Santorum: America doesn't need Romney as CEO
March 18th, 2012
09:54 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: America doesn't need Romney as CEO

(CNN) - While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney touts his business experience as one of his strongest credentials, rival Rick Santorum blasted it on Sunday as a drawback.

“If Governor Romney thinks that he is the CEO of America and can run and manage the economy, he doesn’t understand what conservatives believe in,” Santorum said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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“We don’t want someone in Washington, D.C. to manage the economy," Santorum continued. "We want someone who can get Washington out of our lives.”

Romney’s campaign released a new ad in Illinois on Friday attacking Santorum for having “never run a business or a state.”

Responding on Sunday, Santorum said he had experience in private sector as a lawyer, but he argued executive experience at a company is not necessary to be commander-in-chief.

“Running a business is not the same as being president of the United States,” he told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Also Sunday, Santorum gave no indication that he has plans to drop out of the race should his campaign reach a point where the delegate math doesn't add up in his favor.

“What I’m hearing is that we want a conservative nominee, that the establishment is trying to push a moderate like they did in 1976 against Ronald Reagan, like they did in 1996 with Bob Dole and what they did with John McCain,” Santorum said, not ruling out the possibility of a brokered convention in August. “I think conservatives would like an opportunity to nominate a conservative, and that’s an opportunity.”

According CNN’s latest estimate, Santorum currently has 239 delegates, while Romney has 498. A candidate needs 1,144 in order to win the nomination.

Also see:

Rush Limbaugh joins Twitter

New DNC video pits Romney against women

With or without Adelson, Gingrich aims for Tampa


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. dog101

    Presidents are not CEOs and the Hill is not the Board of Directores.this GOP people are looking for ways to turn this country into a real dictatorship

    March 18, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. NameFree

    America sure doesnt need Santorum

    March 18, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. s

    and we dont need you as Pope

    March 18, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. GI Joe.

    Say NO to Santorum's Theocracy.

    March 18, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Killdeer

    Rick, it's all about the economy. It's you that does not understand that!

    March 18, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. josh randall

    Santorum and the other Republican candidates for President should show some respect for the Office they are Seeking. They would be irritated if the President called them by their last names only and did not refer to his high office. This has been the most disrespectful primary session that I have ever experienced, and the choice; among the Republicans, is non-existent. These four should hide in shame for being so disrespectful.

    March 18, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. king

    Romney, kind of business experience is one Americans don't need especially at this time, look at his 49 percent job placement with amongst the states. Romney only experience is to make money for the few, at the cost of the majority, replacing facory jobs (which are the root of American prosperity) and replacing them with device jobs (which are the last stop before custerners get the good); how can this be equivalent. These repubs are top heavy driven, its like putting the generals into battle and have the privates command them. Spenders need money for the economy to grow, and attract overseas investments, not taking money from the spenders and giving it to corporations, then wonder why corporations skip to China because of low demand in our country.

    March 18, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Establishment is trying to push a moderate” the best part I heard
    Santorum and Newt are repeating this line frequently, base love it but party members hate this line
    Santorum energizing the base, better GOP give the nomination to Santorum

    March 18, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. informed voter

    America does not need a CEO, nor a Pope, nor a bishop, or anything else the once proud (now insane) GOP has to offer. Thank God we elected an intelligent, thoughtful, caring, diplomat as our President in 2008. Obama 2012, seriously.

    March 18, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Jerry from Dallas

    What planet are these Republicans on? It was free market when gas was $5 under Bush. It is now President Obamas mistake even after 40% increment in domestic production and 23% consumption reduction. SIMPLE....lets get ourselves away from OIL.
    BTW, why do they hate the very Government they want to lead? Does not make sense.

    March 18, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Larry L

    Americans are realizing none of the Republicans offer working class people anything but a bleak future. Their moronic sound bites about "socialism" really translate in to no Medicare, no Social Security and no controls over insurance companies, HMOs and pharmaceutical companies who have made our healthcare so expensive. Republicans offer no controls over the banking industry that brought us the housing crisis. They want no controls over oil companies that brought us the giant oill spill and choose to have no environmental controls to protect our health. They want no labor unions so the CEOs can have their way with America's labor force. Americans have worked hard to build institutions to make this a coiuntry a good place to live for everybody – not just the wealthy. Remember – the Republicans were in charge when the economy crashed. Why give them control again?

    March 18, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. RKN

    We would love the government to get out of our lives.
    We want the government to stop controlling women's bodies. We would love the government from telling us that local governments cannot make their own laws restricting weapons in order to control crime. We would love to stop paying for wars and for bailouts of millionaires.
    We do NOT want a Catholic run government that Ricky wants.

    March 18, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Indy

    As President there is very little you can do legally to help business owners and corporations,the way Mitts talks he is going to magically walk into every business and clean them up and make them profitable and increase their supply and demand.The positon of President is about Government and people, two things that Mitts has never been good at.He might have been a good banker and great at taking money and profits out of the US but all this talk that he is rich and that will magically make the economy good again is about as good as Newts Moon Colony where gas is $1.00 a gallon

    March 18, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    America definitely does not need Ayatollah Santorum to be its social and religious conscience.

    March 18, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. John

    Hey, Ricky...being an attorney only qualifies you to be in the Congress! We don't need another member of Congress to see what it feels like to be President...we have one now and no one wants him re-elected!

    While Ricky may not think Mitt has the qualifications to be president because he was a CEO...Mitt did run a state which is more that what Ricky has done!

    Ricky...go and take a math class so you can see that you won't be getting the nomination! Just make sure the math class isn't part of your home schooling.

    March 18, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Scef

    Rmoney has surrounded himself with a large contingent of W advisors. What respectful CEO would surround himself with a bunch of proven losers. After all W only left office with a record breaking 22 percent approval rating, 2 unfunded, open ended wars, and the worst economy since the great depression, and he calls Obama the lightweigt? His cred on his choice of advisors say much about him and suggest otherwise. He must be a candidate for POTUS in the peewee league.

    March 18, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. No more lies

    I'm actually inclined to agree with ricky, america can't be ran like a fortune 500 company, but for the record it doesn't need a wannabe christ either. And before the trillion dollar defecit discussion even gets started like i've seen on other blogs, i'd like to remind some of you gop supporters that america alreay had a deficit well over 930 billion dollars when obama took office. (Would you like to guess who created such a deficit?). DING DING DING!!! You guessed right, the idiots on the right wing lead by the one and only George W. Bush. But i guess if u point the finger in the opposite direction long enough people start to buy it, but i think in november america will prove that we are not buying what you are selling at least for another 4years. Obama/Biden 2012

    March 18, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. amusicluvr

    America does NOT need Romney as CEO. It also does not need Santorum as Pope-King.

    March 18, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Jay

    America does need neither one of those Clowns!

    March 18, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Rick

    In fact, in all the "reporting" or criticism of Governor Romney's fee hikes by different organizations and websites, including several "news" or "think tank" type organizations, it is rarely reported that his tax/fee adjustments were revenue neutral, or in other words, that he cut taxes by amounts larger than the amounts of the fee hikes. It is also rarely noted that he also attempted additional tax and fee cuts of far larger amounts and in more places than the democrat legislature permitted. The fact is usually ignored that he erased billions in deficit while fee increases amounted to hundreds of millions– only a fraction of the multi-billion dollar gap he closed in his first year, and which was followed by both his successful and attempted tax cuts.

    March 18, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Thomas

    Would you vote for a corporate CEO who's five sons avoided military service in America longest wars ?

    No !

    March 18, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |