September 24th, 2013
09:44 AM ET
1 year ago

Santorum: Iranian president a 'fraud'

(CNN) - There's "no way" President Barack Obama should meet with newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United National General Assembly this week, former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday.

"The president of the United States should never meet with someone who's not the president of their country," Santorum said on CNN's "New Day," arguing that the Ayatollah is the person who leads Iran.

One of the big questions at this week's U.N. gathering is whether the president will partake in some exchange with Rouhani, who has signaled he's ready to negotiate an end to Iran's nuclear program.

But Santorum argued Rouhani is nothing but a mouthpiece.

"Rouhani is a puppet that they put up. The president of the United States should not meet with a puppet. That diminishes the presidency. It diminishes the United States even further," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "No way he should be meeting with this fraud."

On domestic issues, the former senator from Pennsylvania and 2012 Republican presidential candidate applauded Sen. Ted Cruz's controversial efforts to defund Obamacare in the current spending bill.

While House Republicans passed a measure that would keep the government running but strip funds for the health care law, the Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to remove the Obamacare language from the bill.

Cruz, despite pushback by some GOP senators, is fighting tooth and nail to get the Senate to keep the Obamacare provision in the bill, a move that will make a government shutdown more likely.

"I've been accused of putting my party in a bad spot repeatedly when I was in the Senate and sometimes you have to do that," Santorum said. "You have to make people uncomfortable because people do get too comfortable and sort of cut the deal."

Santorum said he "would be with Ted Cruz" if he were in the Senate. Both are considered potential 2016 presidential candidates.

"When you have a president and Senate controlled by one party, that means, generally speaking, if you want more limited government, it's going to be a bad deal, unless someone can plant a flag and say 'No, we're going to pull this discussion this way a little bit and not just do business as usual.'"

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Iran • Rick Santorum • Ted Cruz
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Mohammed Abbasi

    And whose mouth piece is Santorum?

    September 24, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Zerubbabel

    What an idiot. It is him and his RWNJ pals that are diminishing the United States.

    September 24, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    No, mr. santorum, it's you and your party that diminishes the United States even further every time you trash the President or start screaming "NO!" to legislation created by YOUR PARTY if the President concurs.

    September 24, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    Mohammed Abbasi

    And whose mouth piece is Santorum?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    He's a wholly-owned subsidiary of koch industries.

    September 24, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Warren

    Mohammed Abbasi
    And whose mouth piece is Santorum?

    He is the mouth piece of HATE and ignorance.

    September 24, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    "The president of the United States should never meet with someone who's not the president of their country," Santorum said on CNN's "New Day," arguing that the Ayatollah is the person who leads Iran.
    ----------------------
    Santorum speaks. What difference does it make? He's being hypocritical. This is the same person who argued for continuing the philosophy of the Bush Doctrine during the Republican 2012 race, which is to never speak to, or negotiate with what he perceives as "the enemy."

    There's nothing wrong with a brief exchange of cordialities, and exchange of phone numbers. But, that's it. Pres. Rouhani is too new to his position for a formal negotiation session, or extended talks. Let's see what his domestic policy will shape up to be, while making it clear what the U.S. stance has been and always wil be about an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

    September 24, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. M.A.P.

    "The president of the United States should never meet with someone who's not the president of their country" – Really?`Not the foreign minister, not the deputy leader, not the leader of the opposition, not any civillians, noone? I'm sure this is either misquoted or Rick stuffed up his words, that is just ridiculous! Santorum is the worst joke the Republicans have made in the last... oh who am I kidding their all just as bad as each other, Palin, Bahmann, Romney, Cruz, what a bunch of fake money grabbing morons. The Republicans are nevergoing to win 2016. NO WAY IN HELL.

    September 24, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. $$$$

    Obama told us last year that al-Qaeda was on the run and was in decline. Evidently not.

    September 24, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Data Driven

    Predictably idiotic comments from Santorum. Some form of rapprochement, with conditions, with Iran is obviously desired. If we can get them to cool off their designs on nuclear weapons, whatever we "give up" (maybe a relaxation of whatever sanctions we have against them currently) will be worth it.

    But whose word do you trust? The guy who has managed to get Vladimir Putin to do what we want when it comes to Syria, or the guy who wears sweater vests? Think carefully.

    Also: Rouhani is one of Iran's more liberal figures. "President" or not, shouldn't we encourage such relationships?

    September 24, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Wake up People!

    Who the heck are you to tell the President of the United States to talk to? You're NOBODY Rick. You will NEVER be POTUS.

