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. Marlene the Dream

    Doesn"t matter who the GOP nominates – they're gonna lose. OBAMA 2012

    February 20, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. ronlsb

    Now Mr. Trump is trying to "trump" God Himself by claiming powers God alone has, is, knowing the future. Like all Romney's surrogates, they suddenly posses the ability to know not only what the ONE is thinking but the American voters as well. Must be nice to be so wise as the Donald. The good news is, however, that the voters will decide this race and not someone claiming to "know" the future results of elections.

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

    You know, I spent Super Bowl Sunday at the Bethesda Naval Hospital celebrating one of our great American traditions with
    our Wounded. I had the honor of spending nearly 2HRS on the 4TH floor with our most recent and most injured heros. Many of them will spend at least up to 2YRS on this floor. They were surrounded by the best doctors, nurses and dedicated
    hospital staff you could imagine. They were also surrounded by there wives, Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters, Fiances,Girlfriends. I shared this experience with the FDNYC, Rolling Thunder, Enduring Pride, A former Linebacker from the Patriots who forgive me I never got his name, and Actor Jon Voight. Jon Voight will forever be on my top 10 list of the greatest Americans in modern history. My Daughter goes back to Afghanistan in June. Meanwhile our military is being desimated by this administration. There are little or no jobs for our heros coning home. There benefits are being slashed
    while paper pushing Govt workers get more benefits and money than there private sector equivalents. Small businesses are being screwed. GM has been bastardized by the Unions and brags there best profits ever while owing the Tax payers and not having to pay taxes. Gas prices are ridiculous while we DON't DRLL here. All I can see is the faces of our heros. It was a life changing experience. And the one thing I know is Donald Trump will not stop me from voting for whoever runs against Obama. Buzzy

    February 20, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Reuel

    Trump had already been rejected by the voters in last year and this year's polls. As soon as he endorsed Romney, Santorum won 3 states.
    Santorum is a good candidate with good economical solutions. He does not hide his views on social issues. But all the attacks on him are simply wrong because Santorum WILL NOT FORCE anyone to do anything against his/her own will.

    February 20, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Doug

    Trump is a front runner. Santorum is a smart man that holds values which the U.S. has pulled away from not to long ago. Trump will only hang along with "all stars" and if a coach would pass on phenomens such as Lin or even Tebow. If Trump thinks Santorum will lose he is going to step all over him to make himself look like a winner.

    February 20, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. el polacko

    trump is absolutely correct. santorum is quickly becoming the laughingstock that he deserves to be. this 'social conservative' stuff no longer plays with the majority of americans. people are concerned with the economy, not what their fellow citizens are doing in their bedrooms. romney is the only candidate running who has the business savvy that we need in the oval office.

    February 20, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Joe

    Thanks donnie. If it wasn't for your endorsement, Romney wouldn't be this low and Santorum wouldn't be this high. Donnie, you think you matter and you think people care about your opinion. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, cares about you or your opinion when it comes to politics... or anything for that matter unless we're talking about being given a fortune and constantly going bankrupt. Donnie you're the epitome of a loser.

    February 20, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. RINOmore

    Hey, Donald.

    You're fired.

    February 20, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. john

    I think a lot of Mr. Trump, but he's got it wrong this time. Both Santorum and Romney would likely lose to the sitting President, but Santorum would make it a closer race. Santorum is a middle class values guy that a lot of blue-collar voters would identify with. I call them the "Fish-Fry" and "VFW-Hall" voter. It is a big block of union sympathisers who are not in favor of President Obama's radical left policies, and at the same time, not wanting a big business guy in the White House who is looked at as being "for the rich."

    February 20, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Jack Murphy

    A vote for Santorum is a statement of support for Obama and the destructive Supreme Court he would elevate to reek havoc on American for the next 30-years. A Santorum nomination would be the same as letting Obama run unopposed.

