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. Lee in Phoenix

    In other words, if Romney doesn't get the nomination Trump will run, split the vote, and guarantee a win for Obama. Perhaps that's been his plan all along.

    February 20, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. ATRUEAMERICAN

    Has anyone noticed that immediately following Trump's endorsement of Romney, Santorum rocketed into first place? I love Trump but...the man is the kiss of political death.

    February 20, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. robert m. simon

    There is only ONE GOP CANDIDATE that can make the Kenyan Communist wish he were the victim of an abortion-Ron Paul.

    February 20, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. B. Golan

    Well, we all no know who Trump realy is, just another con artist like Mitt Romney. Hey Trump, go ahead and run as an Independent! You will crash & burn! RINO? No, more like a demonicrat opportunist wearing a RINO hide.

    February 20, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I didn't see George W apologizing to our returned men and women in the military for sending them off to war in order to help Haliburton turn a profit. I still haven't seen W apologize to our men and women for sending off to fight a war that was personal in nature, and based on lies that killed thousands of theirs and ours. I didn't see W lining up to welcome our men and women home. I didn't see W talking to businesses and brokering deals with them so that they would find it financially beneficial to hire our men and women in uniform. This President did that. Yes the defense budget is being cut, but what and where? Our men and women have been brought home. Osama bin Laden has been unceremoniously laid to rest somewhere with the fish. Our FLOTUS and Mrs. Biden have made it their cause to help and solicit the nation's help on behalf of our men and women in uniform. This administration has really tried to show in so many ways how much they value those they serve; and how hard they deliberate before putting them in harms' way. This administration cares about ALL of it's citizens, those here in the homefront and those that willingly offer us the ultimate sacrifice.
    God bless our President Obama, and our troops, and our glorious, wonderful nation. Forever and ever Amen.

    February 20, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. B. Golan

    Anyone claiming to be a "moderate" is nothing more than a confused liberal or outright liar of a demonicrat!

    February 20, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    The re-districting Issue down here will "supposedly" be done in May – – Now, the current news reports that : "It may not be until sometime in June" Really ? Wow ! That's sort of a downer for the newter, isn't it ? Because newter is figuring he's got the delegates here in Texas "in the bag" – – – Well, I've got news for Him – He'll get the delegates in Georgia , probably with No Problem, since they are 85 – 90 % Republican in Ga. But, he (newter) may have a "houston you've got a problem" down here in Texas, IF the Re-districting Issue isn't settled til June sometime. I'd say, with all the Dems moving here for Jobs – this state will end up going Blue in the next 4 to 8 yrs.

    Larry IN Houston

    February 20, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Archy Cary

    Suppose CNN is trying to stir things up to help their guy, Barry?

    February 20, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Tommy928

    Santorum is a 3rd rate lawyer and a DC beltway pol slime ball who has done nothing but line his pockets since he got there and now lives iin 5,000 sq. ft house in VA and NOT in PA. He will lose by more than McCain did and maybe take the House of Reps with him with his nut job social remarks about contraception etc.

    February 20, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. tom olszak

    trump has always been such a user of others. this smear of santorum becomes an endorsement.

    February 20, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. The Unsub

    2 words...."Santorum? Really?"

    February 20, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Frank

    Trump: You dropped the ball on the birth cert., you dropped out of the race for President and you dropped your brain in supporting Romney who has always been much closer to O; so guess what!! Drop out and go play on your tv show w/ the rest of Hollow-wood!

    February 20, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. kaliman

    Rarely do I agree with the Donald, but in this case he is right. The GOP field is deeply flawed and Santorum is not their best candidate. As a Democrat I sense a landslide for Obama regardless of who the GOP currently has on the ballot.
    I wish Hillary were running though, because I think she would make a better President than Obama. He is a very smart person, but he is not as strong on promoting his positions as he should be.

    February 20, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Vince

    Trump, the first candidate to self-destruct before he even got out of the starting gate, is still arrogant enough to tell us who to support. This man's ego never quits.

    February 20, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. rightospeak

    Ask Trump about 9/11-how buildings fell so neatly withouit dynamite and bldg 7 was not even hit by a plane and went down like a charm. Ask how airplane fuel can melt those huge beams that would not even stick out in the pile-ask how that is possible and watch his face. He is in the 1% club and will avoid to answer or lie . He could never tell the truth if he values his life-but he knows that 9/11 is a fairy tale. It would be fun to watch that Georgeus George (the wresler ) type answer the 9/11 question -better than his show. There he is just massaging his ego, on 9/11 question he would sweat.

    February 20, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Richard Jones

    While I'm not really a Santorum fan, there's something that you Romney fans need to remember. McCain stomped Romney in "08 and da Kingfish stomped McCain !! This means that da Kingfish by a factor of two ( probably would have been worse if not for Palin). Better get ready for four more years of da Kingfish. My advice is to buy guns, not gold.

    February 20, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. dgkdgk

    So irrelevant is the GOP field, that they continue to have Donald Trump – DONALD TRUMP ... a political NOBODY – weigh-in on candidates. The only person who gives a sh!t about Donald Trump is Donald Trump.

    February 20, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. No Way

    I would say I cannot believe Americans would be so s tupid, that they would vote for Santorum but the majority of Republicans recently backed Governor Perry, who looks and talks like he walked out of the Beverly Hillbillies. Believe me, most Americans are a stoopid as rocks, and they might very well vote in Santorum who wouldn't have a chance against Obama. But you want to see the average american these days? go to peopleofwalmart(dot)com. That is who is voting for your leader. Americans are screwed.

    February 20, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. IndeePendant

    @Monique, who is theat someone unique, who wants to vote for Mitt because Trum says so? That's a joke of the century. hahahaha.. People had enough of Mr.MOReMONey already. And they see that he has no vision for the Country, except for him to become the first MORMON President and fly his family flag. Rick is better. I am saying none of us from my friends and family circle want to vote for Romney just because Trump the obnoxious says so. You guys have started blackmailing people by saying he (Trump) will contest? That's the last thing We the People want to be told. APOLOGIZE!

    February 20, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Randy Dye

    Just because Trump lives in a nation that allowed him to become rich, does not make him a Patriot, but a loud mouth Hollywood celebrity. We have enough of those Moonbats in our nation already that don't have a clue what freedom really is.

    February 20, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. WDinDallas

    Santorum will be beat Obama by 8 percentage points.

    February 20, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Todd P.

    Santorum is a far-right, religious NUT, intent on forcing his bizarre morals on everyone. Romney might be a super-Conservative Morman, but at least he isn't browbeating everyone ELSE to become religious. Santorum obviously intends to have his own, little theocracy in the White House. Anyone that willingly sleeps with a CORPSE for a night, and then lets his KIDS "hold" and "carry around" (his words, ot mine) the corpse is too far out for me! Rick will get PUMMELED by Obama if he is the nominee......

    February 20, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Kathleen

    I agree with Trump. This campaign has resulted in my opinion of the TeaParties' ability to carefully and intelligently evaluate a candidate's viability reaching sub-zero level. They have become their own worst enemy and now threaten to become conservatives' and independents worst enemy.

    Santorum is nothing more than a GOP plant following in the footsteps of Bob Dole and John McCain. There is virtually no difference between the Parties or their common goal and both the Parties and the CFR know, full well, Obama has the unique ability to destroy this country at a faster pace than John McCain did or Rick Santorum will.

    Initially I was of the opinion Romney would be the last person I would vote for; he is now the only person who will receive my endorsement. If the Party truly believes they can pull a quick one and insert their chosen golden boy, Jeb Bush, I will vote for no one as Jeb Bush is as bad, or worse, than Obama. To describe one is to describe both.

    February 20, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Dan L

    Donald Trump is not a very smart person. He has made billions and I am not sure how he has done it, because when he speaks, it is obvious from his answers that he is reading them off a briefing paper. He repeats the same thing over and over and over again. He has failed numerous times in business dealings and Santorum failed only once. I would take Santorum's winning percentage over Trump's LOSING percentage.

    February 20, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. CerpherJoe

    Who listens to this puff piece anyway?

    February 20, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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