March 23rd, 2012
12:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: 'I would never vote for Barack Obama'

(CNN) - Rick Santorum on Friday said he would never vote for President Barack Obama after he made controversial remarks Thursday suggesting the president's re-election might be better than electing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, who he said does not represent a clear contrast.

"I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous," Santourm said in a statement. "I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it's easy to see why – Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts."

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Santorum's comments followed those from his Press Secretary Alice Stewart, who compared the visions of Romney and Obama and said Santorum would back the eventual GOP nominee.

"What we need in order for the GOP to win is we need to have a choice. We need to see a clear vision that is different from what we currently have," Stewart said Friday on CNN's "Starting Point." "And with Mitt Romney it's the same vision, and it's one that's not the right direction for this country. And he was worried that voters would have that feeling."

At an event in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, Santorum said "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."

"If they're 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," he added.

Romney and Gingrich quickly capitalized on the remark. Rich Beeson, Romney's political director, said Santorum is "becoming the most valuable player on President Obama's team."

At an event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Thursday night, Gingrich said "There is no doubt in my mind that if the choice is Gov. Romney or Barack Obama we would have no choice."

But Santorum said criticism from Team Romney is another attempt to "distort and distract the media and voters for the unshakeable fact that many of Romney's policies mirror Barack Obama's."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Republicans • Rick Santorum
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. EatRunDive

    spox? What's the deal CNN, did you think that we couldn't handle spokesperson?

    March 23, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. cisco4

    Yeah.. he is like him a lot.. Both have a care behind their name... Care.... care care..

    March 23, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Bill Fitzgerald

    Bitterness and hatred are not your friends Rick.

    March 23, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. The REAL Truth

    This is how the political system works. The circus comes to town and the ring masters play the game until a candidate comes out on top. Then, after all the vitriol, hate, spew, I'm the right choice rhetoric, the party faithful step into line and vote for their "champion", even it that person is not of their choice.
    It's party politics at its best. Of course Santorum will support whomever the chose one is. It's a CLM not to!

    March 23, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. anagram_kid

    Sounds like Sen. Santorum’s people have accepted the fact that Gov. Romney will be the nominee and are trying to save face. Maybe they are looking for jobs on the Romney campaign.

    Obama 2012 – Still the only adult in the running

    March 23, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    When is Santorum going to stop talking about what other people think, say or do, and start promoting himself?

    March 23, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Re electing President Obama is the only way to get out of the republican mess. Mittens is unfit.

    March 23, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    Hope Santorum won't mind Democrats quoting him in the fall campaign against Romney. Thanks to Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul, Democrats will have more political talking points to use against Romney.

    March 23, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Debbie

    So Santorum says one thing and does another. Santorum will go against Church teachings and back Romney. Etch a Sketch Volume II.

    March 23, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. GI Joe.

    I wouldn't be so sure. That christian hates rmoney so much it wouldn't surprise me to see him vote for President Obama.

    They ALL hate Rmoney. ha ha ha haha

    March 23, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. PJ/TX

    "....we might as well stay with what we have..."
    I totally agree.

    March 23, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Josylad

    I really dont think Santorum and Gingrich want to back Romney at all for they will want him to lose and it will give them a good chance come 2016. Remember these guys have the exposure already and people have come to know them. SO COME 2016 THEY WILL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE TO FIGHT IT OUT TO THE NOMINATION.
    IT IS NOT ABOUT COUNTRY WITH THESE GUYS BUT SELF INTEREST.

    March 23, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Mr. Izz

    So... an adviser for Romney says something about a toy, and the media erupts, THEN Santorum himself comes out and says he would rather have Obama than Romney, and he gets a pass? This is huge, politically. Santorum just through a fellow Republican under the bus for his own personal gain. Why isn't anyone talking about this? Apparently, Santorum is done taking one for the team, and is out for numero uno.

    March 23, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Nobama

    It is a losing battle for Santorum to wage. If he wants a role in the GOP party or sign a fatter contract with Fox, he needs to fold his campaign and return to take care of his sick daughter!!

    If he keeps fighting and loses his home state in April in GOP primary, he will be trashed like nobody

    March 23, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. pmk1953

    Romney, Santorum and Gingrich ALL suffer from toejam! Every day one of them has his toes jammed in his mouth!

    March 23, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. parkmore

    It is clear that Santorum is immature and selfish. Give me the nomination or I will damage everything. He should be out of Republican Party and for sure he will never, never and never be the nominee.

    March 23, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm sure he won't vote for you, either, Ricky.

    March 23, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. ct

    so santorum wants to vote for mitts morman values than obamas christian values

    March 23, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Pam from Iowa

    That is ok Rick! I would never vote for you!!!!!

    March 23, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    Quit lying Ricky. You meant what you said and you know just like we know President Obama is going to win AGAIN so you just want to make Willard's life miserable until that time. Keep up the GOOD work.

    March 23, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. The Other Dale

    Even his response is a bit of "foot in mouth" disease. He clearly states that he would now vote for ANYONE who is a Republican rather than Obama. That's really selling the whole American Spirit of working together thing there, isn't it?

    But why does he feel that way? Does he really think Obama is so evil that ANYONE calling themselves a Republican would be better? Or is it a bit of that ol' racial tension popping up there for Santorum.

    Yeah, this is just a deep hole that he'll keep digging deeper.

    March 23, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    The reality is that unless Mitt buys Santorum off with some proposed position in his administration, Santorum isn't voting for Romney either. Sorry Mitt.

    March 23, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Women for Obama

    Don't worry Mr. Santorum I'll never vote for you!

    March 23, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Anonymous, maybe Ambassador to the Vatican? How about Defender of the Faith, or the head of Virginity Police?

    March 23, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Steve-Houston,TX

    And Obama will NEVER vote for you. Your point?

    March 23, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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