February 21st, 2012
04:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: 'I am not a manager. I am not a visionary.'

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) – Rick Santorum dismissed the fundamental rationale for Mitt Romney's candidacy on Tuesday, arguing that the country needs a leader who understands fundamental American values - not just a turnaround artist.

"I am not a manager," Santorum said. "I am not a visionary. I am a guy from a steel town who grew up understanding what made this country great."

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Addressing a luncheon sponsored by the Maricopa County Republican Party - the largest county-level GOP organization in Arizona - Santorum urged the audience of activists to "speak loudly" in next Tuesday's primary and "fight the insiders, fight the establishment."

He repeatedly cited the Constitution in his remarks and called himself "real authentic conservative" with "a track record of standing up for the basic foundational pillars of society, faith and family."

Santorum also dismissed charges, coming from Romney and from a super PAC supporting his campaign, that he is a Washington insider with a long record of supporting earmarks.

He said he behaved like an outsider, tackling "the big problems," even while serving in the corridors of power on Capitol Hill.

"You see all these commercials Rick Santorum is a big spender, but they never once mention, talk about how I voted for any increase in the appropriation bills," Santorum said. "Why? Because I never did. I voted to cut appropriation bills. They never talk about I voted for a tax increase. Why? Because I never did in 16 years of public life. I voted for smaller government, lower taxes less regulation the things that we need desperately in this country."

Santorum noted that the only reason Romney is not a Washington insider himself is because he fell short in his 1994 U.S. Senate bid.

The comment drew a swift rebuke from the Romney campaign.

"Mitt Romney spent his career helping turn around companies, the Olympics, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. "At the same time, Congressman/Senator Rick Santorum spent his career in Washington, voting repeatedly to increase the debt ceiling and his own pay."

Also see:

Paul ad slams Santorum

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian Faith

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. fernace

    Wow, this is the 1st time in forever I've heard truth from a GOP-TP candidate! Santorum is so right, he's not a "manager" or "visionary"! By his own words, he's a "fundamental conservative," which means his platform will margialize those who are not fundamental or conservative! Or we must conform! He has already shown us his plans to take women back half a century, with his blockage of womens healthcare needs, particularly contraceptives,his proposition to cut amnioscentecis from health coverage, his assertion that women can't handle themselves in combat, his friends woman bashing "aspirin between the knees" un- joke! I didn't know there were men left in our society w/this kind of "non-visionary" views! This is absolutely a turn backwards, but the problem is, the Future is Forward! Luckily we do have a manager & visionary; our Commander in Chief, Barack Obama! He has managed w/ a mangled economy, congress gridlock all last year & blame for everything, but Still he has a vision for America! That's my Prez!!

    February 21, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Hardrain77

    Imagine how different this election would look if Ron Paul got barely a fraction of the useless fluff articles written about the other 'three stooges' in this campaign despite the fact he packs thousands at every rally he holds?

    February 21, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Problem is.........we need a great manager, and a great visionary, to figure out how to solve our problems, after the mess Obama has made.

    February 21, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. rs

    I would agree. I tend to think he is a religious nutjob, and an anti-government radical.

    February 21, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. justaminit

    No wait, I'm a prophet. Hand picked to be the President by my family. Rising above these evildoers who would derail my candidacy. Anointed by myself, in my bathtub, to speak for everyone.

    February 21, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Thor4

    I personally think that Santorum is a loose bullet – this man is the most bigoted self inflated so called politician other than Gingritch that i have had the misfortune to see and hear. Yes Republicans you are in trouble !!!! Big time !!!

    February 21, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. dagoberto

    I completly agree with you. You are nither a manager nor a visionary. You are trying to loose, no doubt about it.

    February 21, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Larry L

    @Rick McDaniel

    "Problem is.........we need a great manager, and a great visionary, to figure out how to solve our problems, after the mess Obama has made."
    ------------------------------------------------------–
    The mess "Obama" made? Where were you during the end of 2008 when Bush issued the first bailout package? Eight million jobs were lost BEFORE President Obama took office! Republicans blocked every initiative in the Senate with 95 filibusters – including their own actions! Do conservatives ever man-up to anything?

    February 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. WHATNEXT

    I VE BEEN REPUBLICAN FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE (SIX DECADES) – BUT I HAVE TO TELL YOU – THIS GROUP OF POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT ARE ABOUT AS QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB AS MY THREE YEAR OLD NEPHEW – WHOSE WHOLE LIFE IS WRAPPED UP IN LIGHTING McQUEEN. Where do we find these people and why do we let them breed?

    February 21, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. CoJo

    then why did that steel state fire you as their senator???? Maybe you should be Minnesota's senator to replace Bachmann or maybe Michigan will take ya as a senator...

    February 21, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. thomas

    @Rick McDaniel
    Problem is.........we need a great manager, and a great visionary, to figure out how to solve our problems, after the mess Obama has made.

    Obama didn't make this mess. Where are you from ? The market went above 1300 today . Yes the price of gas is 4.00 dollars a gallon , thats because big oil knows its the only way to to get another looser republican in office.

    You want a Fascist , You want a warden not a manager , you don't have a vision , and if you do its based on a reality fantasy show.

    Rick Santorum is a hypocrite and so are you !

    February 21, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    I got news for you Ricky Boy – Steel is being sent IN – from Korea – From China – From elsewhere – as I speak – from the port of Houston – coming IN – on Sea Containers – Why do you think there's so much money flying around here in Houston , Ricky Boy ? They are UN – Loading Sea Containers from China – EVERY DAY – and Most of it Is Going to the Wal – Marts & Dollar Stores – & elsewhere, around this Country !!

    February 21, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Jules

    Well, we know he is not a visionary since he is looking backwards, but to admit your not a manager and you are running to manage the largest economy in the world is pretty baffling.

    February 21, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Jake

    finished with, "I am just another idiot Republican running for President (but to only serve some Americans)."

    February 21, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Deeb

    Not a manager or visionary? We all pretty much suspected as much....so this coming straight from the horse's mouth clearly removes all doubt. Thanks for confirming Rick.

    February 21, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Dude in Colorado

    Ummmm, Mr. Santorum, you are running for the office of POTUS, I know you have faith and plenty of that, but in REALITY don't you think you should also have a "vision" for what you as POTUS would like to achieve as well as some managerial skills to aid you towards those achievements.

    February 21, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Tex71

    Unless I totally misunderstood American history and our nation became great by marginalizing women and forcing religious extremism upon the populace and taking bribes in exchange for preferential treatment of industrial groups, then Santorum is crazy.

    February 21, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Ron

    I could probably vote for your grandpa, but you ain't him! You are a nutcase.

    February 21, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Jamie from Riverside

    You're not a lot of things.

    February 21, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    "I am not a manager", "I am not a visionary". The truth be known, he's the Devil and will destroy our great country. Don't let him fool you, he IS the evil he warns you about, a neat trick.

    February 21, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. The Left Wing

    He is not a visionary. His not a manager. His a knee jerk reactionary.

    February 21, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. anthony78

    Rick McDaniel
    "Problem is.........we need a great manager, and a great visionary, to figure out how to solve our problems, after the mess BUSH has made."

    There.. I fixed it for you. You're welcome.

    February 21, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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