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. Stephen in VA

    I, too, would prefer to hear the candidate's real words, not those that have been focus-grouped or speech-written. But anybody who thinks that candidates who are barred from the use of a teleprompter won't just write stuff on paper, or in Ms. Palin's case, her hand, is kidding themselves. Once again Santorum takes a true issue and misplaces the blame.

    March 11, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. marble

    Go get 'em Santorum!

    March 11, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |

    There are several issues like unemployment, foreclosure, affordable health insurance, social security etc. that needs attention, he choose to focus on teleprompters. He is not a serious person. What a screwed up priorities.

    March 11, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  4. TOL

    Anyone of reasonable intelligence can memorize a speech written by others. It takes more time & effort, which an audience always appreciates, but it doesn't guarantee one bit that the words are "their own" or "in their heart." The idea that teleprompters should be illegal is just goofy and stupid. Santorum would be wise to plan what he's going to say and discuss ideas with advisors instead of shoot his mouth off all the time.

    March 11, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. James

    Santorum is weird.

    March 11, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. Valkyrie

    His own pure words nothing fake about them, shows how honest the mans is. Unlike a a Flip-Flopper... Out with the teleprompter, in with Rick 2012.

    March 11, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. jacques_poutine

    He's got a good point.

    March 11, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Kayhla

    ... You have got to be kidding me. He wants more legislation? That is the problem with Rick saying he is conservative: how can you have less government while trying to make more laws? Let the people be the judge, but for the love of God, NO MORE LAWS!!! We need to repeal stuff, not add to the mess. And if that is the best idea he has for political reform, we are doomed as a nation. We already are, but really? Where does it stop, Rick? What can't you legislate? Birds, bees, trees? Oh wait, already laws on the books about those, but you want MORE! There are no good men in this race, and the lesser of five evils (including Obama) is not good enough of a choice. All of them, even Ron Paul, are bought and paid for (RP makes money off of project 60 in case you all didn't know). Pick your poison America... I'm going to take a pass on the kool aid in 2012.

    March 11, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Balls McGhee

    is this guy for real? i'd love to see this guy write his own speeches. get ready for a laughing fest.

    March 11, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. Jo

    If I were Santorum I would try to find an excuse of why I open mouth insert foot so often. If he Santorum used a teleprompter maybe he would sound more electable.

    March 11, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  11. Marilyn Barfoot

    The comment about teleprompters was just a minor part of a great speech by a great American, Rick Santorum. My grandson and I were very inspired by Rick. His humility, love of country, and great ideas for our future based on our founding as an exceptional country were quite evident.

    March 11, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. sarah

    Maybe if he used a teleprompter he would stop saying all the stupid things he says.

    March 11, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. sylvia kunz

    grow up santorum thats all you can get him on! lol!

    March 11, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. LydiaLydia

    I agree with Santorum! If someone needs a teleprompter to speak they have no business leading anything. Before teleprompters we had leaders, now we have puppets with their mouth stuffed with the words of others.

    March 11, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  15. KHDallas

    Maybe Santorum wouldn't be suffering so much from foot-in-mouth disease if he'd used one more often. Also, when President Obama speaks extemporaneously, he's equally engaging and sincere as with the prompter.

    Instead of motivating us with a viable economics and jobs plan, he puts teleprompters at the top of the list.

    Good grief...

    March 11, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. sick in GA

    This clown must be stopped. He makes me want to throw up! Perhaps if he used a teleprompter he would give a speech that focused on real issues instead of pandering to the church vote. Ignorant zealot.

    March 11, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. springthecat

    Illegal? Should having your written speech in front of you also be illegal? Same thing. It's easy for Santorum to forego notes because he has nothing to say.
    And who says all speeches are someone elses words?
    Santorum sure wants a lot of things to be illegal.

    March 11, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Delu

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

    That's right Rick, a leader isn't about what's written on a piece of paper, in fact being a good leader does not have anything to do with pieces of paper or teleprompters, but rather the stances, decisions and actions that one takes. Charisma is also a plus of course, as are good oratorical and communication skills, and above all a good leader is one who is able to work as a team with a team as far as reasonably possible (that would include compromise where it matters).

    So Rick, any words on how you well (or otherwise) relate to the above points?

    March 11, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. RINOmore

    Such intolerance...

    Understand that the candidates doing the reading are less intelligent than their digital displays.

    March 11, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  20. Steven Colo

    Yep. Ol' Rick sure is focusing on the major issues of the day.

    March 11, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  21. Rosemary Peppercorn

    It should be illegal for Santorum to run for anything. We know what's in his heart. Anti-women, anti-gay, anti-freedom narrow-minded man who doesn't even understand the country was founded on the idea of separation of church and state.

    March 11, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. Kris LV

    Maybe if Santorum would use a teleprompter he wouldn't say such stupid stuff...

    March 11, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  23. George

    Yeah, because we all know that the current state of our economy, our crumbling defense establishment, and our alienation of our allies is all due to teleprompters. It never ceases to amaze me how Santorum is consistently able to pick out the core issues of what is really the cause of Americans troubles today.

    March 11, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Debbie

    He is either concerned about what everyone is doing in their bedroom or who uses a teleprompter? What a tool.

    March 11, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. TomNPitt

    No teleprompters. No notes. No concise line of communications when you speak to the world. Just speak from the heart and say whatevers on your mind. This sure explains this guys speaches! It's all about mood swings, and speaking in tongues.

    March 11, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
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