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. NOT a Government Dependent

    Biden made a racist remark pure and simple. Had a Republican made that statement there would have been nonstop demands for apology and/or resignation. But because Biden is a Democrat and well, he's Crazy Joe, and says dumb crazy racist stuff, nobody cares.

    August 19, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. fred37ify

    Cutter is as dumb as Biden ! Barrack IS the most devisive president we;ve ever had !

    August 19, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Santorum calls Obama campaign 'divisive,' pointing to Biden comment◄
    Santorum borrowed the "Etch-A-Sketch" from Romney so he can begin his "erase attempt"
    In my opinion, we do not need ya'll or Santorum telling us what is "divisive" when it comes to our Black beliefs
    Especially, since he ya'll don't care about our bout and Santoum would care lesser if he became "commander-in-chief"

    Now ya'll vote for President Obama now 'cause he's the "Only Trusted Way to go Forward!!!"

    August 19, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Pander Bear

    Oh please. This from Mr. " I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money"

    August 19, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. jayjay

    This from a man who said he's "against welfare for "blah" people".......

    August 19, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Jason

    I'm sorry President Obama is being divisive... the whole Republican primary was divisive and hateful. And now that the Democrats are using the same plays that the Republican party has been using they are divisive. Um yeah... not so much.

    And NOT a Government Dependent it is not a racist comment it is a very factual statement. The banks don't care about us just maximum profits. And I've read you're other comments and I think you need to research some non-partisan information before opening speaking.

    August 19, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. once upon a horse

    Rick please STOP it..this coming from the guy that says "blah" people and tries to say he stumbled and muffed a word...this coming from a guy that called the president a SNOB because he would like to see more students be able to get college degrees. And to be so pious, then how can Santorum defend the lies of the Romney campaign and I am talking about statements that have been PROVEN to be false.

    August 19, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This campaign will be vey devisve. In 2004 "swift boating" cost Kerry the election and the Democrats said it will not happen again without a fight. May the best mud slinger win.

    August 19, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    Today After watching the ad (Romney ad against Santorum) I thought Santorum won’t defend Romney but it didn’t go that way
    No dignity in politics

    August 19, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Jason

    Whoops! forgot to take out opening because originally it was "I think you need to research some non-partisan information before opening your trap." But decided to tone it down and be a little more civil.

    August 19, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. SafeJourney

    Rigt Sanotum and your "black People" remark wasn't divisive? what a bunch if lies and BS

    August 19, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Again, I didn't like the comment by Joe Biden but I liked the comments thrown at the president by the republican party, even less and I guess when you run an unlikeable candidate and a known liar you have to come up with something right?

    August 19, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. dave

    I was not aware that "y'all" was a racial term. Up until last week I thought it was used by people of multiple skin tones in the South.

    And yet again the substance of the comment is overshadowed by the cosmetics of it. Will deregulating big banks hurt average Americans, yes or no? Wasn't this what the Tea Party movement was born out of? How quickly did they abandon that sentiment when the wrong person expressed it?

    August 19, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. nytw

    Romney 538 electoral votes Obama 0 electoral votes

    August 19, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I watched Mittens trash his opponents in the republican primary, tell people to self deport, express no concern for the poor, lie, attack the middle class, attack women, express hate toward Muslims, threaten wars, attack workers, attack government employees, and that is supposed to be bringing people together?

    August 19, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Santorum refused to stand up for women's rights, but that is not divisive?

    August 19, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. James L.

    After years of calling the president everything from a Kenyon, Marxist, to Un-American, the massively hypocritical Republicans are demanding political correctness, you just can't make this kind of crazy up. What kind of ignorant idiot goes along with these derrière's ?

    August 19, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Hooper

    Go Jason!!!!Biden said what we are all thinking just afraid of fallout from peeps so we don't say it out loud good for Joe B for saying what we think and don't have the news at our finger tips to say!!!!! The repubs will have you all in chains with their policies wake up Faux sheep!

    August 19, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Jerry

    Both parties have been divisive. The republican statements about saving freedom, liberty and the American way of life is just as inaccurate and divisive as anything the democrats have stated. In addition, both sides are guilty of selectively editing the candidate's remarks to dishonestly try to characterize each others' positions. The democrats are just doing what republicans have done in the past..remember the swift boat ads, and the republicans are liking it.

    Personally, I don't like what is going on either. I would prefer the Presidential candidates to focus on important issues that affects the majority of us and a demonstration of a willingness to compromise or consider alternative approaches. You know like in "the good ole days".

    August 19, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Reggie from LA

    So, ya wanna make a big deal out of the Biden comment, eh? I suppose that it was certainly unnecessary. No doubt buffoonery. However, the mistake being made is that African Americans are buying into the nonsense with wide open pie-eyes and dropped jaws at his "revelation". That ain't happening! The AA community views the whole charade as yet another Biden gaffe with irritated curiosity about his approach. Even if it were true (what he implied) he should have said it in a way that was more realistic like "You know there is a move afoot to oppress the African American and other minority communities, and our nation for that matter, in numerous states' attempts to suppress voting." Not only would that be more accurate, but less embarrassing for VP Biden.

    August 19, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. acs451

    what's divisive, Biden's comment or the fact that minorities are suffering the most in this economy, and who's platform iss going to do the most help everyone. Well except those that don't need the help. Ross Perot was a good example making his millions by charging the gov'mnt exorbitant fees to handle social security accounts. How many were charged for this financial mess from the Bush era. Seems like white collar crime pays, and stealing food to put on your table costs 5 years in prison. Wasn't it a Bush who made millions on the S&L crisis of the reagan admin in colorado saving and loan. wasn't it cheney who made millions from Enron, halliburton. did they go to jail. hell no. The Hague world court should have charged George and Dick for torturing prisoners. making our soldiers open to torture elsewhere. so how do we claim the higher ground. we can't . So start looking through this gop smoke screen and look for the truth.

    August 19, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. sophiasirius

    here's a new definition of divisive from the GOP. Anything that does not agree with their position. Thank goodness that group is slowly dying off.

    August 19, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Ancient Texan

    Having lived under 13 different presidents (multiple terms for most) I've never, ever seen a president so intent on dividing a Nation into 2 separate, angry camps. The Nation cannot survive 4 more years of the Obama mindset.

    August 19, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Mike

    How exactly is what Biden said racist? I'm black and I didn't find it offensive. I don't know any black people that were offended by Biden's comment. What we have here seems to be a lot of white people racing to be offended on behalf of black people to score points but they don't appear to realize that no points are up for grabs.

    August 19, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. The REAL TRUTH...

    That the right wing considers Obama divisive is hilarious. We've had FOUR years of DIVISIVE political theater perpetrated by the Grand Obstructionist Party. This is the Party whose sole stated goal has been to make the POTUS as single term President. Has put their failed fiscal and economic policies above the needs of country, yet has the gall to sit there and call the President divisive. This belongs on comedy central not a news outlet !

    August 19, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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