Santorum's got Gingrich's back?
March 11th, 2011
03:56 PM ET
11 years ago

Santorum's got Gingrich's back?

(CNN) - They may be future 2012 rivals, but former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is sticking up for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, sort of.

In an interview with National Review Online, Santorum said a candidate's personal history should not be the sole focus of a presidential campaign.

"He, like we all do, will have to account for our past decisions. People will take (his past) as a legitimate issue to consider, as to how it would affect his ability to do his job," Santorum said. "I am not saying that is not a legitimate question, but it's not an issue with respect to the positions he takes."

Gingrich, who has been married three times and admitted to past infidelities, has received criticism because of the discrepancy between his past and his socially conservative stances. In a recent interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gingrich told David Brody he was "partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."

"What I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics. I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God's forgiveness, not God's understanding, but God's forgiveness," he said.

Santorum said politicians who have made personal mistakes can still make values-based arguments.

"I don't think that's hypocritical," Santorum said. "For example, I smoked pot when I was in college. Does that mean that I can't talk about drug use? Does that mean that I can't talk about how that's a bad thing? Of course not."

The two potential presidential candidates have traveled extensively to early primary and caucus states and are both mulling bids, but have yet to make formal announcements.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tulsa

    RRRiiiiggghhhtttt...... Hypocrits.
    These guys are going to run and the American People will see more of how SELFISH, STUPID, IGNORANT and UN-AMERICAN the Republicans are.
    Make no mistake, the people will take this country back from the like's of Walker, Christie and The T-baggers.
    It won't take till 2012 to do it either. Walker will be recalled after the first of the year.
    Fascists will not take power again.

    March 11, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    Hogwash. How typical is that Ricky boy will not make a big deal out of Newties numerous indiscretions, but would hammer any democrat who did the same thing. These hypocrites are the worst sort of s#um to walk the earth.

    March 11, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Weeper of the House: Two and the Door

    Pretty Ricky is down with being a horny Patriot....check.
    It is hypocritical despite what the knuckle dragging neanderthal tries to spin in his underdeveloped cranium.

    March 11, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. ficheye

    Damage control to validate the base. And now, after all these years, these guys are admitting that they smoked pot. Maybe soon we'll hear them tell us that they are gay as well. Dark forces, these conservatives, with the aim of taking power over the new serfdom in the USA.

    March 11, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. kk

    Yet a person's personal history is the sole purpose for employment-This is very hypocritcal of the Republican Party. It's OK if they have made mistakes in the past but not OK for the average citizen.

    March 11, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    Santorum, the guy who wrapped up his dead baby and brought it over to his inlaws to pass around so everyone could hold him and take pictures of him, has the back of the guy that blames love of his country for his cheating ways. This is priceless. Both of these guys make my skin crawl, not that anyone really cares.

    March 11, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Dan

    One buffoon sticking up for another, what makes Santourm think we want a doper as President?

    March 11, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    He's got Newtered's back? huh...I can smell sweat and stetson from here...

    March 11, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Apparently Santorum has forgotten that Gingrich himself ranted and raved - including filing impeachment proceedings against President Clinton - while he (Gingrich) was in a similar adulterous affair. That hypocrisy alone is too blatant to ignore. But, to divorce wife #1 for wife #2, and, once again, repeat the process by having an adulterous affair with wife #3 while still married to wife #2, is beyond hypocrisy. It shows a fundamental lack of judgment and a severe character deficiency. Not to mention the lack of basic human emotion in not only dumping wife #1 who had just been through cancer surgery . . . but . . . to once again . . . divorce the second wife, who, inconveniently for Newt, came down with MS. Simply put, this guy just can't be trusted. God's forgiveness to him notwithstanding.

    March 11, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. paul

    Gee, " Rick, does attacking Obama's persoal history count as well? You have sided with "birthers" and made other personal attacks on Obama. You are just to extreme to be our president. Save your time and others money.

    March 11, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Jesse

    Of course Santorum doesn't care about Gingrich's past since Gingrich is a rich, white Republican.

    March 11, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Citizen

    Where was this moral high ground when you pilloried President Clinton, shame on you Mr. Santorum.

    March 11, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. fideauxdon

    That's right, Rick. Your morals are only important to the voters if you're a Democrat, Gay, or a Gay Democrat. If you're running for election as a sanctimoneous Rebug, you can nail anything that moves, and blame it on your "strong patriotic work ethic".

    March 11, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Tax Cuts

    wouldn't stand to reason, that if you cut taxes to the top percent, that they would reinvest that money, and create jobs, and the economy would be great.
    well they didn't reinvest the money, (at least not in America) they didn't create jobs (at least not in America) and the economy cuts to the top paying more in taxes should be their biggest problem.
    VOTE DEMOCRAT........or vote yourself out of a job...

    March 11, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Rekha Kaula

    Considering his last name is now a bonafide dirty word too offensive to define even on an Internet message board, Sen. (ewww) Santorum would definitely like to keep the talk on "politics". lololol.

    March 11, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Anna


    March 11, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Obamacare = Romneycare v1.01

    Yeah but Santorum is conveniently ignoring the fact (and hoping the voters will too!) that Gingrich is running on moral superiority and family values, which makes Newt not only fair game, but very unsuitable presidental material just on this issue alone.

    March 11, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. rusty155

    Newt Gingrich was charge with 84 Ethics charges against him and was force to resign from the House of congress. And he cheated on his wife. Newt Gingrich doesn't deserve to be able to run for President or any thing else, he had his chance and he blow It. And you MR. Rich Santorum think he deserve a second chance , I don't think you would be a very good person to run for President either. Because If you do that would make both of you crook.

    March 11, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Bob

    After reading about Santorum on Google, if I were Rick Santorum I would take offense about having Newts' back.

    March 11, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This sounds kinda fishy, Rick's got Newt's back.

    March 11, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Michael

    What an odd couple. Santorum pushes his Christianity and Gingrich has cheated on his first 2 wives. I guess neocons only forgive other noecons. The "Do as we say, not as we do" party strikes again.

    March 11, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Teena

    Certainly everyone makes mistakes and those mistakes should not be held against them–Unless they run on the MORAL HIGH ground and are caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. Then that two-faced sanctimonious claptrap can and should be used against them if for no other reason than to measure their own moral standards!

    March 11, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. anotherGDlefty

    It's funny how "personal foibles" don't matter when they are your team....

    By the by, has ANYONE seen a birth certificate from either of these two ?

    March 11, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Squigman

    Wow! Rethugs, talking like real thugs.

    March 11, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Peggy - TX

    "personal history should not be the sole focus of a presidential campaign"

    I disagree. Personal history reflects character. The Characater of the person we elecet as the leader of the United states is of extrodinay importance.

    The manner in which our current Prident respects his wife, respects and cares for his children is shown in how he respcts the needs of Americans and America. This is also, why not a single Republican canidate for the presidence has a snow ball chance in H3LL as everyone of the sold thier sole by the lies they tell and evil they do.

    March 11, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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