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.

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"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. Brian

    When he makes a point to outlaw teleprompters, he just sounds like a complete fool, a loony psycho creating something out of nothing. I don't even know why this is news, but the fact that it is sure doesn't help Rick here. Good one Rick, shooting yourself in the foot again.

    March 11, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  2. Vic

    Romney writes his own speeches! Duh!

    March 11, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. Emmy Skaddittle

    the republican will bring up any issue but one that matters, what are you going to do about jobs

    March 11, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. PJ/TX

    "It's important to understand who that person is in his own words, see them, look them in the eye...see what's in
    their hearts."
    So when Santorum says "We already have a President who does not tell the American people the truth, we
    don't need another one", he is calling "from his heart" President Obama a liar. We understand you, Santorum,
    and you are shallow and pathetic.

    March 11, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. voxtrot

    Ironic – I think of all candidate Santorum could have helped himself most by using a teleprompter (at least when woman were in the room).

    March 11, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  6. Gibson

    It should be illegal to lie in order to get into office.

    March 11, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. YaWimp

    Pretty scary. Abortion illegal. Contraceptives illegal. Teleprompters illegal. Choice illegal. Where is this going to?

    March 11, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. Morris

    I doubt Santorum has "always believed" that "it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter". I am pretty sure he understands that most political speeches are written by "pollsters and speechwriters", regardless of whether they appear on a TelePrompter or on a 3×5 index card. I'm also pretty sure that he uses speechwriters. So why the argument?

    March 11, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Dot

    Santorum is a blowhard, so full of himself that we wouldn't dare let him be our president. We already made one huge mistake, we need to fix it this time. Romney for president!

    March 11, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  10. Kari Hope

    This guy wants to outlaw everything that doesn't pertain to his God. Please, put me out of my misery!!

    March 11, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  11. Mark

    G.W. couldn't spell his name without a teleprompter but, I gotta say it is nice when we have a President who could
    get by without one. Remember Clinton during one of his SOU speach's? When he noticed that the wrong speach
    was loaded in the teleprompter, he never blinked, just kept on going with it from memory.

    March 11, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. David Kramer

    Um, erm, uh, let me be perfectly clear, uh, er, the facts are that the increase in the supply of oil does not decrease the price. Uh, erm, uh, do not pay any attention to Schumer asking the Saudi's to increase production. uh, erm, uh my Health Care bill has caused the prices of insurance to skyrocket, uh, erm, eh, but you were never told that you would be able to keep your doctors, uh, erm, eh, that death panel that we created was a good idea of Sarah Palins so we incorporated it to be part of the plan, eh, uh, erm the Susan Fluke incident proves that we are really good at propaganda and pay no attention to our destruction of religious freedom and conscience. Uh, erm, eh I know I stated that if we implemented my bribery and pay to play bill, aka Stimulus, that unemployment would not go above 8%, but we did make a cool graph showing the unemployment rate with and without my bribery bill and just because unemployment went above the without line, really means nothing.

    Obama, without the teleprompter, well close, there would be about a 1000 more ums, ers, and ehs.

    March 11, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. ihavehadit

    Santorum is a clown who does nothing but attack. He is a loser just like Trump said

    March 11, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  14. UrAverageJoe

    Using a telprompter doesn't mean you're reading someone else's words. It means that instead of having papers in front of you that you keep looking down at you look straight ahead. That all! Reagan did it and so did every president since and Rick wouldn't be able to outlaw it even if he tried. Besides, isn't that a little to intrusive for our free government, Rick?

    March 11, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. taftr

    You don't need a teleprompter when you spout the kind of nonsense that Santorum seems to love.

    March 11, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. TRE

    I agree. Teleprompters are really for cheaters. Unless it's the evening news where they don't know what they're about to say until they read it on the teleprompter, you don't need one. If you can't memorize and deliver what you're going to say, then go home. Speakers that do are like students that have to look on and copy someone else's work in order to pass a test.

    March 11, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. SeattleMark952

    Santorum's wife is going to make Santorum use a teleprompter (after made his "vomit" comment and criticized those that seek college educations as "snobs").....Oh, I forgot: He wants us to see what he really has "in his heart."

    March 11, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. Karl

    Why not make it illegal for Santorium to say stupid things like this while we are at it?

    March 11, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  19. HoyaSaxa

    That sure sounds like small government, Rick!

    March 11, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  20. honeybe

    Illegal to read from a teleprompter? Where does this guy get these crazy ideas. That means making another stupid law, and don't we have enough government controlling every aspect of our lives? Enough already!

    March 11, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. Maggie

    That's a ridiculous position. Teleprompters are widely used and are as much the words of the person reading them as a paper in your pocket. They are reminders of what one intended to say; everyone has an occasional brain freeze. I don't like Santorum. I agree with Paul, he is a fake and in no way fit to be President of USA. I AM A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT VOTER and no fan of OBAMA but I would vote for Obama if my only other choice was Santorum.

    March 11, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I find that people that don't use them could use some help in remembering what they are really trying to say. Is Santorum say that everyone should be memorizing their speaches? I can't see how that is really practical.

    March 11, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. royklopfenstein

    Amen. Lincol'n's speeches were written by himself, with his secretaries assisting on grammar and construction. Washington wrote his speeches and had someone else read them because his teeth kept falling out. The readers had to correct as they read. We do not necessarilly need a movie star, but a leader with wisdom and vision. At last check Moses was not runnig but, incidentally, had a spokesman. We need to pray for God to select a leader. It seems that Santorum has come out against Satan. This will not go well in Washington D.C.

    March 11, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Every president for the last 50 years has read from some sort of format. Ronald Reagan thought it was one of the greatest inventions ever. Rick Santorum needs to grow a pair.

    March 11, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Hemuda

    What a loser as always!

    March 11, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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