The Blog

Santorum: 'I Would Never Vote for Barack Obama Over Any Republican'

12:01 PM, Mar 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Rick Santorum is pushing back against what he's calling a misinterpreted quotation, in which he's being reported as saying he'd vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential contest. "I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican," Santorum says in a statement, "and to suggest otherwise is preposterous."

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

Santorum blames Mitt Romney's camp for "distort[ing]" and "distract[ing]" voters. "This is just another attempt by the Romney Campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney’s policies mirror Barack Obama’s."

Santorum further clarifies the intention of his remarks. "I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it’s easy to see why - Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts. Voters have to be excited enough to actually go vote, and my campaign's movement to restore freedom is exciting this nation. If this election is about Obama versus the Obama-Lite candidate, we have a tough time rallying this nation. It's time for bold vision, bold reforms and bold contrasts. This election is about more than Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Rick Santorum – this campaign is about freedom and I will fight to restore your freedoms."

The controversy began when Santorum said this in reference to a Romney advisor likening his candidate to an Etch-A-Sketch who would have a clean slate in the general election. "You win by giving people a choice. ... You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. ... Santorum added: “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

Upon hearing Santorum's statement, Romney issued this statement yesterday, which Santorum believes started the whole firestorm. "I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America’s promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure," Romney said.

And now, today, Santorum is trying to reverse the narrative.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers