February 27th, 2012
04:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: High gas prices caused the recession

Lansing, Michigan (CNN) - Rick Santorum argued Monday that it was high gas prices, not dubious lending practices or complex Wall Street trades, which torpedoed the housing market in 2008 and brought on the current prolonged economic slump.

The Republican presidential candidate made the claim at a campaign event in Lansing, Michigan while accusing President Barack Obama of blocking the expansion of domestic energy production.

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"We need to look at the situation with gas prices today," Santorum said. "We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices. The bubble burst in housing because people couldn't pay their mortgages because they were looking at $4 a gallon gasoline."

"Look at what happened," Santorum continued. "Economic decline. Here we are again. Trying to struggle out of a recession with Barack Obama and the federal government on the backs of business, not letting them grow. And now we have energy prices again, why? Because of government policy."

After the event, however, Santorum sought to clarify his remarks with reporters and described gas prices as a "factor" in the crisis, not necessarily the cause.

"I said that that was a factor. I'm sorry. I will make sure that I will be much more specific when I talk about it," Santorum said.

Asked if he misspoke, Santorum replied: "Energy prices were spiking up in the summer of 2008 and that was a factor."

Also see:

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Filed under: 2012 • gas prices • Michigan • Rick Santorum
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. the Situation

    Slick Rick, your just an idiot! Just shut up!

    February 27, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. GI Joe.

    Somebody - QUICK - give him a brain transplant.

    What an idiot.

    February 27, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Sandy

    LMAO! Poor Rick. Just making it up as he goes along.

    February 27, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. John in Brooklyn

    Has he READ a newspaper anytime in the past 4 years?

    February 27, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. peter kay

    Right...like big oil would charge less here at home when they could get $4.00 a gallon selling it overseas.

    February 27, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Thomas

    To paraphrase Firesign Theater...Nothing but bozos on the Republican bus.

    February 27, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Jim Klimaski

    Santorum really is a dummy. Even about economics. Maybe he should have a chat with Ron Paul before going on stage for any further debates. .

    February 27, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. :arrborian

    let me just say to all republicans, without equivoction: if you believe that, you are an idiot!

    February 27, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. DC2003

    He's beginning to sounds as crazy & delusional as Bachmann!

    February 27, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Am I the only one tired of these debates

    He just lost a million votes with the dumbest statement of the year. And I am sure there is more to come.

    February 27, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Brett

    Santorum makes me want to throw up.

    February 27, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Wow. I thought it was contraception that caused it. Plan B, Ricky?

    February 27, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Kareen

    How could this man ever be elected in the Senate? It boggles my mind.

    February 27, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Aaron

    There is no gas shortage...the US has so much that it is exporting overseas, so obviously its greed, not supply, that is increasing the prices. Santorum must have slept through the latter part of the 00s. Gas prices played a role in the recession, but the job loss and economic collapse was caused by Wall Street greed, and the failure of an overbribed Congress to be proactive or reactive to any of it.

    February 27, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    No, it wasn't. It was all of the cheap credit out there that was given to people who had no chance on paying it back. The bankers who wanted to sell more the sub-prime backed securities to Wall Street caused a good part of this when people couldn't pay anything back.

    February 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Russ

    Is this guy for real? High gas prices caused the recession? Because of the price of gas you couldn't pay your mortgage? OMG this guy is so out of touch with reality. He is the only person in the world since the recession started to come up with this revelation. What a ding bat! Good luck America if this is all the GOP have to offer for President. He will take office and start drilling oil wells in the Rose Garden. OMG, OMG what an idiot!!!

    February 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Prince Valiant

    WOW! Republicans can just make stuff up without batting an eye.

    February 27, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    And "Alice" Sanatarium takes another tumble down a random rabbit hole.

    February 27, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Bill

    Ok, Bub. I would keep your mouth shut on this one.

    February 27, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Larry in Houston

    Santorum said. "We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices. ( excuse me, didn't he say 2008 ? ) I thought we're headed OUT of a recession the last several months. According to the latest statistics, we've had job growth for many , many months in a row, now. The 4 dollar gas prices doesn't have anything to do with what Santorum is currently saying. Anyway – it's only 3.20 – 3.30 here, and may go up to 3.85 at most, around here.

    February 27, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. DBA

    You know, in the best of all possible worlds, a kind person could go up to Rick Santorum, gently remove the blindfold from in eyes, and then make some proper introductions: "Reality, this is Rick; Rick, this is Reality. Why don't you sit down with Reality and get to know it?"

    Absent that, I guess Rick Santorum is just doomed to go through his life as an effin' idiot.

    February 27, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Troy

    Seriously? This is the kind of Republican we have to choose from?? How about food prices? Or auto insurance? Or any other cost that has gone up in the last 8-10 years? He cant be serious about this. Such an oversimplification or misrepresentation of the facts is horrible for our party. This group of Republicans is handing the election to Obama. He isn't even going to have to try that hard.

    February 27, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. roro

    The vomit that this man keeps spewing continuously proves what a lying nutcase he is. Nevertheless, I hope he keeps beating Romney as this would make him so very easy to beat in November.

    February 27, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Russ

    One last thought......doesn't this guy have a campaign manager? If he does he needs a new one to stop him from saying this stuff! Rick you sound like Palin and Bachmann and look what happened to them. You're hoot Ricky.

    February 27, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Axel123

    Sorry Rick raising the gas prices even $2-does not eat up a mtg payment so much that 60% of Americans have to default 15,00 mi / 20mpg = 750gal raised $2 = 1500 over a year or a little over $125/mo which if it is enough to sink you financially you should not have bout the house in the first place with only $125/mo left in reserve. He is clearly lives in his own world of illusion.

    February 27, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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