Santorum's war on teleprompters
March 11th, 2012
07:46 PM ET
11 years ago

Santorum's war on teleprompters

Gulfport, Mississippi (CNN) – Republican Rick Santorum has for quite a while taken issue with candidates on the trail who use a teleprompter. It's a dig on President Barack Obama, and more recently has been used to attack Mitt Romney - a man who's also been known to use a prompter or two.

But campaigning along the Gulf Coast in the Tuesday primary state of Mississippi, Santorum took it a step further, saying use of the digital word machine should be outlawed.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
- Follow Chris Welch on Twitter: @cwelchcnn

"See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter," Santorum said at a Gulfport restaurant. "Because all you're doing is reading someone else's words to people."

He continued to elaborate on why he believes prompters should have no place in politics, saying that people should know that a candidate's words haven't been "focus-grouped" and that the words are the candidate's - not those of "pollsters and speechwriters."

"You're voting for someone who is going to be the leader of our government," Santorum said. "It's important for you to understand who that person is in their own words, see them, look them in the eye...hear what's (in their)  heart."

"You're choosing a leader. A leader isn't just about what's written on a piece of paper."

Santorum is in the middle of a two-day campaign swing through Mississippi and Alabama - two states that hold their early nominating contests Tuesday.

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Paul_1

    Nobody told Santorum that he could write his own speech and have it show up on the teleprompter? He must think that technology is a liberal plot.

    March 11, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Jeffer65

    Rick – I've heard you and your own words, and I am not impressed with you. Saw you on Meet the Press, and you always tense up when the anchor is asking you questions. You do not look comfortable.

    March 11, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Spiraling Agony

    calling the Pres. a snob, saying JFK's speech on church and state made him want to puke... then having to walk back BOTH of those statements....

    he should be called on this, because he could use some editor somewhere reining in HIS off-the-cuff madness. ...unless he wants to keep saying crazy things that he has to backpeddle on, further making him appear unfit for the Office of the President.

    March 11, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. jc

    So I guess Reagan and every other President and politician was wrong to use teleprompters? Does Mr. Rick "My God Is Better Than Your God" Santorum really believe that people only lie or mislead when they use a teleprompter? I think most, if not all, people are quite capable of lying without the use of modern electronic assistance.

    March 11, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. Aaron

    Oh and also, reading a speech from a telepromter also helps you from "throwing up" all over yourself... Something Rick Santorum tends to do a lot when speaking off the cuff.

    March 11, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. David Dee

    ....saying use of the digital word machine should be outlawed.

    Can you believe this jerk. He need a teleprompter to to block his foot (feet) from being inserted into his mouth.

    March 11, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rick has really screwed up by going after Kennedy, education etc. He should use a teleprompter to avoid 'puke' and 'snobs' and nasty attacks to stop him from sounding like a moron.

    March 11, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. batjones

    With all of the back peddling that Mr Santorum has done during the campaign, it might serve him well to sit down with someone else than his own mind to make sure that what he says on the campaign trail is factual and accurate. A teleprompter is a way of reducing the risk of making unintended statements, if you stick to the script. Every word of the President gets scrutinized by our allies and foes alike. If Mr. Santorum wants to be President it is not too much to ask that he be disciplined with and without a teleprompter.

    March 11, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. yogi

    The stupidity in the Republican party knows no boundaries. That includes past GOP presidents,and past and present GOP candidates, all of them! Shame on all of them for going backward with civilization.
    Obama 2012, and onward with vision and true leadership and intelligence in foreign affairs.

    March 11, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Dan

    Another silly comment. One can write a speech and read it on paper or a teleprompter. In fact, Obama has written more of his speeches than many presidents.

    March 11, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. marty

    Mr Santorum's comments illustrate that he has much to learn about being primed and ready for high office. Unfortunately, we will be subjected to his ministerial rantings for another couple of months whether we like it or not.

    March 11, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Confused

    Illegal??? OK Ayatollah.

    March 11, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. akira

    he just watches the other candidates and regurgitates what got the most applause. you can hear him saying stuff from Ron Paul, Gingrich and Romney... he says your record doesn't matter when running for president.... because he has a terrible record

    March 11, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. MW Cincinnati

    This is why you pick Rick! Santorum is not afraid.

    March 11, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. NG

    Does this guy even know what he is talking about? Just reading from a teleprompter in no way implies the reader didn`t compose his own speech.

    March 11, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. MississippiMan

    What doesn't that man want to make illegal? It's like 1984, except with a more religious slant.

    March 11, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. 13Directors

    He is incredibly naive.

    March 11, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. Jack in Florida

    .....and everyone needs to be beating their clothes on the rocks, down by the river. Someone tell Rick it is 2012 and we need a President with intelligence and wisdom, which are two things he is missing.

    March 11, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. Donkey Talk

    How about using the palm of you hand?

    March 11, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. JJC

    So the republicans want smaller government and less regulation...but Santorum wants to make use of teleprompters illegal. How is this guy a republican? Just because he is ultra religious and wants to make a taliban like state, I guess.

    March 11, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. JonUPS

    Can someone, anyone please explain the difference between looking down at your hand-written notes and looking up at the very some words? Besides the fact that you are looking up rather than down.

    March 11, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. H. Johnson

    Mr. Santorum is clearly not too bright.

    March 11, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. king

    The way santorum keeps outing his foot in his mouth, he should be advocating for a prompter. Lesson no one wants the president of the united states embarrassing himself in the international arena, because as the leader, if he's embarrassed the whole country is embarrassed. We don't need a shoot from the hip cowboy character to embarrassed us in a very complicated global society.

    March 11, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. musomesa

    One day someone will explain how words on a teleprompter are different from words on a piece of paper. I guess they are in the vertical plane and so magical.

    March 11, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. Clayton Robinson

    It is a wonder anyone takes this man seriously.

    March 11, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7