    February 20, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Larry in Houston

    Like I said in an earlier post – I know more people that talk about voting for Romney in the general election, come november. versus Santorum – I'm serious – "the Donald" is right – he knows it – he knows he's right – IF Santorum ends up being the Nominee – it's like : "lights out" "the party's over" for the GOP – for 2012 – at Least Romney is sort of a guy that "might" come towards the middle. But, Santorum ?? WoW !! to be perfectly honest – In My Opinion, I hope he Gets the Nod – this way – obama will clinch the win.
    Vote Democrat 2012
    2016
    2020
    2024

    February 20, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. A moderate independent

    I have never voted Democrat, though I have voted 3rd party.
    If Santorum is the Republican nominee, I will vote for Obama.

    February 20, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Reuel wrote:

    Santorum is a good candidate with good economical solutions. He does not hide his views on social issues. But all the attacks on him are simply wrong because Santorum WILL NOT FORCE anyone to do anything against his/her own will.
    ---------------–
    Economics and foreign policy are Santorum's major weak spots. You claim he has good economical solutions. Name one, if you can. His initial economic plan he called it, "zero-zero-zero". was a complete joke. He didn't realize that his plan would cut revenue so far that it couldn't even pay for the current DoD budget, much less anything else like paying members of Congress.

    Santorum has not come out with ideas that would force anyone to do anything, but he has come out with positions that allow people and businesses to force people to do things against their will.

    February 20, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. giatny

    Would the tea people PLEASE look at Santorum's voting record before they blindly
    support this narrow-minded, sanctimonious twit? Santorum is HORRID on every level.
    No self-respecting Independent could ever vote for this man. The stupidity being shown
    by those supporting Santorum guarantees Obama's reelection. Please do your homework
    on this unyielding, unimaginative man.

    February 20, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Yirmin Snipe

    If the king of the bankrupt casinos says to vote Mitt instead of Rick... well hell I have to vote for Rick.... any idiot that manages to have a casino and then can't keep it running is a completed idiot... if the morons in the Northeast had any brains they would have told this wind bag, "your fired" along time ago.

    February 20, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Jay

    An even better Christmas gift would have been you as the Republican nominee Mr. Trump.

    Romney, you must be an idiot to have this moron on your side.

    February 20, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. DENNA

    The Donald got that right. Ricky boy is a beautifully wrapped gift to the Democrats. Everytime he opens his mouth, he sounds stupider than before. I can't even look at him without laughing. 🙂

    February 20, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. EllieEnlightened

    Shut up Trump. True conservative WON'T vote for the liberal/RINO Mittens. Just keep yapping. Yawn.

    February 20, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Danielle

    I being a conservative christian believe Mr. Trump should go home and play with his hotels and keep his mouth out of the Republican candidates race. He is an establishment Republican and we conservatives have had our fill of him playing politics.

    Danielle

    February 20, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. RonO

    The Donald is right. Santorum has jumped the shark. He's a preacher now, not a presidential candidate. As a conservative, he's trying to stuff his religious beliefs down my throat and I don't like it. It's none of his business. Rick, youi're done. Good bye.

    February 20, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. AutumnskyD

    Trump – The Kardashian of politics

    February 20, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Marc M

    Looking forward to $5.00 gas around election time.

    Might cost me a few extra dollars but well worth it to see Obama hit the unemployment line.

    February 20, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Cricket

    The Donald has spoken. Now we are informed. Santorum has all these silly values and morals crap. Thank you Donald. We are all eternally grateful for this most useful knowledge.

    February 20, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Marc M

    @A moderate independent, your name simply just implies cowardice.

    You won't take a stand for or against anything and then whatever happens you can claim you didn't support that.

    If you voted third party in a presidential election, this also proves the ignorance.

    Yes, if santorum wins, you will vote Obama? Then you would have voted for Obama anyway.... ACORN paying you enough for these posts?

    February 20, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. MNTaxpayer

    I never believed that Rick Santorum could be elected. But if Trump is sure that he can't, now I'm not so sure that he can't..

    February 20, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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