August 19th, 2012
12:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum calls Obama campaign 'divisive,' pointing to Biden comment

(CNN) - Rick Santorum, who himself waged a bitter fight with Mitt Romney during this year's GOP primaries, said Sunday that a sharp turn to the negative in the general election fight between Romney and President Barack Obama is a product of divisive rhetoric from the president and his team.

"I don't get the sense that Gov. Romney is complaining about the negative attacks, but he will tell you as much as anyone else, you are in a political race and you are going to take the blows and go after each other," Santorum told CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta on "State of the Union."

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What Romney takes issue with, Santorum argued, is the Obama team's attempts to pit Americans against each other.

"He is talking about the tone of the Obama campaign, and it is divisive," Santorum said. "And it is one thing to attack him on his record, and fair game - go for it. But to go out and do what he is doing as far as dividing the country - and he is - it is class warfare at its worst.'

The former Pennsylvania senator pointed to comments from Vice President Joe Biden as indicative of that message, saying Biden was playing "the race card" when he spoke to a group in Danville, Virginia, last week.

"(Romney) is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street," Biden told a predominantly African-American crowd in Danville, a city with a long history of racial tension. "He is going to put y'all back in chains."

"Y'all?" Santorum asked incredulously. "Y'all is y'all. When you are in a group - and I have been in groups like that, and you know, it is very easy when you are in a group of people that, you know, when you are in the South or up in different areas of the country and different groups of people - and you develop an affinity with the group that you are speaking in front of, and that is what the vice president was doing. And he tried to develop the affinity and he did it in a horrendous way, and he should apologize for it."

Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, said Sunday that Biden had no plans to apologize for the remark, insisting that he was simply repurposing language used frequently by Republicans.

"Let's look at what the vice president said," Cutter said, also on "State of the Union." "Speaker Boehner, and even Paul Ryan, has been going around the country saying that we need to unshackle the financial sector. And Vice President Biden was taking the metaphor a step further and talking about putting other people in chains. And the word chains is a distraction from the larger argument."

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Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. dakster

    maybe santorum....should remember what he has stated against Romney!

    August 19, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Craig

    Please, both campaigns are divisive. This is what should happen: Both sides stop campaigning immediately; give the money to the worthy poor and in November we vote. Ahhhhh, imagine not hearing one more campaign word.

    August 19, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. fullclarity

    No, Rick, that's just not true. Mitt is runing on flip-flops and pandeiring to the lowest common denominators. You, of all people, should know it. Remember all the nonsense you spewed during the primaries about Mitt, Barack, and anyone else you thought could stand in your way.

    August 19, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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