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. Pips




    March 12, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  2. Mike McLurg

    Absolute piffle! Total garbage. Do you want a President who is a talkative sales slicker or do you want a President who thinks, analyzes and constructs his speech touching various important issues throughout?

    If you want the former, well, that's your problem, if you want the latter, well you're an individual who thinks before they vote.

    March 12, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  3. Greg Halvorson

    BRAVO.... Good for him. Obama needs a teleprompter to parrot propaganda, a carefully calculated avalanche of lies and spin!

    March 12, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  4. Are these guys serious?

    Teleprompters should be illegal but corporations and rich people should be able to give unlimited amounts to groups supporting a campaign? It's okay to buy an election, but heaven forbid you read words off a screen!

    March 12, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  5. Eagle1Jim

    Why not have the person who writes the script on the teleprompter read the script to the audience, and then the candidate can say I approve of this speech or ad. Same difference.

    March 12, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  6. Logic N LA

    Much better you say the President isn't a Christian and then have to recant your words.

    March 12, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  7. Chocolateandcheese

    Yeah, but Rick, you have to say things that make sense, teleprompter or no teleprompter. That's what you don't seem to get.

    March 12, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  8. ngc1300

    Reading off of a piece of paper? That's the only chance he has of sounding semi intelligent.

    March 12, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  9. RT

    This is incredibly silly. I can't believe you didn't have some real news to share and went with this crap. It's not even elementary school level sarcasm. Grow up and get a real job.

    March 12, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  10. RobofANC

    Why? Because he can't afford one? In all honesty I don't know much about Santorum but what I do read does not intrigue me to learn much more. If is wasn't for the Old Man and the Bimbo in 2008 we would be working on Romney's re-election. Lets get Romney where he should have been 3 years ago.

    March 12, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Kate Goldsworthy

    As a professional teleprompter owner/operator, I would be very interested to hear how Mr. Santorum would manage to get through a 45-minute State of the Union Address without a prompter. With his reasoning, even a paper script would be outlawed, so he would be able to show "leadership". I'm sure he wouldn't be able to stay on point, without saying, "Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh" between every sentence, ala George W. Even Sarah Palin wrote on her hand. Fortunately, he won't be elected, so we won't have to go through that debacle.

    March 12, 2012 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  12. Bill in AZ

    Mr. Santorum and the teleprompter are similar, in that they are both tools.

    March 12, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  13. Mike D

    I'm sure "Bla... People" would agree. People need to know, in your own words, whee you are coming from.

    March 12, 2012 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  14. george

    Its good to see that Santorum didnt approve of Ronald Reagan. Reagan used teleprompters. So did Bush1 and 2,

    March 12, 2012 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  15. Bob

    Boy, does this guy ever seem to waste his 15 minutes talking about trivial and irrelevant stuff. How about he stop blathering and reveal his ideas for dealing with topics of importance!

    March 12, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  16. joseph agunbiade

    you better start using it too, it saves your reckless talks.

    March 12, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  17. Schumpert

    And is he wrong? How many speeches do you think any of our recent presidents have actually written? I'd venture a guess that the number is quite low, if now zero.

    March 12, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    So now we know when you speak you speak from the heart and all you say is genuinely you.
    Ok I got it. That means when you apologise for something you said you didn't mean what you said!?
    If you are President and make that kind of Boo boo in a speech because you dont use a teleprompter you could cause a diplomatic incident or exacerbate the war on terror.
    If Obama had to write all his own speeches, he would not have time to do the rest of the job.
    Grow Up Santorum you are really scraping the bottom of the barrell looking to criticise Obama. You need more substantive issues than this rubbish.

    March 12, 2012 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  19. Monique Manna

    wow this is a real crisis – I am so glad he has brought this up, between people reading off teleprompters and woman using Birth Control, well, these issues have been on my mind for some time now, and gosh, golly, gee, I am so proud of Ricky bringing this up! Ricky, you're my hero!

    March 12, 2012 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  20. belindar

    It is no wonder Santorum would say that about the teleprompter. He is not smart enough to learn anything new. He wants to tell our kids not to go to college and he home schools his kids. He must think we are as dumb as he is. What rock does he live in?

    March 12, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  21. steve

    Just because you can't read and stupid, doin't go blaming everyone else, what a minute your repub that is what do you.

    March 12, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  22. Brian

    "uh uh uh uh well you know uh uh uh" O would have serious problems without his teleprompter

    March 12, 2012 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  23. wkndthg

    What's next? Using email to communicate? Sad the rethugs don't have a thing to run on. Do you remember when the POTUS attended your party's luncheon in Baltimore? Was there a teleprompter there for him? NO, and he took all you clowns to school that day. LOL LOL LOL

    March 12, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  24. Dee

    There are other issues to be concerned about instead of a teleprompter that is one of the latest technologies and the President is not the first one to use them. It is certainly better than reading from a paper or out of your hands.

    March 12, 2012 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  25. steve

    you need one!!! look at the stuipd things you keep on saying, you getting this from GOD or from Bachmann

    March 12, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7