Santorum on Romney: ‘You can’t trust him to tell the truth’
March 17th, 2012
02:18 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum on Romney: ‘You can’t trust him to tell the truth’

Ballwin, Missouri (CNN) – Rick Santorum assailed rival Mitt Romney on the stump in Missouri Saturday, proclaiming the former Massachusetts governor untrustworthy for what he said was past support of government-run health care.

“He put forward the bill that was the model for Obamacare – and then advocated that at the federal level. And then denied that he did it,” Santorum told a packed room at a police station in Ballwin. “Not only was his policy bad, you can’t trust him to tell the truth about what he advocated. Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t give the most important issue away in this election.”

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Missouri holds GOP caucuses Saturday, though no winner will be announced since the state party won’t conduct a presidential straw poll. In February the state held a non-binding primary, which Santorum won. The former Pennsylvania senator was the only Republican candidate campaigning in Missouri Saturday.

Speaking to a crowd of about 120 people, Santorum slammed Romney for the Massachusetts health care law he passed while governor of the state, saying it spoke to a non-conservative record.

“The best chance to win is to make this election about clear contrasts and big things,” Santorum said. “And simply – let me just lay it out. There’s only one candidate in this race who can do that. The other candidates are – and one candidate in particular, Gov. Romney, is uniquely disqualified.”

Santorum pointed out his frequent attacks on President Barack Obama’s health care plan, saying Romney couldn’t criticize the president since his own Massachusetts plan was so similar.

“The problem is, the Republicans in this country are thinking about putting someone who has the same positions as President Obama up. If this election is about Tweedledum and Tweedledee, we lose,” Santorum said.

Pointing to a caustic environment in Washington, D.C., Santorum asserted Republicans should nominate a candidate with a strong will to stand up for conservative principles, implying Romney’s record was inconsistent.

“We need someone who’s got principles, who hasn’t been on every side of every issue – will stand tall and stand firm for the principles that made this country great,” Santorum said.

He added that the best leaders aren’t “a group of elites from the best schools, well bred, that are going to make decisions for us because we are incapable of freedom.”

Romney's campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul characterized Santorum's attacks as compensation for his own record's shortcomings.

“Rick Santorum is lashing out at Mitt Romney because he realizes voters know he can't be a part of the solution in Washington since he is part of the problem," Saul said. "Four years ago, when he was speaking candidly, he said Mitt Romney would ‘stand up for the conservative principles that we hold dear.’ In comparison, Sen. Santorum admitted he ‘took one for the team’ in Washington by voting against those principles. This is yet another case of Sen. Santorum abandoning principle for his own political advantage.”

CNN’s Shannon Travis contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Missouri • Rick Santorum
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Romney has the same chance of the Presidency as the Mormons apointing a Black Elder, 0

    March 17, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Attila, The Hun

    I agree with Santorum, that "we can't give away the most important issues of the day". None of the GOP = GREEDY OPPOSITION candidates can be trusted with those issues.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    March 17, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. george of the jungle

    gosh a repo that lies! tell me it isn't so.

    March 17, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Can't trust what he says...would that be GWBush on the 2001, 2003 Jobs Bill (ADA Bush Tax Cuts) the Iraq War WMD or would that be Romney flip flop flipper or Santorum? They all can't be trusted.

    March 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I have yet to find a republican who could tell the truth, and that goes for their foreign owned media with a hint of Saudi as well.

    March 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. GI Joe.

    The very face of evil --

    Do we want that idiot in the WH? NO

    March 17, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. GI Joe.

    Santorum is evil personiied – lies to call others liars.

    March 17, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Bob N LA

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Neither can tell the truth but Santorum is the worst in the race!

    March 17, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Carlos

    Santorum, are you saying you can be trusted with saying the truth?

    March 17, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Dave

    I don't believe Santorum. This is a man who voted 5 times to raise the debt ceiling. He voted against more border agents and against reforms for medicare and food stamps. He voted in favor of a $50 million indoor rainforest and the bridge to nowhere. He also teamed up with the unions to get democrats to vote for him in Michigan and Ohio. He criticizes Romney's success as a businessman.

    March 17, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Marry

    You cannot trust any in the GOP/TP or any Republican candidates to ever tell the truth. They live in a fantasy world and would not know what the truth is if it bit them in their leg. And Santorum is way up on that list, misinforming his listeners every chance he gets!

    March 17, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, unlike Santorum who was just "speaking from his heart" when he lied about Dutch people having to wear bracelets saying they didn't want to be euthenized.

    March 17, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Dave

    the truth should not be censored, it shoul be embraced. I find it SEVERLY incredible that we have a man of color in The White House, which whole hardilyI believe is a Emensely great thing for this country. At this very moment There are children of color who are hungry and/ or abused/ neglected that are watching tv & telling themselves I can be President of The United States of America. On the other hand, this horrible cult of this so called religion of Mormonism has a strict POLICY of no men of color in the high rankings of the Lds. I t is SEVERLY pitiful .they are that RACIST.

    March 17, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. packerfans

    Dont Trust Rick is lair and throw up against John F kenndy our President of United States was best!! ??? he is sick person! and posion mess up Church and state seperate!! He like pastor in policy??? kick out race right now!! he should race against Pope!! Vote for Mitt Romney!!

    March 17, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Morpunkt

    Let the truth be known. The only real reason Santorum is still in the race, is due to rich Evangelicals backing him, such as the founder of the Red, White and Blue Fund, billionaire Foster Friess, of Wyoming, James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, in Colorado, Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, etc.

    It boils down to religious bigotry against Mormonism, under the guise that Romney is "too liberal". "Too liberal" is a lot of crock. If Reagan were running today, the neocons would be accusing him of being a "RINO" too. It's now all about keeping the unorthodox Christian Mormon, Mitt, out of the race. The exit polls are proving this. These same people were doing the same shenanigans, last election in 2008, using Mike Huckabee.

    And Obama is laughing hysterically.

    March 17, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    Santorum and I at least agree on this. Romney says whatever the crowd wants to here, sometimes several different stances on the same subject in the same day. It's hard to get a feel for a man's character when he panders.

    March 17, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. LK

    I live in Missouri, and I won't be voting for Santorum.

    March 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. ksmary

    This from the guy who said that older people in the Netherlands had to wear a bracelet in the hospital to avoid being euthanized against their will. When a supporter of his was confronted by a newsperson from the Netherlands who said that this is not true, the supporter's response was that it was o.k. to say because it was in Mr. Santorum's heart. I guess in his world the only truth is what is in his hearrt, never mind facts.

    March 17, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. normajean @ verizon ,com

    The one thing that Rick Santorum had better start realizing is that while he spends his time trying to change womens lives .....we are all planning on voting and it WON'T be for him!!! The womens vote has always been larger than mens and this time it's really going to count !!!! .....Women Do have power and he might want to realize that. WE have a Female Sec. of State, we have Female CEOs of major corporations..we have Senators Congresswomen,, doctors , lawyers......Women have a very important place in this country and we will not let this little- minded jerk tell us how to run our lives. Wake up Santorum!!!! Your political days are numbered!!!!!!

    March 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Lori in CO

    It's looking more and more like we can't trust any of the republicans!!! And not just those running for president!!!

    March 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |