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. DON C

    The worst candidate running this November is Mt. Obma! I believe my Great Grandson has more natural intellegence than what we have seen come from Demos and our president the past three years. His best move has been vacations. Sixteen by last count. Don't let the liberal press sway your wisdom in throwing the cat back into the Chicago alley where most of our Demo decisions have originated the past 3-years...Gosh! Carter looks like a better leader than this cat!

    February 20, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He looks orange, just like Boehner.
    All those millions at their disposal and these guys can't find a good tanning salon.
    WTH?!

    February 20, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Santorum has the passion but not the ideas that really matter. Romney doesn't have the charisma that really gets everyone up and running. I can imagine either one getting the nomination and failing because of either the lack of reasonable ideas or passion. This leads to Obama winning re-election.

    February 20, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. markiejoe

    Never thought I'd agree with Trump on anything, but I have to say he's right on this one. Santorum could never beat Obama in November. He wouldn't even come close. If Santorum got 40% of the November vote in a two-way race, I'd be surprised.

    And if there is a viable third-party candidate, cut that percentage for Santorum in half.

    February 20, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Uncle Baire

    Will someone please take Donald Trump and choke him with his stupid hair!!!

    February 20, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Brooke

    Umm . . . remind me, CNN . . . why are you paying any attention whatsoever to this silly, vain, irrelevant man?

    February 20, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. atrain68

    Just like "Live Free or Die" is an all or nothing proposition, so has become this primary season. Voters are angry at the corrupt establishment GOP and are shopping for a conservative. Perhaps the voting public is saying to themselves, I want a conservative or nothing at all.

    February 20, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. george of the jungle

    some jerk just said trump should be president. Yeah then we could run the white house like a reality tv show and the donald could sell the tv rights and make more money . What a laugh. the repo party is. Obama/Biden 2012

    February 20, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. tex reaist

    Hey Trump – SHUT UP!

    February 20, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Jasonn

    Donald Trump is always about Donald Trump. Santorum's stock just went up in my book.

    February 20, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. NoParty

    Every time I hear Trump speak about any Republican Candidate, I cringe. I find it hard to believe he isn't a paid "operative" for the DNC.

    February 20, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Cosmic Zamboni

    Donald, you are politically irrelevant. Nobody cares what you think or say on politics. Focus on your TV show, okay?

    February 20, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Carl Thomsen

    I think he means that Americans are too perverted to give Santorum a chance.

    February 20, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. dalewalk

    Does anyone recall the moment recently, when Trump endorsed Romney? It's been straight downhill for Romney since!

    February 20, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. A Southern Lady

    As a former Republican, I am disgusted with what the once-proud R party has become. Their attacks on the President since the day he was elected can only be described as shameful. It seems the more hateful and dishonest the comments, the more the Tea Party groups cheer. Truth seems to no longer matter, make up the most disgusting thing you can think of, character assination is their favorite, and say it enough times that Tea Party supporters believe it. I wondered why no Republican statesment, those with character, education and love of counrty, have come forward to stop this and I realized they have all been voted out of office. Shame....

    February 20, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. MBSeattle

    Trump is the clown act of the republican primaries. Is there a Trump factor in this election? If Trump is for your candidate is your candidate in trouble? I am thinking that this guy is the monkeys paw of the republican party.

    February 20, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. dthatch

    I was a Newt supporter before I saw Santorum when he came to NV. He spoke for 40 minutes and answered questions from the audience for another 20. He spoke to local as well as national issues and was extremely well informed. He did not use notes or a teleprompter. I'm guessing the Donald is supporting Romney because he wants a president he can manipulate. Won't happen with Santorum.

    February 20, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Mark Rhoads

    Why does anyone ever take anythng that the buffoon Donald Trump has to offer on any serious topic much less politics? One seldom sees a blow hard who is so clueless. He is not helping Romney and they should keep him hidden in the attic.

    February 20, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. FedUp

    Besides the fact that I can't stand Romney, since McCain and Trump are FOR Romney, I will NEVER vote for him.

    February 20, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Valerie in Raleigh

    Santorum as president scares me. He has no right to determine what goes on in the bedroom and the doctor's offices of the women of this country. He can have seven children, his choice, but that is not what most women want. His thinking would take us back to the 1950's when desperate women had to chose back-alley abortions because nothing else was available and many paid for it with their lives. Take away birth control and the women of this count will fall back to second class citizens. We will not go back to being uneducated, barefoot and pregnant. Obama 2012

    February 20, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Paul R

    I would take any republican candidate over Obama, hands down! Obama is a fake and has proven himself over and over again to be inept and unable to lead. My grandmother would be an improvement over the current loser in the white house.

    February 20, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Texas Doc

    Trump will only end up with Santorum in his face.

    February 20, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Steve

    Fortunately, a majority of the people in this country are smarter and better informed than the average liberal. Therefore, I have no concerns about Santorum's electability.

    What cracks me up is that Obama is even more extreme than Santorum on social issues, just the flip side of the coin. Why is that okay for Obama, but not for Santorum?

    February 20, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. JD

    OMG can it be. ok let me pinch myself... i actually agree with the Donald. lol he is right. if this idiot wins the nomination and then Trump does launch a independent run my President Obama will win in a landslide without having to raise another cent. let me see if i get this right who really hates ricky s. blacks, gays, lesbians, single mothers, working mothers, working families, latino's and anyone with half a brain. yep please Ricky win the nomination. sincerly a demacratic supporter.

    February 20, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Voter

    A filthy rich man voting for another filthy rich man.

    That's all I needed to know...

    February 20, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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