November 9th, 2012
05:22 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney lost by playing defense, Santorum says

(CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum offered no insight into his own political future in a Friday CNN interview, but did offer his thoughts as to why the Republican nominee lost to President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

"What Mitt Romney, in my opinion, didn't do was go out and vigorously defend the beliefs that he said he espoused and didn't go on the offense," Santorum said in an interview to air Friday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." "And when you're playing defense, which is what I believe the campaign was doing and Republicans were doing generally throughout the course of this campaign you're not going to win.

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"He didn't make it about those two fundamentally different visions for America," he said of Obama's re-election campaign, "and I don't think we did a very good job either as Republicans pointing out those fundamental differences and what type of freedom we're talking about."

Santorum ended his White House bid in April as his chances for the party's nomination dwindled. Among what was once a wide field of Republicans, he came closest to defeating Romney for the nomination.

The interview with CNN's Piers Morgan is to air at 9 p.m. ET on Friday.

Also in the interview, Santorum discussed the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus after he acknowledged an extra-marital affair. Santorum said the affair was "very, very disturbing and shows incredibly poor judgment."

"Obviously an extramarital affair that particularly is one that is not known by your spouse or by others is one that can lead you to a position to be compromised, blackmailed and a whole host of other things," the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania said. "I mean this is a man who has an incredible about of knowledge and secrets and information that we don't want others to find out about, and if someone who would like to do ill to the United States would find that out or maybe even be involved in the planning of this extramarital affair - you don't know.

"The point is this is not something, this is not a vulnerability that you want your head intelligence person to be engaged in and can not be engaged in such things," Santorum continued.

Santorum spoke hours after the top Republican on Capitol Hill and Obama delivered separate public remarks on the approaching so-called "fiscal cliff," a collection of spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in the new year absent congressional action to cut the federal deficit. Santorum said it is the responsibility of both parties in Washington "to do business" and find a solution.

"We have to deal with this situation - we can not let taxes increase, we can't see these kinds of really damaging defense cuts in such a precipitous amount in a very short period of time," Santorum said. "No, there has to be some sort of agreement worked out, but I don't think Republicans, particularly House Republicans, should be in a position that they're going to just do whatever the president wants."

And he stayed mum on whether or not he would make a second bid for the White House in 2016.

"I don't intend to do anything right now other than spend the little time working to make sure that we don't walk away from the very principles that made our country great," Santorum said, citing projects including his political committee.

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: David Petraeus • Rick Santorum • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. myviewis

    People were going to vote for Obama regardless of what Gov. Romney did or said, these people wanted to continue getting freebies and see the Bush-era tax cuts come to an end, see small business get higher taxes and see those that make $250K plus pay higher taxes and continue to think that they are getting free insurance with Obamacare.

    November 9, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. BW

    Romney lost because Romney was Romney.

    November 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Reemo

    Santorum lost by playing Santorum.

    November 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. CBP

    The Senator has his opinion but it was not clear that Mr. Romney was playing anything. He ran his campaign as he and his advisors planned. The citizens voted based on what they knew and what they heard form both candidates. We had so much time to learn about Mr. Romney during the nomination process. There were debates and more debates. The Republican Party has moved to the Right. Certain groups have gained control and expected all Republicans to follow their lead. Grover Norquist expected them all to sign an agreement not to raise taxes. The candidates needed follow their own instincts and to wage a campaign based on their own beliefs. Every time the Party demanded that Mr. Romney change his stance he lost voters.

    Blame this one squarely on the Republican Party, The Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh. No one thought to find out what the American people were thinking. The PACS ran the most horrible ads and then thought people would agree with them Surprise the American people appeared to be smart enough to turn them off and tune them out. If the Republicans want our votes they will have to change and move away form these groups which demand true allegiance to them. Try moving more to the center and then ask us for our support.

    November 9, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Santorum too has poor judgement, speculating and jumping to conclusions when he doesn't have the facts which again proves he should never ever be in a position of power and never close to that "red button".

    November 9, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. don in albuquerque

    It all worked so well for you, didn't it Ricky? Pushing your beliefs? The nation, I think, just demonstrated they are done with right wing, pseudoreigious, family (use the word lightly) values, and destruction of our planet for the all mighty buck today, and Jebus will take care of tomorrow. Disappear Rick. Poof!

    November 9, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. 1nsite

    If Santorum was the one in this election, he would have lost, too...with a wider margin. These extreme conservatives are so in denial that the country is in the middle. Keep it up so you can lose again.

