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. Proud to be an Independent !

    Santorum is at war with his own sanity ! I'm not surprised that he has a problem with something that smooth's your message and keep's you on track !

    March 11, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Mom to 3

    A stupid comment from a stupid man. No President has the time to memorize long speeches especially since they give speeches very frequently. Before teleprompters, Presidents (and many other figures who give frequent, lenthy speeches as part of their job) used a written version of their speech to look at. Teleprompters simply allow for more eye contact. President Obama, as well as the Presidents before him, know what the speech says as they have written parts of it and edited it beforehand (depending on how important the speech is). Not being organized and having written your speech beforehand often leads to omitting something important you wanted to say. First Santorum is against going to college (even though he did) and now he is against well-organized speeches (maybe he should try writing out his speeches beforehand so he can avoid stupid statements like this one).

    March 11, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. bullet

    I suppose Santorum will try to propose a law for that now. Maybe the law should be that Santorum has to speak without lying about his opponents.

    March 11, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. raster1944

    Yeah, Santorum's only thoughts are of the use of teleprompters by politicians? What a moroon!

    March 11, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. Salah Boukadoum

    So much for small government and liberty.

    March 11, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. John

    I read every statement he made... The entire article... I'm left with one question... Is he insane? You know, like a crazy person?

    He's how homeless drunks sound when they mumble to themselves.

    March 11, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Jen

    To hear a candidates own words, does that mean they need to get rid of their speech writers too?

    March 11, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"Because all you're doing is reading someone else's words to people."◄

    Most of the time it's your OWN words and you might not want to get off track and/or say the wrong thing. Like calling President Obama a SNOB and wanting to "throw up" over something President Kennedy said. Also, all Santorum talks about are values and beliefs he wants to demand all others follow; anyone can "preach!" Santorum has no foreign experience and he does not talk about jobs – Someone needs to "prompt" him and let him know what the deal is!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    March 11, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. lev nicholayavich

    What else is Rooster going to whine about? Can't wait until this guy goes home (to Virginia) to do whatever...what is he going to do? A lot on the line for this career politician who recognizes his legitimate meal ticket/ego trip is slipping away.

    Maybe he and Al Gore can start a new show on one of the cable news networks.

    March 11, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. dgard

    Santororum is a goof!

    March 11, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    i agree

    March 11, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Steviedore

    Another favorite whine for Santorum.

    March 11, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Widget Maker

    Well he has to use them. Without, he stutters, mumbles words. Then you have the, "Ahhh's, Ummmm's, Errrr's" all while stuttering. He has totally embarrassed This Great Country!

    March 11, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. Allison

    There goes silly Santorum again, wanting to legislate away everything he doesn't like.

    As a voter, I'm smart enough to evaluate what a candidate is saying. I don't need the government to protect me from empty rhetoric by banning teleprompters.

    March 11, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  15. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I can't help but believe that the GOP's dislike for telepromters is due to many of them don't know how to read from one. Could you imagine President Bush or Gov Perry trying to read from a telepromter? Heck I couldn't. Maybe they should just do what Palin did and write stuff on their hands and read from it. I fail to see what difference it is reading from sheets of paper from the podium as to reading it from a machine.

    March 11, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  16. CTSadler

    In Santorum's world, it would probably just be illegal to read in general.

    March 11, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  17. Neil C Denver

    And to think that I've accused Obama for 'flailing' away. Where do we get these sick politicians?

    March 11, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. Cat Miller

    Is there anything this dope doesn't want to control?

    March 11, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Reality

    He is such a Clown! Plz ppl use your brains!

    March 11, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  20. Randy Pickard

    I agree 100%. Somewhat similarly, I have always enjoyed listening to a singer who wrote his or her own songs.

    March 11, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. stars

    He need to use one I guess don"t know how stupid he sound.

    March 11, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. Richard Clark

    So ... a person can't read their own words from a teleprompter? A person can't memorize a speech someone else wrote?

    March 11, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. Richie

    So dumb. Every politician has used notes or teleprompters. EVEN REAGAN. Why make an issue out of this?

    March 11, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. Gpop

    I am just so embarrassed for this guy. If teleprompters is something he thinks is a presidential issue, then he is definitely missing some screws upstairs. It's as if he just don't know what to talk about or how to truly connect with intelligent people.

    March 11, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    His own pure words, nothing fake about them, shows how honest one can be. Unlike a Flip-Flopper. Rick 2012!

    March 11, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
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