March 20th, 2012
03:37 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich worries about 'committing a Santorum'

Ruston, Louisiana (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that Rick Santorum "probably didn't mean to" say that he doesn't care about the unemployment rate but that it still illustrates a broader problem with the former Pennsylvania senator.

"I know that Santorum probably didn't mean to say it, but it's what he said," Gingrich said. "And, you know, when you're going to take on an incumbent President of the United States you better know what you believe. You better be able to say it very vividly. Can you imagine a Barack Obama dealing with somebody who says he doesn't care about the unemployment rate?"

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Gingrich likened Santorum's words to the ones Mitt Romney used when he said he "liked being able to fire people."

Santorum has since clarified his comments, saying the point he was trying to make was that his candidacy "doesn't hinge on whether the unemployment rate goes up or down."

Gingrich cited Santorum's slip as an example of why the former House Speaker is the best person to debate President Obama.

"It's going to come down to who can stand toe to toe with Obama and I think by most standards people would accept that, in fact, I am a much better debater than either Romney or Santorum," Gingrich said to applause.

Later in the event he was asked about funding for the arts by an art student at Louisiana Tech University.

"I will use my words carefully here so I don't commit a Santorum," he said to laughter, before telling the student not to be offended but "we do not have an obligation to subsidize your happiness."

He said she does, however, have "every right to practice the arts."

Also see:

Romney can't escape birth control questions in Illinois

Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia

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Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. sean

    So now Gingrich is using a out-of-context quote the liberal media manipulated? He's more liberal than Pelosi.

    March 20, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Sorensen

    Gingrich is right. Sanatorium has a broader problem. Indeed, so broad that it makes him totally unelectable for anything.
    Women, contraception, gay people, homeschooling, bible-bangers, a wife that thinks he is a genius, etc.
    He is totally cooked.

    March 20, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. DENNA

    Rick's problem is that he doesn't realize that when his lips move WE CAN HEAR HIM. He is only speaking his private thoughts. This man would never be good for America. Newt, President Obama would mop the floor with you in a debate. Snarky comebacks are not considered solutions to our problems. Mitt, before you dismantle Obamacare, why don't you canvass and see how many Americans have been helped by the parts that are already in effect. You may find that some of your target audience has taken advantage of it. Ron Paul, please go home to your family.

    March 20, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Don

    I think Newt needs to google what a Santorum really is.

    March 20, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Nice of newterman to go after the weaker link but brilliant because santoyallah has gone sonar right and crazy that there are not enough southern states to keep this mini Satan high and mighty.

    March 20, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Doug in NYC

    Gingrich: The act of orally spewing Santorum causing people to Romney.

    March 20, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. MeMelvin

    Mix infantile ideas with a horse blinders education add a dab of 17th century nostalgia plus tw wagging Janus tongues, simmer over a lukewarm personality while stirring the pot occasionally with pinches of eccentric philosophy and a damaged brain.

    Voila! There you have it. The "true conservative" feast of "Sautéed Santorum"!

    You don't eat it. You absorb it rectally.

    March 20, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Gingrich: The act of orally spewing Santorum causing people to Romney.
    -------------–
    That's priceless. Sell it to SNL, or someone.

    March 20, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. tumbleweed

    These knuckledragging repubtards would do away with NPR, the arts, any thing that has to do with culture. etc. as long as we can keep our guns. the party of the 19th Century...Lord help us if these ignorant fools get back in the WH.

    March 20, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    We're not looking for a DEBATOR-in-Chief. We're looking for a COMMANDER-in-Chief. Put your ego aside, Newt, and do what's best for the country!

    March 20, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Chad

    We're not looking for a DEBATOR-in-Chief, Newt. We're looking for a COMMANDER-in-Chief. Put your ego aside and do what's best for the country!

    March 20, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Doug in NYC

    @ Rudy NYC, Thank you!

    March 20, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Santorum meant what he said. Social and religious issues are more important to him than the guy on the unemployment line. This can't possibly be representative of how the fine conservative family values GOP/Tea Party voters feel?

    March 20, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. tumbleweed

    Chad, you should have stayed anonymous. Now we know that Chad is a dummy.

    March 20, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. BLKMANinAmerica

    WOW, so now the President should be a "great debator"? Are your 4real Chumley? I mean really, so your record while you were speaker shouldn't even be thought of correct? WHY ON EARTH ARE ALL THE repuks SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OUT OF TOUCH? How stupid are they really?

    March 20, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Tony in Boston

    @ Doug in NYC

    I definitely agree with Rudy, best quote I have read in any of these articles!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Jrdz

    Mr Newt needs to get on that one way rocket to his billion dollar moon base and take the other three wing nuts with him. He should also take the tea baggers & religious right knuckle daggers. Once they build their moon base I am sure they will declare war on the earth and with one push of a button they will be space dust problem solved.

    March 20, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    "....Can you imagine a Barack Obama dealing with somebody who says he doesn't care about the unemployment rate?"...." just about the same as if someone said lets have a moon base and make it a state, oh wait, that was you Newty. It sounds like Newty wants to be the Debater in Chief instead of the Commander in Chief and Santorum wants to be the Preacher in Chief. No one knows what Romney wants to be because it changes daily, sometimes hourly.

    March 20, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Good one Doug in NYC!!!

    March 20, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Coigne

    Mr. Gingrich is correct insaying we do not have an obligation to subsidize his happiness. He does have right unfortunately to practice the scams that have made him a wealthy man. But don't call him a lobbycyst. Oh no. Not registered as one.

    March 20, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |