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. WhatWhenWhere

    I have about the same chance as being the next POTUS as Santorum and I'm an illegal immigrant that cannot speak a lick of English. Que?

    December 14, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  2. Tony

    Pennsylvanians gave Rick a test to be Senator again. He failed when he started his ridiculous proseletyzing and religious malarky.

    December 14, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This would more than likely be a test Rick Santorum could not pass. He certainly doesn't have the mental capacity nor the skill to be president. He is almost as lacking in ability as Newt Gingrich.

    December 14, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. SteveinPA

    One Rick Santorum would be far too many...I cannot even imagine an administration full of his clones. Any one of these candidates is scary enough on their own...he would find a place for all of them in his administration. If they ever took over we could stop playing Hail to the Chief and borrow some of the music from Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey.

    December 14, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  5. papafritz57

    Great, he cannot think beyond himself and his own vanity. Why does Ricky think his way is the only way and will his way discriminate against millions of other Americans. I guess all women will be asked if they use birth control and can he peek into their bedroom windows to see what they are doing because their acts might not comply with his Catholic morals. These self-righteous frauds are so easily taken apart and the first thing we notice about them is their true lack of citizenship and compassion for others. Sanctimonious Rick needs to find a job other then the federal government, support those kids of his . I cannot imagine being married to a man who thinks sooooo highly of himself.

    December 15, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  6. Scott

    Every president would have a staff that he thinks will represent what he or she feels about their positions. A bunch of questions in an interview or written on paper. Not much difference to me. I don't see any real issue here.

    December 15, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  7. Jordan Schneider

    Most CEOs, managers not hire someone who can do a better job they then can because they fear
    that in the long run it will make them look bad. Many a job seeker can testify to the fact that HR personnel are reticent to hire a potential employee that is more qualified or has more educational experience then they do.
    It worth considering that anyone who looks to put people on his team that may outshine him is a person
    whose ego takes a backseat..
    Placing people in political positions in which they are required to represent their boss necessitates knowing where beliefs and ideologies are shared and where they is better to know beforehand then find out during a crisis.
    Additionally, if the respondents to this blog were honest within themselves they would admit that norm is for people hire based upon similarities and not upon differences.

    December 15, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Frank Bischop

    I guess he doesn't know that testing of prospective employees is regulated and if the test is not valid and predictable then he broke the law. I would be interested to hear which company's assessment tools he used? Or was it one he made up, which of course would not pass DOL muster.

    December 15, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  9. Bart Fargo

    The photo at the top says it all – he's just jerking himself off with dreams of what he would do in a never-to-be "Santorum administration".

    December 15, 2011 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  10. Really?

    Santorum's test remarks seem to imply that he only hires people with his 'values and morals.' There is ample evidence that this is not true. Once again, Santorum plays to the extreme right in words, not actions. Keep 'em happy and blissfully uninformed about the truth. He comes out swinging and on the offensive because once he's 'offended' it's hard to play catch up with the truth.

    December 15, 2011 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  11. Lizard Lance

    Wise people will gather folks around who bring differing philosophies and new ideas to the table. The unwise want "yes men" to gather around them.

    Let's see...Rick Santorum is quoted as saying that when seeking employees for his staff he "wanted people who worked for me who shared the same values structure that I do."

    Garbage in. Garbage out. Typical Republican.

    December 15, 2011 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  12. Scribbleslab

    Santorum, when are you going to realize you're a joke, and you are just there to make Romney look good?

    December 15, 2011 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  13. Jimmer

    If you answered "yes" to his question....."Do you think we should meddle in every body elses business?" then you were a shoe in.

    December 15, 2011 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  14. George

    He did such a great job as senator, he lost his last bid in a landslide.

    December 15, 2011 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  15. ErnestPayne

    And human beings are financing this nonsense?

    December 15, 2011 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  16. Max

    Loyalty tests. Cheery.

    December 15, 2011 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  17. FCVA

    Oh yeah. We lived in PA when he was in the Senate – and when he was BLOWN OUT by Casey – and this guy is wacko. His religious beliefs are Inquisition style and he finds anyone who doesn't share his Pope Thoughts to be going to hell. He is anti-equality; anti-science; and all about himself. His wife is some kind of big time lawyer, but he doesn't want anyone else to have a working woman in the family. Oh man.

    December 15, 2011 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  18. rhumba

    A very dangerous man. Why would a president want a VP who would never question his decisions? Santorum evidently believes that he alone has all of the right answers. Those of us with brains know that's not true.

    December 15, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  19. TRH

    These people are dangerous.

    December 15, 2011 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  20. Steve

    Phil in KC: It would normally be illegal to discriminate when hiring people based on their political views. But Congress made all (or almost all) hiring laws not apply to themselves. One one hand, this sounds self-serving and wrong, but then again, if politicians were succeptable to 'attacks' then opponents could make multiple accusations and tie up a lot of Congressmembers time. Also, it may be difficult for certain government agancies to objectively investigate these issues.

    December 15, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  21. once upon a horse

    since he is NEVER going to become POTUS this is not even important.

    December 15, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. Primewonk

    I'd like to see this test as well.

    I almost cringe thinking about what questions he asked.

    I hope he took Article VI, Section 3 of the Consti tuition to heart, and did not include any type of religious questions.

    December 15, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  23. Lindsey

    So, ermmm, RIck...maybe the Pope will pass your "test"? You could make him Gynecologist-in-Chief to make sure no pregnant woman in this country tries to seek an abortion.

    Go home, Rick. Your own home state of Pennsylvania didn't want you. Neither does the country.

    December 15, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Brian

    The only possible reason I would vote for Santorum is that he's so intellectually simple that you could easily predict what he would do in any situation. Romney, not so much, and Gingrich is so quietly manipulative and slimy, due to his decades as a Washington insider, that I'm not sure even he knows his own true motivations.

    If only we had a candidate that was driven by clear principles, defined by our Constitution, and had a long track record of sticking to those principles even when the political climate was shifting...

    December 15, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Jay

    Well you know it was Abortion that has caused all the problems with Social Security not having enough money in this country because all those unborn babies aren't out there working to pay into Social Security. However, Rick and his wife have done their part to help booster Social Security with their tribe of children. That is what this man once said (I paraphrased) but he honestly believes that! I would love to see his TEST – it would be a great thing to take with a bunch of friends when we are out drinking for the night – it would provide lots of laughs!

    December 15, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
1 2 3