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. tcaros

    Take a good look at Santorum.. a real good look. There, now thnk of him as a mental midget.

    March 11, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  2. juanita valdez

    Rick has no path to victory. Why doesn't he do the honorable thing and drop out?

    March 11, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  3. Tea Party

    Santorum wants to make new laws to outlaw teleprompters. Sounds like what we already have!!!! Big Government and lots of new laws. If they don't like something they make a law against it. How about we TRUST the people to vote for the candidate that can talk straight and not use a teleprompter.

    March 11, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. R.C

    Sounds good but there goes individual freedom.... Another law, another tax to pay for it.. More RINO droppings... Only Ron Paul is a moral ethical person. Only him..

    March 11, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. BcdErick

    I'm not going to vote for Santorum. But he's right about this. I it wasn't for the teleprompter B. Hussein would be assistant dog catcher in a town that has no dogs.

    March 11, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  6. sleepyzZ

    I thought the goal was smaller government and less regulation Not more useless laws.

    March 11, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  7. Larry

    That is the most insane comment I've heard.You use notes from the podium.Does it make a difference if you read the words from a piece of paper or a "digital word machine"

    March 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  8. enuff

    Let's make teleprompters illegal? Is he serious? All the freaking things that need to be looked at in this country right now, and he's more concerned about who uses a teleprompter? I'm sure people who have lost their homes will also find their first concern is a politician using a teleprompter.

    March 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. fwald

    Santorum will always be at a disadvantage going up against people who can read.

    March 11, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. Patricia

    Rick Santorum should be focusing on jobs, people losing their homes and people dying because they don't have health insurance. Mr Santorum, these are the issues that I have to deal with. You choose to focus on the use of a teleprompter. If I was you I would use ateleprompter then maybe the stupid words that come out of your mouth would be avoided. Maybe your wife would not have to tell you how stupid you sound every time you pen your mouth.

    March 12, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. Thomas

    Santorum's war on teleprompters.

    Last week Iran , this week teleprompters.

    Rick needs to chill out !

    March 12, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. Jane

    It's astounding how ignorant this person is regarding basic things associated with campaigning and governing. Many leaders use teleprompters just as a 'prompt' (get it Ricky?) for speeches that they have written or contributed to in large part. I've heard some of Mr. Santorum's 'impromptu' speeches 'from the heart' – and I've heard high school debators who do much better than he.

    March 12, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  13. arnold xenon

    TRUE in every sense, but our President only conveys others view through teleprompter and get credit for that, what a shame

    March 12, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  14. kateslate

    We have seen what happens when Santorum speaks off the cuff. It gets him in trouble. There is nothing wrong with collecting your thoughts prior to speaking and having them in written form. If Santorum did more of this, he might have a better chance. He told David Gregory this morning that sometimes his wife has to "dial him back" after he "misspeaks."
    Well, Rick, best to be better prepared when you are a world leader. We don't need someone who operates in "off the cuff" snippets on a world stage. What you say matters. It should be well considered, well thought out and it is of UTMOST importance. So teleprompters are okay be me, especially after watching you blow it so many times.

    March 12, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  15. Mark

    The man makes Dan Quayle look like a genius!

    March 12, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  16. Chukkal

    But he can't talk without it..........sabotage his teleprompters!!!

    March 12, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  17. The-Least-Unelectable

    I thought the use of teleprompters started and ended with Obama. rePUBLICANS = Hypocrites.

    March 12, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  18. Nato

    Not really so conservative, is he? Keep the government out of our lives, except we'll let them regulate how someone talks to a group???

    March 12, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  19. Snooze70

    So, teleprompters should be outlawed for Presidents and presidential candidates. Can't have any of that new technology stuff now, can we? Why is it always someone else's words, Rick? Can't a speaker write his/her own speech and put that on the teleprompter? Or is it that YOUR speechwriters just give the speeches to you on paper? Or, more to the point, are you just restating your same old talking points over and over again??

    March 12, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  20. Doug Lynn

    We used to just elect actors. With a teleprompter we get to elect lazy and ignorant actors that cannot learn their lines.

    March 12, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  21. Robert O'Brien

    I can see it now. Dens where politicians use teleprompters in secret meetings, giving speeches to focus groups.

    They'd be called, what else? Speakeasies.

    March 12, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  22. DrCole

    oh, this guy wants to outlaw the use of teleprompters????...I'm embarrassed to be in the same political party as Santorum.

    March 12, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  23. Peace

    Does this man understand why they have debates? Thats time when a candidate should show what he knows in his own words. Giving lengthy speeches without any arrangement and rumbling around as he does is totally craziness. No wonder he is making a lot of gaffes and come to regret them later. For his information, he does not impress anyone by doing so.

    March 12, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  24. tigerakabj

    As long as Rick is out there exposing Mittens, talking about teleprompters, not discussing the economy, warning of the perils of college education, detailing how bad birth control is, he can stay as long as he wants and help win President Obama his re-election.

    I can't believe Rick is making me invest more in popcorn futures with his crazy talk. Must be why the stock market is around 13,000, up from 6,000 when President Obama took office.

    March 12, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  25. once upon a horse

    has anyone taken a real good look at this guy? Does he look NORMAL to you?

    March 12, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
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