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. BENJABO1

    Trump's only concern is getting publicity for himsel, he' a blow hard, whenever I see him on TV, I can't switch channels fast enough

    First thing will say is about the great deals he has made, and that America is being played for suckers by China & the OIl Cartels

    February 20, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Doug

    The reason because Santorum speaks to his core beliefs and does not poll test everything he says. I'd rather have a president who I believe will do what is right rather than one who does whatever is popular at the moment.

    February 20, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. American

    Actually, there seems no better Christmas gift than Trump, the birther chump, to continue revealing the absurdity of Romney's 1% campaign.

    February 20, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. JD

    u r making this easy for me, thank you so much for your support.....

    President Obama

    February 20, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Carol

    Even though I don't care for Trump, I would have to vote for him over Santorum, and that is sad.

    February 20, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. scott

    wait a minute, who is the right wing nut job here??? hey, i dont like rs a little bit, but i believe every time dt speaks for himself or on behalf of mr, dt help rs...besides, who is dt?? nothing but a loud mouth snake oil salesman...i loved his show apprentice and celebrity apprentice, but his sticking his hair in the presidential ring is to much. i can no longer defend dt nor can i watch his shows.

    February 20, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  7. Obama#01

    There has to be an alternative to the current field of Republican canidates. Outdated views of energy, contraception and just about any other topic will not suffice for the modern American. What began as a birthers has evolved into an anti American gang. Demographics have changed but many views have not, and the failure to adapt will further distance GOP from the core of America. I must admit, Bush (George) in hindsight was a much better choice than any of these will ever be, but thats just my opinion. And please dont respond to this..us average Americans dont wanna hear it.lol

    February 20, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  8. Mike in NH

    I'm not a Santorum supporter but I am an anyone but Romney supporter. The GOP missed their best chance by not embracing Gov Huntsman a true fiscal conservative with a social conscience. Santorum may be a little hard right for my tast but then again he's not Romney. If Santorum was elected the congress would prevent him from going too hard right on social issues but at least Santorum has a core.

    Romney as Huntsman said is a weathervane spinning in the wind and right now he's reacting to one of the biggest windbags in the country, the apprentice candidate Trump.

    I'd vote for Santorum or just about any other GOP candidate other than Romney or heaven forbid Trump. If Romney gets the GOP nod I'll abstain or go third party for Ron Paul.

    February 20, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. The Last Republican Left in Detroit

    So the Donald said that Dems in Michigan don't actually believe that Santorum will win, but they sure would like it if he did. The Donald needs to do more research on the Michigan primary before he holds forth with his predictions. The Michigan primary is an open primary, so Democrats will crossover and vote in large numbers in the GOP primary, and most will be voting for Santorum. Why? Because the perception is that Obama would prefer not to face Romney. So Democrats don't just hope for a Santorum win, Donald, they will make it happen with their votes.

    February 20, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. ConservativeRedneck

    Who Cares what Trump thinks. He's a no body. a use ta was. Closest thing I can think of when I hear his name is a RINO.

    February 20, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Mark

    Trump's credibility as a political persona is rapidly diminishing.

    February 20, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  12. brothasoldja

    I can't seem to figure out ANYTHING Donald Trump has actually done for the GOP-except try to promote his books and career by pretending to be a player in the party.

    Whether Santorum is the one or not is another question. But Trump's input is about as important now as Kim Kardashian's opinions on theology.

    February 20, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  13. kathleen

    It is a true statement that if Santorum is the nominee; Obama's people can start planning the inauguration.... as an independent, there is no way i would vote for Santorum... he was not a good Senator from Pa. (having lived there for years while he was in the senate)... and lost in 2006 by a huge margin.... he's a big spender, and loves the earmarks... i.e.the bridge to nowhere....

    February 20, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  14. Lauren O'Rourke

    Mitt Romney was riding high in the polls until Feb. 3. What happened on Feb 3? That is the day Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney and he has not regained his numbers back. Mittens looked so uncomfortable at that presser. He should have just gone with his gut and ignored that clown's endorsement. This was reported on Rachel Maddow's show tonight–they showed graphs and every thing. So if The Donald does not like you, your poll numbers will probably go up.

    February 20, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  15. J from DC

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and Donald Trump has found one of his times.

    February 21, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  16. Flyoverman

    Interesting to see all of the Democrats jumping on the thread to proclaim they are moderates who will not vote for Santorum. Nice try. Conservatives are not lemmings. We know a good candidate when we see one. We now who Trump is. He's the guy who contributed to Harry Reid's and Rahm Emmanueal's campaigns. Trump is in this for Trump. He cares about nothing else.

    February 21, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  17. Texasman

    I find Santorum's acceptance of religious bigotry to win votes among the evangelicals very disturbing. Closed door strategy sessions against Romney in Texas and compromising himself as a Presidential candidate by the "laying on of hands" as an endorsement against Romney violates separation of church and state.  Santorum needs a lesson on the first amendment.  He knows part of it regarding protecting religion from government intrusion  but he does not seem to understand as President he represents all people of different faiths and people who choose not to believe.  Santorum divides people.  His latest remarks about the President's faith minimally betrays the commands of Jesus and the Bible to be charitable, tolerant, and not self-righteous.  He needs to take the aspirin out from between his knees and put it between his lips.  

    February 21, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  18. talbet

    At this point all Trump can reasonably do is accept that Obama is going to be President for four more years. Make peace with it and move on. Or, better yet, try to work with the guy.

    February 21, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  19. RWC

    I dont think "The Donald" is taken seriously any longer among Political circles. I also think his standing in the business arena has fallen as well. Yeah, he is rich but also a shallow, egotistical, attention grabbing, idiot. Get a new Doo Trump. You are actually harming the candidate you think you are helping. The democrats are salivating that flip flopper Romney is the candidate. Go do the Apprentice but politics is not for you. Your'e Fired!!

    February 21, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  20. kelly

    Ron Paul is the only hones man running. Dont give up your liberty.

    Ron Paul 2012

    February 21, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  21. Chuck Pelto

    TO: All
    RE: Heh

    As if anyone with more than two synapses to rub together really gave a hoot about what Trump thinks regarding politics.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Politics is a deleterious profession, like some poisonous handicrafts. Men in power have no opinions, but may be had cheap for any opinion, for any purpose. - Ralph Waldo Emerson]

    P.S. We need a change from that sort of 'politician'. Romney is more of the problem that Emerson comments on.

    I suspect that Romney has 'bought' Trump with an under the table promise to give him some cabinet position.

    February 21, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  22. David B

    Dems are scared to death of Santorum...dems will always tell us what they fear....it is always what they attack...they fear Sarah Palin...they fear Herman Cain...I don't see dems attacking Mitt? I wonder why? BTW Nobody is voting for obama! He will lose big!

    February 21, 2012 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  23. Artic Slayer

    Who cares he is just a mitt romney chief sucker and a mentally ill liberal... so who cares what super hair says... At least Rick isn't owned by the china bookies....

    February 21, 2012 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  24. packerfans

    Come on Vote for Mitt Romney can saved America !!!

    February 21, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  25. Dan

    I think Trump is right on this one. Listen, it would be wonderful to have a good, solid conservative running. But we don't. Santorum may be conservative on social issues, but aside from that he is just another Washington insider. With a guy like that you're not going to get a full change of course, just steer the train onto a different track. But more important, this is not a guy who can beat Obama. He is just not that likeable. Remember his last debate? Virtually every answer consisted of him extending his left arm and began with "Well Governor Romney. . . !" Yechh!

    February 21, 2012 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
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