March 22nd, 2012
04:10 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum doesn't let up on Etch A Sketch attack

(CNN) – Rick Santorum showed no signs of dropping his Etch A Sketch assault on Mitt Romney Thursday, brandishing the children's toy at an event in Texas and later saying his chief rival was winning states by spending huge amounts of campaign cash.

"You win by giving people the choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum said at the San Antonio speech, held at national headquarters of the veterans' financial firm USAA.

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He continued, suggesting re-electing President Obama might carry less risk than if Romney wins the presidency, "If we are going to be a little different, we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk in what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future."

Romney responded in a statement, saying: "I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America's promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure."

Santorum's speech came as part of a new effort to paint rival Mitt Romney as complicit in the creation of President Barack Obama's health care law, a measure that faces a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The law's two year anniversary comes Friday, and Santorum's campaign said they would mark the occasion by launching a "campaign within a campaign" to link the law Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts to the nationwide law.

In a press release Thursday, Santorum's organization asserted, "Two years ago this week, Barack Obama took Mitt Romney's advice – and said the government, for the first time in history, could force you to buy something."

The press release didn't pass over the now-inevitable Etch A Sketch reference, proclaiming: "ETCHED IN STONE: ROMNEYCARE = OBAMACARE" in the subject line.

On Thursday, Santorum continued the now-ubiquitous metaphor, telling the Texas crowd "I can tell you as someone who doesn't have my policy positions on an Etch A Sketch and I carry one of those around now. My policy positions are written out of conviction."

The Etch A Sketch uproar began when Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Romney adviser, said on CNN the campaign would "hit a reset button" to take on President Barack Obama in the fall if Romney wins the GOP nomination, adding "it's almost like an Etch A Sketch - you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."

Asked after his speech about reports Romney was meeting with key Republicans on Capitol Hill, including South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Santorum said his campaign wasn't about courting the Republican establishment.

"If this election was about endorsements and money, I wouldn't be standing here," Santorum said. "This election is about connecting with real people, asking about the real problems they know are major in this country, and having someone who can relate with them and connect with them."

He continued, "I don't spend my time on the phone chasing around elected officials who are part of the system. I'm looking to talk to people who want to change the system."

Santorum also added he wouldn't win the GOP nomination by throwing money into campaign ads and staff.

"This election isn't gonna be won by a Republican candidate who's gonna outspend Barack Obama ten to one to win a race," Santorum said. That's how Romney wins. He overwhelmingly outspends whoever's in his way. That's not gonna work in the general election."

Also see:

Ann Romney urges folks to lighten up

Who does Jeb Bush want for vice president?

Romney tries to clean up Etch A Sketch mess

New Democratic super PAC looks beyond 2012


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. SMSUSAF

    Stop this Rick, or my vote will go the Ramney

    March 22, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Hillary

    El Santo is a low-level clown and wasting his media coverage time. The Etch-Face thing is going to stick like crazy glue to Mitt anyway, so El Santo could be talking about his idiotic ideas in hopes of more votes.

    March 22, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Dave

    This dude is a bigger moron than Mitt and BO combined. This is so far out of context that it is laughable to see people with an etch a sketch in their hand. Bunch of doofus dingle dongers.

    March 22, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Zak

    So Romneys opponents would rather play with childrens toys than deal with real issues such as the economy and Obamas failed policies?

    March 22, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Bill

    Why should he? This toy is the perfect illustration of what Romney is all about (or not about).

    March 22, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. beevee

    Santorum should keep his attack dog mode unleashed against Romney. He should not let any slip-ups by Romney or his goons forgotten by the voters. Otherwise with his money Romney will smother the two main contenders. They have no issues to talk about anyway.

    March 22, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Mikey

    If only he didn't take a position opposing contraception. If only he didn't call the President a "snob" for wanting young men and women to get education or training beyond high school. If only he didn't say that Kennedy's speech supporting the Constitutional separation of Church and State made him want to "throw up". If only he didn't compare homosexuality to beastiality. (to name a few)

    The GOP choice is now down to Mr. Etch-a-sketch, the biggest flip flopper in a generation, and POPETUS Theocratus, who would force his narrow religious views on us. Good luck with that.

    March 22, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Rip-It-Rick on Etch-A-Sketch.

    March 22, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. tefera

    Mr.RS. this is hard line contrast with ur opponent. This kind of contrast should have been started 3 months ago.Still u have time to pull him down. Mr. Romny is part of the problem, not the solution.

    March 22, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Alexanders

    Sick and tired of Santorum's cry out loud. He needs to go now. His views in mixing religion and state are sooooo wrong. He needs to quit and go.

    March 22, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    Sen. Santorum said, “My policy positions are written out of conviction." Unfortunately that conviction is a very creepy obsession with the s*x lives of others. Some days I actually feel sorry for the GOP. But this is what they get for doubling down on the idea that willful ignorance is a virtue.

    March 22, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    I see that sanatorium found something else besides vesting up on women to detract from his not having a clue about how to govern.

    March 22, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Beating NOT vesting. These darn ipads!!!

    March 22, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. anagram_kid

    But won’t Sen. Santorum be a flip-flopper too when endorses Gov. Romney after he, Romney, wins the primary? I can hardly wait to hear the whopper he comes up with when he gives his endorsement.

    March 22, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Alexanders

    Santorum sure is someone I will not be voting for. He is just wasting time. Always talking about what women should be doing w their own lifes. He is completely out of touch. His religious views are messed up. Plain and clear: HE NEEDS TO GO NOW!!!!!!!!!.

    March 22, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Let's rename the Sunday talk shows.

    The State of the Sketch
    Etched News Sunday.
    Etch The Sketch.
    Sketch The Nation
    This Week's Sketch

    March 22, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Alexanders

    Santorum sure is someone I will not be voting for. He is just wasting time. Always talking about what women should be doing w their own lifes. He is completely out of touch. His religious views are messed up. Plain and clear:

    March 22, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. SCFAN

    @ZAK

    Your are so right. What a waste of time. This is all Rick has on Mitt Romney? Rick...Obama would waste you!

    March 22, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. J

    Hey Rick – way to take one for the team! Nice convictions you twit!

    March 22, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Phil in KC

    With all the issues facing the candidates today, this is what he chooses to focus on? An off-hand comment by a staffer? Please. Shows how shallow he is.

    March 22, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Jo

    Rick...You are a Clown..all you need is a big fat red nose to match the red plastic toy you carry around and study daily for messages from above to appear so you know the message of the day to deliver to your worshippers: see link: http://imgur.com/ZdMaA
    Please say goodbye now. so we can get to the business of Fixing this Country and our future by rallying around Mitt to beat Obama.

    March 22, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Ginny

    Why would Mitt Romney write a book(and a good one at that) about what he stands for if he was going to change positions. (even though some candidates insist on cutting and pasting it) Santorum is playing politics with toys and is very disingenuous to the American public. It is time for this to stop.

    March 22, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ricky will have the toy at the GOBP convention.

    March 22, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Dave

    Santorum is a real person. Romney is a complete phony. The etch a sketch concept is perfect, and it came from someone who knows Romney well.

    March 22, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Michael B

    Santorum makes me gag every time i look at him... UGH!

    March 22, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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