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. Donnie

    Willard is weakest frontrunner since 1920. newt is the loonyist and santorum is the dumbest. lol and late night comedians are being blamed?

    March 12, 2012 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  2. bubba

    santorum does not actually believe that it should be illegal for the president to use a teleprompter. he is lying.

    isn't there something in the bible about that?

    March 12, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  3. Whatever

    So in additiion to outlawing birth control and abortions, he also wants to outlaw telepromters. Oh my... what a TYRANT!!!

    March 12, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  4. Misleading

    Santorum's argument is fallacious. All mainstream candidates work with a political team to frame their message and determine the best way for it to resonate with voters. As such, any candidate's stump speech – with or without a teleprompter – will contain others' words and a carefully crafted message designed to win the votes.

    March 12, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  5. Andy

    ....because Santorum can't read! Listening to Rick Santorum speak is like listening to Gomer Pyle explain something new to himself. He keeps talking until he figures out what it is he is trying to say. Rick you should speak from note cards.

    March 12, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  6. dmilam

    If this guy gets the GOP bid, then it is assured Obama will again take the residency. The election will be decided by debates between Obama and the GOP selection. Santorum is totally out of his league on the debate playing field. His speeches, comments, and debate responses are 95% cliches.

    March 12, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |

    Poor Rick, still searching for something (anything!!!) bad to say about the President. If the worse thing you can come up with is the teleprompter then he must be doing SOMETHING RIGHT. I am afraid that you don"t have enough imagination to be President. Just a thought, but maybe you should not waste your time trashing him but actually come up with some ideas about how to move the country forward! Someone might listen to you then. As it stands now you sound like a third grader on the playground at lunch time!

    March 12, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  8. Marry

    Rick Santorum just makes one stupid comment after another! He is in desperate need of a “digital word machine” considering what he says; nobody hinders him on writing his own and much better than have to explain or reinterpret what he has said! The use of a Teleprompter can of cause not prevent from spreading falsehoods if you feed it with bad material!
    Santorum should also be aware and understand that on the national and international stage it matters what a “leader” says! Being careless with words as he has been, he can cause great harm! He has already (including the GOP/TP and the other “candidates” and their “followers”) done harm to the country on many occasions lying about the President and concerning foreign policy issues where he just runes of his mouth without any concern about facts and truth or thinking of the consequences!

    March 12, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  9. Uomo Del Ghiaccio

    Rick Santorium does not sound like a Conservative, but much more like a Statist. I don't believe that politicians should t be using a pulpit instead of a podium. We need a Fiscal Conservative, not a Pastor-in-Chief.

    March 12, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  10. Campaign Carney

    Santorum could benefit from a teleprompter or two. Or three.

    March 12, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  11. Blindersoff

    What a self righteous pompous jerk Santorum is. This guy will never be the president of these United States or standing at the right hand of Jesus. Jesus shall say to Santorum, 'I do not know you and from where you are; depart from me, worker of lies.' “

    March 12, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  12. bob

    I would love to know who is on the other end of Obama's teleprompter. Have you ever heard him when he is caught without it? He sounds like a 5th grader.

    March 12, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  13. Dave

    It's always amusing to me how the GOP loves to chide Obama about teleprompters when their last President couldn't form a sentence without a week's notice. Move on, clowns.

    March 12, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  14. Alex in Wisconsin

    So now Mr. Santorum is crusading againt technology. Truly this man was born a few generationss too late. He truly belongs back in the age Ron Pauk wants to take us back to.

    And lets face it, his premise is wrong. Politicians have been able to use words written by others since before World War 1. But back in those days, they had a few days on the train between cities to practice and memorize the speeches.

    Maybe Mr. Santorum should take advantage of modern technology so he could stay on message. A teleprompter might have won him Michigan and Ohio by keeping him away from culture wars. It definitely would have helped him hold the catholic vote in more moderate areas of the country instead of him bashing JFK. Maybe he would have skipped the line of calling the Presient a snob for wanting people to pursue at least 1 year of higher education.

    Then again, maybe not.

    March 12, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  15. Zach

    There is no way Santorum will ever be president of the United States.

    March 12, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  16. Cfrench

    Illegal? So much for his understanding of the judicial branch. Maybe he can "pray" the machines away.

    March 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  17. Patricia

    I actually find this a valid point. We see that when the President's teleprompter goes awry. He stumbles and utters something he later offers he had not meant this or that.

    The President cannot think on his feet Apparently, as all he has done so far is delegate. He is not a Leader, he is someone who has to be led.

    March 12, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  18. Bernard Webb

    "Reading someone else's words to people"? Can't a person write their speech themselves and then read it off the teleprompter so that (a) they're sure they get everything right, and (b) they can maintain crucial eye contact with their audience? I have never understood when or why these devices that so many people use became evil. Was it when Obama was seen with one?

    March 12, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  19. Merlin

    Seriously, if the "most powerful man in the world" doesn't have the intellect to speak to each audience without the utilization of preconceived script writing, should he/she truly be allowed to lead the nation? Deny and Ban teleprompters and force the so-called leaders and speakers to speak for themselves on their own time. Let's select from the true leaders, not the actors, script readers, and those who wish they could free speak.

    Goodbye Mr. President.

    March 12, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  20. Jean Sember

    He's so pathetic!

    March 12, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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