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. V in Chicago

    Incredible Stupidity from the Incredibly Stupid Santorum – AGAIN!

    February 27, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. V in Chicago

    This guy creeps me out . . .

    February 27, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    The recession started in 2007 but the Bush administration was never willing to admit it. Doesn't anybody remember the 'stimulus' tax cut in 2007 which did nothing to stop the slowing and eventual collapse of the economy.
    The price of gas may have helped to push things over the edge but the fact that the banking and insurance industries were massively over leveraged is the real reason for the collapse.

    February 27, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Scott

    Ohhhh ok. That's why I can't afford to buy a nice house in South Florida, because I keep spending all that money on $35 worth of gas every week. Thank you Rick Santorum! Thank you for this, and for saying the First Amendment is wrong, and that JFK makes you throw up, and that the Dutch have death panels for the elderly. Just when you think you know stuff, Rick Santorum comes along and proves you wrong.

    February 27, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. jlf

    and....before it is too late....the Republican party should distance themselves from Santorum in order to have any kind of chance of winning in 2012...oh wait...it is too late...damage already done!

    February 27, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Lynn

    He has to be even stupider than Sarah Palin. Only Rush could defend this poor excuse for a human being.

    February 27, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Wobbly Walker

    Let's see, I could of put a purchase agreement in place fir a new house, sell the house for $75,000 more than I purchased 4 months later when it's completed to some sucker who borrowed way more than he should, and that wasn't a cause of the problem? I knew I should of done it and not listened to my wife. Gas price going up caused me cut back in discretionary purchases, not skipping mortgage payments. I swear Rick says dumber things every day. He really does want contrast with Obama on whatever position Obama states.
    There are a lit more middle of the road people, but looks like extremists are taking over.

    February 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. diridi

    what caused is GREED by Republican thugs. Wall-Street Manipulation...Well, see, we are already pushing "Energy-Efficiency".

    February 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    SPLAT!!!
    Bwahahahahahahaha!!

    February 27, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Rani McBride

    Oh my God! Is this guy serious! He is more ingnorant than I thought!

    February 27, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Namejkane fl

    What a moron, st rick needs the college he says we don't need!!!!

    February 27, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckooo. . . . .

    February 27, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Santorum is as ignorant and silly as Palin. He is just as insufferable with his "Palin foot in the mouth" disease. The recession was caused by the excesses and greed of the 1% haves on Wall Street.

    February 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Anonymous - I just want to point out here how presumptuous we Americans are by assuming that we, without any background in economics whatsoever, know more about the economy than people with PhDs in the subject. Experts have agreed that the downturn was caused by the housing bubble. Let's learn to show their effort and years of study some respect
    =============================================================================================
    Do the moron Democrats in here think people couldn't make their mortgage payments for no reason?! When it was costing $100 for a tank of gas, it takes away from other items, and in some cases that was mortgage payments because people were living from paycheck to paycheck with no reserves in the bank.

    Talk about a complete lack of a grasp on reality! You people take the cake and Anonymouse is the king of the clueless thinking PHd in economics know Jack. They are lower than weathermen when it comes to reliablilty of predictions. Wasn't Obama's PHd flunky Romer the one that said unemployment wouldn't go above 8% if we borrowed and spent a trillion dollars? I rest my case.

    February 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. nothing new here

    HIgh gas prices was just one reason for the recession, it was not THE main reason in itself.
    But then again, I am surprised that Santorum is not blaming the use of contraceptives for high prices at the pump.

    February 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Len

    Now I see why he lost by 18% in his Senate bid.....Has no knowledge of history.......recession started in 2005....Our major Auto producers closed 28 plants and laid off over 30,000 people in 2005....GOP still in charge.

    Wake up folks....do not make the same mistakes!

    February 27, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. mark99er

    This guy fits the discription of insanity!

    February 27, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Namejkane fl

    I can see why college students didn't hang around with st. Ricky the bafoon with his idiotic conserveative republican propaganda, what s joke. Would you let your kid hang around with st. Ricky, no thanks .

    February 27, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    At the rate this turd is going, Perry should've stayed in the race, and Bachmann.
    Sanitarium has become progressively unhinged.
    The closer he gets to losing the nomination, which he will, the more disparate and desperate he becomes.
    Obama 2012.

    February 27, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. PhlG

    You're nuts Rick. You've made it very clear this week on so many issues – college to contraception, and now to oil. You know nothing. Please be the nominee, please!!

    February 27, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Name

    Santorum should be drug tested.He's blabbering something about gas prices,blah blah blah.Nothing about jobs ,jobs, jobs,he's totally lost,hands in the air like a preacher in a Sunday sermon.Then he'll say Obama made me do it,or something like that..Mr.Santorum,EX-SENATOR,your deregulating republicans did a fine job on wall street,not Barney Frank or Chris Dodd who tried to defuse the bomb you hypocrites left.You republicans said who cares what happens,a republican president after Bush is out of the question,so bombs away,let's get outta here so nobody but Bush will get hurt.Let the Dems clean up,they're good at that,and used to it,history shows and shows...

    February 27, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. FreedomIsAbsolute

    This sounds about right coming from the guy who said, "We need inflation." This guy is a political shill carrying the water for the establishment aka mega corporations. How in the world he is leading in the polls I haven't a clue, but it makes me think less of my fellow Americans. Ironic that the only candidate talking with any sense is slanderd and marginalized by the midia, yet Mitt/Newt/santorum say the darndest things with very little back lash from the media. IT'S A SAD SITUATION WE HAVE GOTTON OURSELVES INTO WHEN THE ONLY ONE YOU CAN TRUST IN THE MSM IS THE DAYM WEATHER MAN!

    February 27, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Jilli

    Good lord Mr. Santorum, have you NO shame? How many different ways is this clown going to try and rewrite history and other peoples comments? Such blatant dishonesty.

    I would think his God would frown upon on the deliberate lies.

    February 27, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    i quit
    ------------------------
    I laughed until I cried when I read this.
    Truthfully, thank you.

    February 27, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. mark99er

    I will try again moderator! This guy fits the dicription of insanity!

    February 27, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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