Santorum questions Romney's 'gut'
March 1st, 2012
01:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum questions Romney's 'gut'

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum seized on Mitt Romney's health care flub Thursday to question Romney's convictions and offer further evidence of his own conservative credentials.

"We saw an insight into what's in the gut of Gov. Romney yesterday," Santorum said during a campaign speech in Atlanta. "When Gov. Romney was asked that question his knee jerk reaction was no, I can't be for that."

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Romney was forced to explain his stance on a controversial Senate amendment that would allow employers to opt out of health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds after he came out against the legislation. He later said he supported the provision and "misunderstood" the inquiry from a reporter.

But Santorum seemed to question Romney's explanation while reassuring voters of where he stands ahead of contests in Washington on Saturday and in 10 states, including Georgia, on Tuesday.

"After his consultants talked to him then he, he came back and said I didn't understand the question. Well maybe he did and maybe he didn't," Santorum said. "My gut reaction would be you stand for the first amendment. You stand for freedom of religion. You stand for the first amendment rights."

Romney has since repeated his support of the amendment, drafted by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a supporter of the former Massachusetts governor. The provision, which failed Thursday, was an attempt by Senate Republicans to confront a simmering controversy over rules governing religious employers and health care coverage they are required to provide.

In reaction to Santroum's latest comments, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said Santorum's "'gut reaction' is to 'take one for the team' instead of standing up for what he says he believes in."

"Rick Santorum plays for Team Washington, while Mitt Romney's team is the American people," Saul said in an email.

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    Sanatorium blew it. Has has not got a chance anymore. Bye-Bye. Congratulations to all women and gay people.

    March 1, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rick cannot go after Mittens' economic plan, because Mittens will add $3.4 trillion to the national debt, and Rick's would add twice as much. They both want to start a war with Iran in January of 2013, both want to eliminate women's constitutional reproductive rights, both want the church to have a greater influence in government, both want to give tax breaks to big oil and the wealthy, both want to repeal the only hope for 50 million uninsured, and both are opposed to education.

    March 1, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I don't care about what is in his gut, Senator. I'm more concerned about what is on Mitt Romney's mind. We already know too much about what is your mind, Senator. You've made it obvious that you are what is wrong with today's Republican Party. You, sir, are a RINO. Sensible people do not say the things that you do. The Republicans I know are sensible people and think of you as an invader. In fact, it was they who first suggested to me that conservative extremists are the real RINOs out there.

    March 1, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Fellow Republicans, do you want 8 years of Romney or Santorum, or 4 more years of Obama and a chance to elect someone fit for office?

    Obama 2012

    March 1, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Jules

    Unfortunately for Romney, all of this flip flopping is really going to hurt him if he is the nominee. His first response was the right one and he didn't have the guts to stand up and say that is what he meant. This is the guy you want deciding if we go to war or not?

    March 1, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. v_mag

    Sanctimonious is all for freedom of religion, but his definition stinks. He wants the government to freely endorse religion, as long as it's "Christian" religion. He wants Christian prayers said in schools and in Congress and everywhere else, no matter who is present or what their religious feelings might be. He wants any employer to be able to invoke religious reasons for denying health care coverage. Don't believe in medicine at all? Well, just deny all health care coverage and let your employees fend for themselves.

    What if you only believe in prayer as medicine? Can you force prayer on your employees? After all, Sanctimonious thinks that "providing access to birth control" is the same as "forcing employees to take birth control".

    March 1, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "was an attempt by Senate Republicans to confront a simmering controversy over rules governing religious employers and health care coverage they are required to provide"

    Not really. It was an attempt by GOPers/Teatrolls to use miscaharacterization of the issue as one about "religious freedom" as a means of stoking the pervasive undercurrent of cultural resentment prevalent in the GOP/Teatroll base. They've really got nothing left. Economy is improving, Obama killed bin Laden, unemployment numbers are shirnking, he produced a valid birth certificate, the country is turning browner, the sky hasn't fallen, etc. Really, the only thing left for the GOP/Teatrolls is to revert to culture war mode...and they will do it with increasing gusto as the year moves on.

    March 1, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Jake

    thank God for Rick Santorum! he's freeing up a lot of time for President Obama! Obama doesn't have to focus on Romney so much and he's able to continue working hard for the American people! But honestly, even without Santorum, Romney is pretty good at self-destructing every time he opens his mouth! looking forward to Obama's second term!

    March 1, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. V in Chicago

    We've also had a look at your "gut" Mr. Santorum and you are not fit to serve in the White House either. I don't want to be preached to by my government. Please take your pathetic, unimportant self back to Pennsylvania, where I hear they don't much like you either.

    March 1, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. V in Chicago

    @Sniffit – Well Said!!

    March 1, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Obama's Snake Oil on Sale - Git yur lies and deceit here!!

    Way to go Rick! Keep givin' it to the Romney guy! Saves on my smoke and mirrors costs. The more BS you fling, the fewer lies I got to spread. Keep up the good work Buddy!

    March 1, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. ozzie

    So, the CEO of Ace Hardware says that he has a moral problem insuring alcoholics with diseased livers, and has a moral problem insuring unwed, pregnant women, and has a moral problem insuring smokers with lung cancer. Ricky, are you alright with that? That is the Blunt Amendment. Bishops, are you comfrotable with that? What kind of family values and unconditional love are you reflecting? You're all so sad and deceitful. Covering up sex abuse for over 50 years ruined your moral credibility. Your poster boy, Santorum, rejects so many of the Catholic Church's moral teachings. As a Catholic, you all embarrass me.

    March 1, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. curious

    Romney mispeaks again. Romney has shown he is not presidential. When presidents speak people listen. The president of the United States of America can not mispeak.

    March 1, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Ed Peters

    Have to agree, questioning Romney's gut! However, it's gotta be fairly strong to listen to the garbage coming out of Rick's mouth. If all Catholics are like Ricky, I'm surprise there aren't more Mormons!

    March 1, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Dave

    Whatever. They're are both gutless clowns – great at dishing it out, then they cry like babies when it comes back around. Typical Republicans.

    March 1, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Elphaba

    As a Democrat I am disappointed in Obama. He hasn't been the Knight in Shining Armor I thought he would be. But still, he has done some great things for this country and deserves another four years to continue his work. The Republicans have, for three years, said how Obama is the worst president in history, then they present Romney and Santorum as the alternative. What a joke! I believe Obama will have his "four more years."

    March 1, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Penobscot

    Santorum...is that 4 or 5 people at your rally?

    And, hasn't Romney beat you soundly in every significant contest this season?

    March 1, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Yuri

    And Santorum's spine is questionable. He however excels in emitting vitriol and venom, quite nicely.

    March 1, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    The truth is the only thing Willard and Santorum do well is BREED. Past that, neither have any guts, visions or sense of dignity but they are the very BEST the republicans have to offer right now – since our president is doing such a GOOD job IGNORING their beastly attacks and moving this country forward.

    March 1, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Woman In California

    The truth is the only thing Willard and Santorum do well is BREED.
    ------------
    I would beg to differ. Recall the birther remarks from one of Romney's sons?
    Santorum keeps his kids away from the microphones, so his kids really are an unknown element.

    March 1, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. judy

    when I want a preacher I will go to church. Rick has no place in government or deciding bills that serve the public. He can not be impartial. Obama 2012

    March 1, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Can you just imagine working for Bachmann's or Santorum's campaign? You break your leg; skiing, car accident, however. Suddenly, they don't want to pay for your medical bills because they believe in faith healing.

    March 1, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |