Santorum Defiant After Lashing Out At Reporter

Mar 26, 2012 9:04am
gty rick santorum thg 120102 wblog Santorum Defiant After Lashing Out At Reporter

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Rick Santorum defended his outburst leveled at a New York Times reporter Sunday, who had asked the candidate to comment on a statement he made about Mitt Romney.

“If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of the campaign, you’re not really a real Republican is the way I look at it,” Santorum said during an interview on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning. “It was just one of these harassing moments and after having answered the question a few times and you know sort of comes back with the same question, same old spin.”

The incident occurred after a rally in Franksville, Wis., Sunday night, when Santorum was approached by Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times asking him to clarify what he meant when he labeled Romney as the “worst Republican in the country” to run against Barack Obama. That sparked the former senator to yell an expletive and accuse the reporter of “distorting my words.”

“To run against Barack Obama on the issue of health care because he fashioned the blueprint. I’ve been saying it in every speech. Quit distorting my words. If I see it, it’s bull****! C’mon man. What are you doing?” Santorum said.

After repeated questions from reporters, Santorum contended he made the comment in regards to Romney’s position on health care, nothing else.

“They had the Romney press secretary in the back of the room spinning these guys and you know he’s out there just sort of parodying this, and you know I already answered the question a couple of times and then he comes back at me again and I’m thinking you know I’m just not going to keep doing this,” Santorum said on the Fox show.

The Santorum campaign sent an e-mail to supporters saying they were trying to fight the New York Times and “liberal media.”

“Earlier today, while campaigning in Wisconsin, I criticized Romney and Obama for their outrageous health care legislation. Predictably, I was aggressively attacked by a New York Times reporter all too ready to defend the two of them, and all too ready to distort my words. Let me assure you, I didn’t back down, and I didn’t let him bully me. I think it is high time that conservatives find the courage to expose the liberal press for what they are, a defender and enabler of Romney’s and Obama’s liberal agendas,” the supporter e-mail reads.

Earlier in the week, Santorum accused reporters of distorting his words from a speech in which he suggested the country might be better off with President Obama than an “Etch A Sketch” candidate.

“I didn’t say that, I mean look, how many times have you guys heard me say this, that we have to have a clear choice. You guys should do some reporting instead of just reporting what Governor Romney feeds you,” Santorum told reporters Friday in West Monroe, La.

Santorum won the Louisiana primary with 49 percent of the vote, nearly doubling Romney’s total.

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