    November 9, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. kayla

    he who is without sin, cast the first stone

    November 9, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Mosesthejew

    Kayla I'm without sin so I've no trouble casting boulders. Enough of this religious stuff already. Normal folks one religious nuts o, nil, nada, !!!!!

    November 10, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  10. mmi16

    Romeny lost because Romney was a chmealion and told every group what THEY wanted to hear – you can run with your position changing 360 degrees from appearance to appearance. On top of that the GOP has lost touch with the country of the 21st Century. The 1950's will never occur again.

    November 10, 2012 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  11. Mr. deShon

    It's funny how losers always have the answers,isn't it? Romney lost bc he went too far right in the primaries then, tried to hurry back to the center. In America we call that flip flopping. Santorum thinks if Mitt had stayed with the right he would have won? Is he high?!(lol) Americans don't share any of the Right's crazy idealogy. Mitt lost bc he thought America was still very white. He soon found out he was very wrong.

    November 10, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  12. something to think about

    If the republican party TRUELY wanted to beat Obama they'd have nominated Ron Paul who'd have thrashed Obama in the debates the same way he thrashed the other republican candidates in their debates. Ron Paul mentioned Cracking down on banks like the Federal Reserve, and other banks which owns most politicians. Thats why they didnt nominate Dr Paul.

    There really wasnt much difference between Obama and Romney who mostly agreed with each other during debates. We have a one party system here the rich. If you stand in the way of the REAL people who support them (not voters but lobbyists) They will cast you aside in favor of someone whos friendly to their lobbying needs. As long as we have lobbyists and Super PACs dumping endless funds into campaigns, our votes and concerns will NEVER count.

    November 10, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  13. Just a Guy

    With all due respect to Rick Santorium. who the hell cares what this Village Idiot thinks? Here is why the GOP lost: they are out of touch with reality. Plain and simple. Sure there are enough angry white men in this country, who themsleves are out of touch with reality, to still make the GOP a viable party, but with each passing election, the GOP will slip further behind. How long can you sustain a political party that is primarily based on the paranoia of pary membership?

    November 10, 2012 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  14. James Klimaski

    A bigger loser telling a loser why he lost. That's rich. Santorum hasn't analyzed why he lost even in his home state. It is simple, the public has rejected your ideas of governance. That Romney tried to embrace them meant he was doomed to loose.

    November 10, 2012 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  15. Bob Ramos

    Santorium was rejected by his own party. So where does he have any credibility at all?

    November 10, 2012 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  16. RC

    Why would anyone care one iota what Rick Santorum thinks about anything?

    November 10, 2012 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  17. Sarah

    Was he watching the same Romney I was? I thought Romney was on the offensive. Anyone remember those debates? I thought Romney was going to punch Obama at one point.

    November 10, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  18. Mike

    Well, Romney crushed Santorum, so Santorum knows how to lose.

    November 10, 2012 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  19. Michael

    Who really values your opinion ??? A one time senator who could not get reelected so...... i'll run for president ?? No one takes you seriously and you have no credentials ..... just like Palin.

    November 10, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  20. Sane Person

    Well, he should know, he is an expert at losing. But the reality is, had the repubs stuck with "its the economy stupid" rather than weigh in on gay rights, abortion and gods gift of rape, they would have done much better. Most people dont want to hear your christian caliphate plans for world domination.

    November 10, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  21. Vegastar

    Humm, One loser telling the other loser why he loss.

    November 10, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  22. Vegastar

    Rick Santorum is exactly why the founding fathers wanted separation of church and state.

    November 10, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  23. bill

    The GOP lost because they alienated over 3million young, energized voters. They lost because they cheated on live TV and changed the rules as they saw fit. They lost because they broke bones and dislocated hips just because they were losing control. They lost because they nominated a man who is for every possible position that obama had and took money from the same bankers that we bailed out.

    November 10, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  24. NoSatorum

    Agree with Don in Albuquerque

    Santorum needs to stay quiet on this one. Part of the win for Obama (beyond the very good job of the Democrat ground game to turn out the vote) came from the social beliefs of psycho right wing, including two looney tunes making asinine comments about rape. Santorum needs to disappear from the stage quickly just like the rest of this particular group. If not, America will not have a fully logical alternative to the left at all moving forward. Rick, please do us all a favor and disappear from the public stage. Its your antiquated beliefs and agenda that helped ensure Obama was reelected!

    November 10, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  25. Schadenfreudean Psychologist

    When Rick Santorum talks about losing, people listen. Santorum's practically an expert at losing.

    November 10, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
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