    You have the audacity to say President Obama will diminish the office of the President..... Isn't that what you and your klan have actively done right out in the open since he was first elected??

    There is not ONE member of Al Quada that I fear more than the traitors in the GOP.

    September 24, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Oh hush Santorum. At least Rouhani is putting forth an effort unlike his predeccesor.

    September 24, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. rs

    Santorum is certifiably crazy if a reasonable Iranian leader in his mind equates "fraud". More proof that the GOP simply want failure for our nation.

    September 24, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. ST

    Just wait for your turn Santorum to refuse talking to any Iranian President, if at all it will ever happen. Every part of my body tells me it will never ever happen.

    September 24, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. rs

    $$$$

    Obama told us last year that al-Qaeda was on the run and was in decline. Evidently not.
    _________________________
    What does your screed have to do with Iran? BTW, Under President Obama, more of the upper echelon of Al Qaeda have been taken out than in any time in history. Maybe you'd prefer the pre-9/11 days when Bush and company ignored Clinton's warning on them.

    September 24, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Santorum speaks? One moment please, I've some filing to do.

    Ah, yes. There we go: trash bin dumped.

    September 24, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    "Rouhani is a puppet that they put up. The president of the United States should not meet with a puppet. That diminishes the presidency. It diminishes the United States even further," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "No way he should be meeting with this fraud."
    --------------------
    If you want to know why the United States has lost prestige, respect and esteem around the world, I suggest that you let people like Rick Santorum explain it to you. Name calling is unprofessional, juvenile behavior. Santorum was, or could be again, a "serious" candidate for POTUS. He topped the polls among conservatives for a few weeks. Unfortunately, his hatred and extreme views trump any shred of decency, common sense, manners, and diplomatic courtesy that he's ever had....which ain't sayin' much.

    September 24, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Who better to act as an authority on theocracies than the wannabe Pope Ricky? Just think, folks, he was the runner-up in the GOP primaries last year.

    September 24, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Jules

    How the heck does Santorum know who's a fraud and who isn't. Maybe he should take a glance in the mirror and see who the real fraud is trying to make people he actually knows what's going on so he can run for the GOP nomination again and lose again.

    September 24, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. rs

    Okay- here's the problem with the GOP personified.

    Santorum is angry and irrational because things didn't work out like he'd thought. He wanted a foreign policy disaster, what with the President calling for strikes on Syria, but didn't figure Syria would fold and there might actually be a peaceful solution to their WMD situation. This after first saying the President was "leading from behind" by not striking Syria, then calling him too bellicose when the President called Congress for approval to go after them. Now, Iran wants to play nice (oops the "axis of evil" is down to just North Korea- and they folded in April), and it looks like diplomacy rules.

    The GOP, they go nuts.

    GOP- the party with nothing for America but economic terrorism and hatred for Americans, the government and the President.

    September 24, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. rs

    The Real Tom Paine

    Who better to act as an authority on theocracies than the wannabe Pope Ricky? Just think, folks, he was the runner-up in the GOP primaries last year.
    _______________________________
    The new Pope is probably a leftist plant in Santorum's eyes now too.

    September 24, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. SenorPlaid

    "I would be with Ted Cruz ... if my state's voters hadn't ridden me out of the Senate on a rail."

    FIxed

    September 24, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Nanker Phelge

    There, there, Ricky. Go read your Bible for a while so you can calm down and quit spitting when you talk.

    September 24, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. S.B. Stein

    Santorum has concerns about the effectiveness that Hassan Rouhani can't speak with authority to do anything more than say nice words. If Hassan Rouhani could stop all nuclear activity and open up everything without restriction, that would go along way to helping the situation. I have these concerns about the effectiveness of Rouhani.

    As for stopping the proper function, to hold up the whole government for a law that has passed already is just foolish. Take it a part bit by bit but don't shut down the whole government for it.

    September 24, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -rs

    The Real Tom Paine

    Who better to act as an authority on theocracies than the wannabe Pope Ricky? Just think, folks, he was the runner-up in the GOP primaries last year.
    _______________________________
    The new Pope is probably a leftist plant in Santorum's eyes now too.
    *******************
    Of course he is. Ricky is probably eying property in Avignon, France, or Bucks County PA to set up a new Papacy. He probably figures he has a shot, with Mel Gibson's support.

    September 24, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. sonny chapman

    He claims to be "Christian", a follower of the Teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Four Gospels. So, what does Jesus say;"Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the Children of God". Matthew 5,9.

    September 24, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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