Santorum's test for job seekers
December 14th, 2011
05:34 PM ET
10 years ago

Santorum's test for job seekers

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum said he used to make people take a test before they could work on his staff during his time as a Pennsylvania senator and seemed to suggest he may institute the practice once more if elected to the nation's highest office.

Santorum was responding to an audience member who asked for more details on personnel in a potential Santorum administration.

"I did this when I was in the United States Senate," Santorum began. "I always–I had actually a test that I would give people that would come into the office to find out what their thinking was, how they saw the world on a variety of different subjects. I wanted people who worked for me who shared the same values structure that I do."

"You want people in the foxhole with you fighting for limited government, fighting for traditional values, fighting for a strong defense."

The conservative candidate who puts family values at the core of his campaign said he wasn't ready to share more specifics on exactly who he'd like to tap.

"I don't like to name names because then they report it," he said as he gestured to the media riser.

He would say, however, there's not one candidate from the current GOP crop who he wouldn't want working for him.

"I can look at every person there and say there is a place for each one of these people in my administration, and I'd feel very comfortable."

"I wouldn't put Ron Paul as Secretary of Defense. But ya know," he said with a laugh.

He added that there's "an appropriate place for each person, and it'd be different for each one" based on their strengths.

As for what he looks for in a VP?

"Someone who would do exactly what I would do and do it hopefully better than I would if I wasn't able to continue in office."

Santorum was speaking to a room of roughly 200 Iowans at the headquarters for Nationwide Insurance in downtown Des Moines.

Also see:

Romney video ties Gingrich to left

Reid labels Gingrich 'presumptive' nominee

Sen. Rubio for vice president?

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Oh no, Rick

    Did he have to pass his own test too?
    IF he is elected to the nation's highest office. How funny! Do we see that happening?

    December 14, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Phil in KC

    In other words, you can't have a job in government unless you share his religious beliefs? I think there are laws against that.
    And, if his VP choice could do the job better, why wouldn't you nominate them? I though the whole idea of running for President is that you think you can do the job better than anyone else.
    This guy doesn't have a clue.

    December 14, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Oh no, Rick

    If his vicepresident of choice could do "better" what he wanted to do but were unable, THEN, dear folks, we should vote his vicepresidential candidate into the president's office, not Rick.

    December 14, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Irrelevant. He's NEVER going to be POTUS. EVER.

    Besides, can you imagine the problem created if the POTUS himself were handing out ideology exams and hiring and firing based on standards that violate all sorts of laws in place to prevent discrimination based on religion or race or other attributes? What a scary and disturbed little troll he is.

    December 14, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I wanted people who worked for me who shared the same values structure that I do."

    Yeah, whatever, Rick. Probably just a well this man will never become President of the United States - his "values" bug me. Big time.

    December 14, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Kris Craig

    Nationwide is on your site.... If you're a Republican.

    If you're a hurricane victim, SOL.

    December 14, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    And there he is again in that pic...using hand gestures to show that there is an alternative to pre-marital intercourse....blissfully unaware of the apt analogy tha can be drawn between said alternative and his condidacy in the first place...

    December 14, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Kris Craig

    It doesn't matter what his policy is since Rick Santorum will never become president.

    December 14, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Cheryl

    There is a bigger picture here. Hiring only individuals that support your ideological or religious views is not only wrong, it's dangerous. Look at Clarence Thomas...a conservative who has done nothing but hire individuals that share and confirm his views...This sort of practice on either isle pushes people in power to radical lengths because it pushes the envelope on acceptable rhetoric. When no one is there to call your bluff or question your viewpoints, how can you possibly be a representative of everyone.

    December 14, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Larry L

    Santorum said "I can look at every person there and say there is a place for each one of these people in my administration, and I'd feel very comfortable".
    They plan to cut all of the normal agencies and to make room for these these conservative changes:
    1. Mitt Romney – Secretary of Religious Tolerance As Long As It's A Real Christian Religion
    2. Newt Gingrich – Secretary of Flexible Fidelity and Ethics
    3. Ron Paul – Secretary of Anarchy and Isolationism
    4. Michelle Bachman – Secretary (Really... just a secretary to some low-level politician)
    5. Rick Perry – Secretary Of Homophobia and Interior Decoration (He does have an eye for color!)
    6. Jon Huntsman – Secretary of Reality (Somebody has to do it!)

    December 14, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Eric

    A Santorum administration? Talk about your hypothetical situations! Just saying....

    December 14, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Charlie from the North

    Q: What does that ink blot look like to you?
    A; A duck sir
    sorry we don't want you.

    Q: What does that ink blot look like to you?
    A: Looks like we should lower taxes on the over-burdend billionaires so the jobs will trickle down. We can trust polluters to say how much they want to clean up-but we can't trust a woman and her Doctor to make a decision.

    Welcome aboard pal t- have some tea.

    December 14, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. NWPoliticalJunkie

    Therein lies the issue with most leaders today in and out of politics. The idea of inoculating yourself from new ideas and different perspectives of the world is what prevents progress, not promote it. Over the last 20 years we watched the moderate politician all but disappear only to be replaced by extreme thinking caucuses interested in promoting narrow minded ideas generated out closed door meetings full of like minded individuals. If you feel that is a recipe for success then all you need do is look at the state of our governing bodies.

    A strong leader is one that is comfortable in encouraging others to share their different ideas in coming up with innovative solutions for increasingly complicated issues. Not with the intention of picking those ideas apart with anecdotal rhetoric that speaks only to the supporters but to find the best ideas and solutions that serve the whole. If your only interested in people that think exactly as you do that means you believe you already know everything so why bother to have advisors at all?

    December 14, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  14. John Karp

    He is a joke!

    December 14, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Thomas

    This guy just wont give up !

    He would be a great Mary Kay Cosmetic sales Rep !


    December 14, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. Susan Booth

    Snooze....Looking forward to this guys announcement that he will finally dropping out of the race. He has no personality whatsoever and his views are simply miniscule. Even though Newt is completely crazy, at least he's entertaining!

    December 14, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Dan5404

    It would be a right-wing dictatorship which, unlike previous presidents, wouldn't even consider an opposing view or appointment of a moderate from the other party in any position.. Nothing but "Yes' men with a destructive agenda for America, Glad it has no chance of happening.

    December 14, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Did the voters already give YOU a test Ricky? Oh that's right...

    December 14, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. Mark C

    I'm sure all the other candidates are excited as schoolgirls at the prom that this last-place half-wit with 2% support is going to consider them for his administration.

    December 14, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. FedUpWithLife

    Since he will NEVER be president......who cares.

    December 14, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. Jeebus

    This guy couldn't even win re-election in his own state. Guess he failed the test. What a nut.

    December 14, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    I guess he won't hire me – I don't think like him!!

    That's why it's Obama 2012 – he will hire people of all shades, colors, race, sex, religions, values and types!!!

    December 14, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Matt

    I would prefer it if the test was on history, the Constitution, and maybe one or two other subjects depending on the job. Values structure? So what is that? Make sure they have the same faith, some culture, same social class?

    December 14, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  24. Phillydrifter

    This guy doesn't have a chance, and there's a reason why we unelected him as a senator in 2004.

    December 14, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I'd like to know what he would test for and what the kind of questions would be. I know that I would never be a part of that administration even if asked. He doesn't understand what the country needs.

    December 14, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
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