March 23rd, 2012
12:30 PM ET
2 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. Annie, Atlanta

    Can this get any more preposterous? Now Romney's team is complaining that Santorum is playing to hurt Romney. Isn't that what this contest is about? And is it only Romney who can go on vicious attack mode against Santorum and Gingrich, yet when they fight back he gets all flustered? Double standard, or worse – Mitt being a little too think-skinned to be playing the game in the first place. What a whimp. Interesting. Guess it's easier to mistreat dogs – they can't fight back.

    March 23, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Independent Voters

    I will never vote for Santorum or Romney.

    March 23, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. S.positive

    Any you'll NEVER be president as most of us will not vote for you...

    March 23, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Logic N LA

    Rick – there are differencse between you and the President. He represents the USA in 2012 and you wants to represent Spain in the 12th century and have another Inquisition.
    the main difference? Obama IS President and rick never will be.

    March 23, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Fantastic TV commercial, "SANTORUM ENDORSES PRESIDENT OBAMA" It doesn't get much better than that, talk about a present from the GOP to the President!

    March 23, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Dan from Tx

    I would never vote to repeal 200+ years of women's suffrage OR for a Christian version of Sharia law in the US. That's why we are so different, Ricky.

    March 23, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Valentina

    You lie, Sen. Santorum! You basically endorsed Obama over Romney in your statement yesterday. Shame on you! And get out of the race – you are done and there is no point of return for you in the future!

    March 23, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Romney is not My Hero

    Really? Oh no!!! *eyes rolling* Yeah right, Pope Rick the Insane – Like Obama needs any votes from you or your ignorant followers.

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 23, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well that's good to note, Ricky... Because if it all comes down to just your vote, we're ALL in a lot of trouble. Thanks for playing, though...

    March 23, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Laverne

    Yeah right, not only will Santorum vote for Obama, Gingrich would too. After the way Romney has bombarded them both with negative ads and has stifled any chance of either becoming the nominee, they may profess to support him if he becomes the nominee, but behind the little curtain, they will accidentially vote for Obama! hee hee!

    March 23, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. demwit

    I voted for hope and change.

    Sorry America, and mostly, sorry to my kids and grandkids...

    March 23, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Michael

    Well Rick, it's okay if you would never vote for Santorum. I doubt he would never vote for you. And if you wrere to win the nomination, I doubt that the majority of this country would vote for you either.

    March 23, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    Guess what Rick I don't think Obama would vote for you either and I KNOW that I never would.

    March 23, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. REALLY?

    "Santourm said in a statement. "I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney..."

    Really? Check the delegate SCOREBOARD little Ricky. If soon to be President Romney garners no enthusiam, what does that say about you when you are getting thrased by the vote???

    March 23, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Michael

    In my view, people need to rid themselves of these ignorant and immoral politicians like Santorum who
    preach no contraception so that children are brought into the world in utter poverty and die excruciating
    deaths due to starvation. The human condition will always be vulnerable to these immoral – religious nuts.
    Throw away your wholesale religious nonsense and try just a little morality!
    How many thousands of children die each day from just this kind of travesty?

    March 23, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Jules

    And President Obama will never vote for you! (It would be nice though if once in awhile you showed some respect and called him President Obama.)

    March 23, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Robert Goodmiller

    What is really sad here with Santorum's statements is that he would vote party line solely for the party line (Republican) and not even consider voting for a candidate who offers a better choice for what's best for America over-all and best for the World regardless whether that would be Obama or not, that's the bottom line for this near-sighted unrealistic just plain wrong for America candidate.

    March 23, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Indy

    Rick is sticking to the Republican hate for Obama and even if the worst candidate in the world was the Republican nominee and they would without a doubt destroy the country, Republicans would still proudly stand behind them as long as they were Republican. Republicans simply do not care about anything but power and the devil himself could get Republican support, to heck with people is what they say.

    March 23, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Santourm said in a statement. "I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney..."

    Really? Check the delegate SCOREBOARD little Ricky. If soon to be President Romney garners no enthusiam, what does that say about you when you are getting thrased by the vote???"

    Let's see...current SCOREBOARD:

    Rasmussen Tracking 3/20 – 3/22 45 45 Tie
    PPP (D) 3/15 – 3/17 48 44 Obama +4
    FOX News 3/10 – 3/12 46 42 Obama +4
    Reuters/Ipsos 3/8 – 3/11 52 41 Obama +11
    Bloomberg 3/8 – 3/11 47 47 Tie
    Pew Research 3/7 – 3/11 54 42 Obama +12
    CBS News/NY Times 3/7 – 3/11 47 44 Obama +3

    Average: Obama +4.8

    SCOREBOARD.

    March 23, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Phil in KC

    I'm pretty sure it was you, Ricky, who originally 'suggested' it. (Actually, you came right out and said it.) So does this mean you are preposterous?

    March 23, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. ST

    @Jules
    "It would be nice though if once in a while you showed some respect and called him President Obama".
    ----------
    Santorum does not understand that what he says or do is under a test. Sen. McCain on his age ( The Pres. could be his child) but respects the President as it is required. Not only now, but also during the time (2008) when they were only two candidates representing their party. Santorum's behaviour does not impress anyone.

    March 23, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. bcm

    Most people would never vote for Santorum, including President Obama. Santorum is a real nut case and I am truly amazed that ANYONE would ever consider voting for this man.

    March 23, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. JD in Moraga, CA

    Oh Rick, to quote another sci-fi character, "Only Sith deal in absolutes." I would vote Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or any other party if it were the right person for the job. This insistence on a dualistic political system has gone beyond ridiculous.

    March 23, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. chill

    OK Rick, you talked me into it. Obama's got my vote. Any favorite of yours is not mine.

    March 23, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. Squigman

    Santorum: Why would, and why did anyone vote for you? Apparently, there are many, or at least a few gullable souls, in need of enlightenment. Will they ask for enlightenment? They are republicans, they believe they know all there is to know.

    March 23, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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