Santorum: That “snob” comment probably wasn’t the “smartest” thing I’ve ever said

posted at 6:45 pm on March 2, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Rick Santorum today attempted to take back comments in which he said Barack Obama is a “snob” because he wants to see as many Americans as possible go to college.

Speaking on CNN, Santorum said when he called Obama a snob, he was speaking more in terms of Obama’s larger policy agenda.

“I was giving a long riff about the president mandating things on people,” Santorum said Friday. “I was talking about the government and president mandating healthcare and, you know, what kind of loans we’re going to get.”

Santorum’s comment came in response to President Obama saying that every American should have the chance to go to college, a community college, vocational school or technical school.

“And so I was commenting on the general attitude of, as I do in all of my speeches, of top down, government knows best,” Santorum added. “And so I — I used the term snob. You know, it was a — it was a strong term, probably not the smartest thing.”

This is the second phrase Rick Santorum has regressively edited back this week. Three days ago, he expressed regret at the choice of words he used to describe his reaction to JFK’s “separation of church and state” speech:

Rick Santorum said Sunday that John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on the separation of church and state made him want to “throw up.” On Tuesday, he said he wished he “had that particular line back.”

When conservative radio host Laura Ingraham challenged him on the apparently off-message comments that have provoked considerable controversy, the GOP presidential candidate said, “I would agree with you on that. I wish I had that particular line back.”

Yet Santorum went on to defend his criticism of Kennedy’s speech and launched an attack on President Barack Obama. “And if you read President Kennedy’s text, while there were certainly some very important things and good things he said in that, there were some things that triggered in my opinion the privatization of faith and I think that’s a bad thing.” He continued, “I think we need to have a free exercise of religion in this country and it’s important for those First Amendment freedoms to be alive and well in America and I think they are threatened here in America as we’ve seen by President Obama, not by Rick Santorum.”

Both of these examples suggest Charles Krauthammer was right when he wrote that Rick Santorum knows why he lost Arizona and Michigan Tuesday. They also lend credence to Ann Coulter’s theory that “the problem with Santorum” is not his conservative positions, but the way he expresses them.

The question is: Will Santorum be able to move forward with a message that inspires and reminds voters why they gave him a chance in the first place? Revisiting his more controversial comments from the past few weeks doesn’t help to advance his campaign. The better plan would be to do what Romney did shortly before Michigan: Reintroduce his ideas to improve the economy. Santorum should talk again about his coal-mining grandpa and not waste time trying to convince voters he’s cool with contraception or career women. And always, at every turn, Santorum — and all of the GOP candidates — should remind voters that, as president, he will fight to preserve Americans’ essential freedoms. Santorum always gets around to that message eventually (as above), but he’s got to lead with it, repeat it and end with it. It’s the only way forward.


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Snob s/b elitest hogbreath. Just saying.

platypus on March 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM

The Left in total admiration of Rick’s attempts at class warfare.

John the Libertarian on March 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM

“And so I — I used the term snob. You know, it was a — it was a strong term, probably not the smartest thing.”

oh no…..not a strong term. why are there so many wimps in the republican party?

GhoulAid on March 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Yah think

gerrym51 on March 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Romney will never call Obama a snob. Santorum is a fringe

liberal4life on March 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM

What was the smartest thing he said?

Rusty Allen on March 2, 2012 at 6:48 PM

What weasels on the right. Obama is nothing if not a narcissistic snob. Romney is one too. Rick also…just watch him talk.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Its not that you SAID that, Sweater Vest. Its that either you a) actually think like that or b) you are a populist tool playing to the crowd like the dishonest jerk that I know you really are.

Take THIS one for the team why dont you.

PS: Sweater Vests look REAL dumb.

Jailbreak on March 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I think he will say something smart after Tuesday, “I quit”.

Rusty Allen on March 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Gnats are always dumb.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

why they gave him a chance in the first place?

Not Pawlenty Bachmann Cain Huntsman Perry Gingrich(???) …

Jeddite on March 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I could care less about Santorum, but atleast he admits when he’s wrong.

Mitt is still refusing to admit RomneyCare was wrong.

portlandon on March 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM

PS: Sweater Vests look REAL dumb.

Jailbreak on March 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

So do leftist trolls on conservative sites. Just saying.

platypus on March 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM

It wasn’t the dumbest thing you’ve ever said – it was the truest thing you’ve ever said. Obama’s nose goes up in the air more than his finger.

The Nerve on March 2, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Yeah, but it may be one of the most honest assessments of the Dingleberry in Chief.

waterytart on March 2, 2012 at 6:54 PM

PS: Sweater Vests look REAL dumb.

Jailbreak on March 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

what about mom jeans? how about wearing a belt over your gut, right under your breasts, and also being sleeveless in order to draw attention away from your huge @$$? hmmmmmmm???

GhoulAid on March 2, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Wake me when Obama walks back comments. We’re doomed. It must be in the Republican’s genes or something. And I don’t see Sarah doing it so it’s linked to the Y-chromosome.

Marcus on March 2, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Nice try, but “snob” does not equate to statist.

And didn’t Santorum’s base love that comment? Why is he trying to walk that one back?

Syzygy on March 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

And always, at every turn, Santorum — and all of the GOP candidates — should remind voters that, as president, he will fight to preserve Americans’ essential freedoms. Santorum always gets around to that message eventually (as above), but he’s got to lead with it, repeat it and end with it. It’s the only way forward.

Santorum won’t fight to preserve Americans’ essential freedoms; he’s already stated he doesn’t believe in limited government. Here’s what else he has said, and he hasn’t taken it back:

A recent Time magazine symposium asked leading thinkers on the Right, “What Is Conservatism?” Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist offered this answer: “Conservatives ask only one thing of the government. They wish to be left alone.”

Tell that to Santorum, whose agenda rests on meddling with other people, sometimes with laws, sometimes with aircraft carrier groups.

“This idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do,” Santorum complained to NPR in 2006, “that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues … that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”

http://reason.com/archives/2012/02/14/santorum-is-severely-wrong

The Gang of Four

Starring Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q7l70tmxWg

mountainaires on March 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

While we are busy with words that were not meant to sound certain way, obama, his Administration and Czars are changing this nation so gradually that by Nov. we will not recognize it and you are struggling with words? How will you then debate him? And you wants to be the nominee?
What a weak candidate!!

evergreenland on March 2, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Who’s going to win Washington on Saturday?

It might be Romney.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/03/02/wholl_win_in_washington_state_its_anybodys_guess_113343.html

mountainaires on March 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Now, now Santo. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s probably the smartest thing you’ve said in your entire life.

MJBrutus on March 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Can anyone imagine BO apologizing for/rephrasing any inflammatory filth he’s ever said?

We’re in the situation we’re in because of Republican candidates too afraid of everything the liberal media could say about them to take any principled stands on anything except the things the media knows to alienate independents. Hey Ricky, take a page from Rush or Chris Christie. “You’re damn right I think he’s a snob!” And this guy is supposed to be the true conservative alternative to Willard?

SMOD ’12

Transpo on March 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM

If this race was ever about the issues and conservatism in general, Romney wouldn’t be in contention. RomneyCare alone should have disqualified. Who’s Ann Coulter supporting again? That’s right.

Dr. Tesla on March 2, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Ricky is like a poison pill bottle with a loose cap.

aniptofar on March 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Ann Coulter’s theory that “the problem with Santorum” is not his conservative positions, but the way he expresses them.

Listen up, Mitt. In the next administration, Chris Cristie for VP. Bolton for Sec. of State. Palin for Sec. of Energy. Ann Coulter for AG. Try that.

petefrt on March 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Rick Santorum has said a LOT of dumb things. Like admitting during the debates that he voted for certain laws because he was willing to “take one for the team” because George W. Bush asked him to. That was his excuse for other laws he voted for.

He doesn’t inspire leadership in me if he’s willing to take a few for the team.

Conservative Samizdat on March 2, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Your being absurd Rick ! I donated to your campaign but your criticism of Rush today was a real turn off. Like Mitt you are becoming very flaky :(

Sandybourne on March 2, 2012 at 7:21 PM

0bama is a snob.

As are all liberal, racist elites.

CurtZHP on March 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Democrats in Washington said comments like this about Bush on good days. This reminds me of that post a few months ago about “serious Republicans” warning not to make it personal with Obummer or whatever. Grow a spine!

Roymunson on March 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Santorum keeps trying to further cement his credentials as a passionate social conservative when we’re already perfectly aware of that fact.

It makes no sense.

The Ugly American on March 2, 2012 at 7:26 PM

What was the smartest thing he said?

Rusty Allen on March 2, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Choose any of his retorts to Ron Paul during the debates ; )

The Ugly American on March 2, 2012 at 7:27 PM

But Obama is a snob, and fewer people should be going to college for ‘liberal arts’ degrees. But this was a gaffe that needed to be retracted.

Meanwhile Obama and Ds say the most absurd things and never back-peddle on any of them.

forest on March 2, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Can anyone imagine BO apologizing?

That’s right. This is a sign Ricky has spent too much time in Washington. You should never let the media get your goat!

We’re in the situation we’re in because of Republican candidates too afraid of everything the liberal media could say about them. . .Hey Ricky, take a page from Rush or Chris Christie. “You’re damn right I think he’s a snob!”

That’s right. An apology here, a clarification there, and pretty soon we’re talking about . . . John Boehner.

Emperor Norton on March 2, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Rick Santorum today attempted to take back comments in which he said Barack Obama is a “snob” because he wants to see as many Americans as possible go to college.

Senator Santorum’s comment will in no way diminish his chances of working for Fox News.

The only possible useful purpose the retraction might serve would only come into play if he was going to be the Republican nominee.

Why bother?

MessesWithTexas on March 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Santorum said a lot of stupid things that cost him Michigan. He is too undisciplined to run for Prez.

Tasha on March 2, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Ann Coulter for AG? I’m not wild about a woman who thinks it’s perfectly legit for states to ban anything, even Gummy Bears!!!! If she truly believes this idea that government at the state level can do whatever it wants to you, I don’t want that woman in power at any level.

Dr. Tesla on March 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM

What has been “inspiring” about Romney’s campaign? I’m not hearing much from him or his supporters than only he has a shot at beating Obama and goofy stuff about he saved the Winter Games and he thinks he’s good at running things, never mind RomneyCare.

Dr. Tesla on March 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

He used the wrong word–he misspoke. Who would base their vote on something so minor? Why all of these negative comments? I went through the 2008 election hoping for the best, but knowing that people would not look at Obama’s record. Then I hoped he wouldn’t cause too much damage. He was 10 times worse than I thought he was going to be. We need someone to undo what Obama and the Democrats have done. Someone who is strong and real and dedicated. Santorum or Gingrich, but I don’t think Gingrich has a chance. Please people–think about your kids!

LL1960 on March 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Listen up, Mitt. In the next administration, Chris Cristie for VP. Bolton for Sec. of State. Palin for Sec. of Energy. Ann Coulter for AG. Try that.

petefrt on March 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

To quote our weeper-with-a-gavel, “Hell no!” Susana Martinez for VP. Newt for Press Sec. Christie for AG. Palin for Energy, right until it is eliminated. And Ann Coulter for Bill Maher’s mattress where she belongs.

Archivarix on March 2, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Santorum sets his own hair on fire by trash-talking Obama, and loses a percentage point in the voting tally. Next!

As for discussing the Kennedy speech, this is why the first law of holes was codified. He must be working on his own political grave.

Confutus on March 2, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I didn’t see the clip. Did Santorum bat his eyes, then close them and smile like a shy school girl being asked to dance? It’s funny when he does that.

jan3 on March 2, 2012 at 9:57 PM

He used the wrong word–he misspoke. Who would base their vote on something so minor? Why all of these negative comments?

LL1960 on March 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Like when Romney used the adjective “severe” and got reamed for a week? Or when he said he wasn’t “concerned” about the poor because they have a safety net that can be fixed if needed, which was then twisted into Romney said he doesn’t “care” about the poor? Santorum was one of the people criticizing Romney for both of those misspeaks. So if Santorum “misspoke” that’s just too bad. He’s paying for not being perfect now.

jan3 on March 2, 2012 at 10:08 PM

You’re right Ricky, it was one of the more honest things you’ve said.

One of my nearish neighbors didn’t even finish high school. He started and runs an HVAC operation that has pushed him well into the evil 1%.

College is way over-rated. There are far too many people doing BS degrees because they have been told to go to college or think it’s going to make them more money having a bachelors. Kids who go to college need to be goal-oriented. Study something career oriented or study what you really want to study.

Don’t just look at it as a check in a box.

Canada has a real problem at the moment with their lack of skills tradesmen. They have a boat load of grads and precious few people who can boast a trade. In Calgary more and more kids are going straight out of high school into the oil business. Good money and a marketable trade are more appealing to them than a degree in underwater basket-weaving from a no-name college.

CorporatePiggy on March 2, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Between Santorum and Romney, it is hard to decide who can be a more cheesy politician…

It is truly disgusting to see that after all the hard work that Barry Goldwater did, the most likely GOP nominee is going to be just another progressive, mandate-loving Northeastern Rockefeller Republican… and his biggest challenger is most definitely no one’s idea of Mr.Conservative. and that’s putting it mildly.

If this kind of amateurish nonsense goes on, the self implosion of the GOP this November is all but guaranteed.

nagee76 on March 3, 2012 at 8:10 AM

This comment of extreme social conservative Rick Santorum’s is just one more example of why he’s such a lousy candidate.

The unelectable theocrat bigot Rick Santorum would lose to Obama in a landslide.

A Vote for the Bigot Rick Santorum in the Primary = A Vote for Barack Obama’s Reelection.

The Democrats know that Rick Santorum couldn’t win more than 4 or 5 states in a general election (heck, Rick Santorum so far hasn’t been able to win a single primary that wasn’t a beauty contest), so they are doing all they can to help this guy.

Rick Santorum is the preferred candidate of The Establishment… the Democrat Establishment, that is! They want Santorum because they know that, if the Republicans nominate Santorum, then Obama would coast to victory in November.

bluegill on March 3, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Pretty dumb comment Santorum.

But at least you’re humble enough to admit it.

scotash on March 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM