need is Washington insiders like santorum, This man never created a job. And to all the people who think Santorum is a conservative I hope you register as a liberal. Because we don't need brain dead people in our party !!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Noodle Nose Johnson

    When Donald Trump starts to make sense you know we're through the Looking Glass.

    February 20, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. Jeremy

    Donald Trump is a New Yorker/Palm Beacher whom has little idea politically beyond his own circles. He sways in the wind about most substantive issues. I respect his business savvy, but he is rather juvenile in his political thought process!

    February 20, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. DeTamble

    **** Rudy NYC

    pod wrote:

    Ricky scares the pants off all you entitlement junkies....
    ---------------------------
    I have paid into SS since i was 18. How is it an entitlement ?
    You are a brain washed hack, who repeats the same lies over and over, until they become truth.
    Its good that your party is dying out.

    February 20, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. bill.1942

    It's pahetic to see so-called Republicans taking hatchets to each other. All they are accomplising is ensuring another 4 years of Obama. They might as well just trot Bob Dole or John McCain out there again. What a travesty.

    February 20, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Zach

    The consensus seems to be that Trump is an idiot, He's a buffoon and a clown, but he is not an idiot.
    He's a billionaire. He knows how to make a deal. He knows how to conduct business. He's supporting
    Romney because he believes a businessman like Romney is the only candidate in the race that can
    improve the economy. Santorum is running for Pope. I't's the economy stupid. Social issues are
    the least of our problems.

    February 20, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Tony Harness

    Trump for president....Mickey Mouse would have a better chance of winning!!! He's a Joke!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. martin angell

    Donald, I think you're dead right on OPEC, China, manufacturing jobs leaving the USA, Iraqi oil and how Obama gave away the farm, and so many things.

    On Santorum: the guy is leading Romney who has spent a cazillion dollars and can't lead the Republicans. Santorum speaks to the middle class, the South, Catholics and Evangelicals, the activist/Tea Party crowd, blacks.

    Yes, he lost PA about 6 years ago. So has Romney lost.

    Santorum/Romney 2012

    February 20, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. mark

    The only thing better than Santorum running against the democrats would be Donald himself.

    February 20, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. jj

    Mr Irrelevance manages to get face time in the media again..big surprise there.

    February 20, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Steve Gastin

    My options 1) Romney if not 2) Obama . No way voting for Trump or Rick S. with century old policies

    February 20, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Voice of Reason

    How has ANYTHING this toupeed media hog EVER said been relevant? Can Trump please go away? CNN – go back and review 'the Palin files' and you'll see that the biggest response to stories about her whining for attention was people complaining, "why are we still paying attention?" Ditto for 'Ther Donald' and his oversized ego.

    February 20, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. tim

    Tin Foil Hat adorned Trump endorsing Romney is how Santorum started moving up in the polls in the first place.

    February 20, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Frank

    Imagine if the desperate 24-hour news media cared about Donald Trump as much as the public cares about their stories about Donald Trump. We'd never have to worry about him again.

    February 20, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Linda

    I wonder if Trump will place that 20% tariff on the line of jewelry his wife peddles on QVC. It is made in China. What a phoney!

    February 20, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Daniel M Tipping

    Vote Ron Paul 2012
    Win A Free Country!

    February 20, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. K9PR

    Even though I consider Trump a tool, in this case I agree! Dick Santorum has NO chance against Obama. Heck even I would be voting for Obama if I had to choose between him and Santorum!

    February 20, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. farmerjohn

    The GOP that I've supported and voted for since 1962 has imploded!!
    Obama 2012

    February 20, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. tone

    We are a divided nation. Of course the left will not vote for Santorum. The right is the majority and will vote for the conservation. Rick Santorum. Trump is only thinking of the left and the middle vote.

    February 20, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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