February 21st, 2012
04:14 PM ET
2 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."

CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. The Real Tom Paine

    "I am not a manager," Santorum said. "I am not a visionary." That disqualifies him in the eyes of most GOP voters, not to mention most Americans. What the hell are you, and why are you running then? If you admit you don't have the skills, why are you wasting our time? Idiot.

    February 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. hahahahaha

    Last week Santorum said "Barack Obama stands for the 99%" – now this – this pathetic out-of-touch loser is a walking advertisement for voting Democratic. Thanks Mr. sweater vest!

    February 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Laverne

    Which is exactly why you SHOULD NOT ever be POTUS and furthermore, the way you act and talk I wonder if you are a Christian as you proclaim. You said Obama actions does not support the Christian faith, if that is true your do not either and as a matter of fact one would think that you were not a Christian if based on your actions! You think more highly of yourself than you ought to!

    February 21, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Russ

    Sorry we actually need a visionary right now. In the mean time what we don't need is a bigoted predudiced right wing hack that thinks he is better than anyone that isn't a religious zealot. We are not electing the pope, we're electing a President. Sorry Tricky Ricky but you don't qualify for either.

    February 21, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. diridi

    I told you, none of the republican idiots are worth considering and worth our votes. true, true, true.

    February 21, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. chill

    So you can't manage and you don't have a vision for the country. Why would we want you to in an executive role? I'm not sure what else a President does that doesn't fit under one or the other.

    February 21, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    What made this country great was a constant supply of cheap labor. First it was slaves, which turned into the most recent majority immigrant group coming into the country.

    Immigrants have come in waves that last a decade or three. After the Civil War, they first came predominantly from Western Europe. By World War 1, they were coming from all over Europe. By World War 2, and for a decade later, they were coming from East Asia. The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s saw immigrants from the Carribbean. Since the mid-1980s, the majority immigrant group has come from Central and South America, and Mexico.

    February 21, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. V in Chicago

    Another one bites the dust . . . :)

    Obama 2012!!

    February 21, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Nick-o

    Let me clarify, lower taxes for the rich. Oh, my bad...I mean "job creators." So where's that job boom now, Santorum? Ya'll had a decade to get all the "job creators" plenty of money to create said jobs. What we got was a big fat economic meltdown. Now you still preach that B.S.? Middle finger to you, dweeb.

    February 21, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. bonesbone

    Your a hater!

    February 21, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. V in Chicago

    Your are NOT going to be the next (or ever) President of the United States, either.

    And, please stop calling your self a Christian. You're giving the rest of us a bad name.

    February 21, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Leslie

    That's great that Santorum grew up on principles that made this country great, but times and environments changes. It's no longer the industrial age but the global age and those same principles no longer produce the same results. Santorum needs to wake up to reality. Cutting spending only stops the hole from getting deeper. You have to generate income to fill the hole. If you cut taxes as drastically as his plan suggest, you also reduce income levels which does nothing to fill the hole. We don't need a President who wants to take us back to the way it used to be. We need a President who wants to move forward, do things differently and propel us ahead to changing economy of the world not just our own nation. Anyone who thinks we can just worry about our own economy has their head in the sand. The ebbs and flows of the economy is now global.

    February 21, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Emmy Skaddittle

    by putting up such losers, the only people that are turning out are the right wing ultra religious nut jobs. you are suppose to pander to your base in the primaries not elect one. the middle of the road independents will never vote for this guy

    February 21, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Jon in Balto

    This country is in a bad way when a person who gives these as his credentials is even UNDER CONSIDERATION for the job of President. Has the American public finally been dumbed down to this?

    February 21, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Twainland

    He's not very presidential either. He seems very concerned with what gets inserted into various parts of the anatomy, but I'm not hearing anything about what we need to keep America "great". Truth is, I'd rather listen to Romney's waffeling than this garbage.

    February 21, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. The Beagle

    His comment may go down in history right next to "I am not a witch."

    February 21, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Marie

    I can't even believe he opened his mouth and made such a statement as someone we're to consider as a viable choice for president? Really? By his own admission there is no "there, there". LOL

    February 21, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Liska

    That is the first thing Santorum has said thus far that I agree with. But we do need a visionary. Obama 2012 Elizabeth Warren 2016-2024. The GOP is done for. Where were they during the Bush years? Seriously, I need someone to address this issue if we are to talk about taxes and spending. And...wh we are where we are. Thank God Obama got in in 2008 or else with Palin and Old Man at the helm, we would be Greece right now except for in my bedroom and my uterus. The GOP is truly the party of Greedy Old Pigs and stupid tea bag hate mongers.

    February 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Wvazoe

    Then what good are you ?

    February 21, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. ST

    Hey Santorum, no vision which means you are blind and you do not know where you will lead the country to. You can not manage, then what are you campaigning for? Just to go to the White House, sit and enjoy there!

    February 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Paul1st

    Newt is going to take offense. He has cast himself as the visionary candidate. Maybe Santorum can say he really meant to claim to be the hallucinogenic candidate.

    February 21, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Stacey

    No, InSanetorum. You're no manager nor a visionary; but you are most definitely a NUT! And another thing, Mr. Insane, you will never be POTUS!

    February 21, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    What a schmuck.

    February 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Valentina

    Santorum: "I am not a manager", "I am not a visionary". I add: "I am a loser. Vote for me and I will turn our good country into an Iran-like country where I would dictate to you how you should live your lives according to my doctrine." Wise up, already, people. This guy is a nutcase, and this is coming from a fiscally and socially conservative woman who wants our nation to prosper and become the beacon of hope for the rest of the world again.

    Romney/Rubio 2012!

    February 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Jean2

    Where is reality?????
    We are in trouble.

    February 21, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
1 2