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Santorum On Why He’s Better Than Romney: ‘I Have No Teleprompters’ Santorum On Why He’s Better Than Romney: ‘I Have No Teleprompters...

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Campaign 2012

Santorum On Why He’s Better Than Romney: ‘I Have No Teleprompters’

An Obama joke is repurposed to suggest a Republican rival is inauthentic.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Many Republican candidates make barbed jokes about President Obama’s use of a teleprompter. But Rick Santorum seemed to repurpose the jab Sunday to target rival Mitt Romney, who sometimes uses a teleprompter for speeches on election nights and other occasions.

“I never have to worry about what I say because I will say what's on my heart. I might not say it the most articulate sometimes and I understand that, but I have no teleprompters. I answer questions,” Santorum told an audience at a nightclub here. “I answer questions from the public in front of cameras. I answer questions from the press every day. I don't hide. I don't hide from the public. I don't have structured events where only my friends are in front of me to take questions.”
 
Both men were on television interview shows answering questions Sunday, but Romney holds few press availabilities compared to Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator often seems unable to resist a news camera in his face, no matter what the question.

 

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said her candidate is plenty accessible. "Not only has he had town halls this week and taken questions from voters, he has done local TV and radio interviews every day, all day and that's not to mention the editorial boards as well," she said in an email. However, Romney doesn't put local interviews on his schedule or routinely alert his traveling press corps when he is doing them. It has been 19 days since his last press availability.

With less than two days until the Michigan primary on Tuesday, Santorum unleashed not just the teleprompter allusion but a whole series of attacks taking off from Romney’s description of himself as “resolute” at a debate last week in Arizona. “Maybe he doesn’t understand what the term resolute means. But it means that you’re supposed to have sort of a resolve, a consistent pattern of beliefs,” Santorum said. “Not be for the private sector when you’re out there working on your own and then government bailouts when you’re in public policy. Not saying that you believe in conservative economics and then supporting government takeover of the healthcare system.”

Santorum was particularly sarcastic about Romney’s defense of the Massachusetts health care law which he signed as governor. Romney says it is appropriate for states to pass their own laws but he’d repeal the federal health reform law that puts in place a national system similar to the one in Massachusetts.  “Wow, that’s a big difference,” Santorum said mockingly, summing up Romney’s position as “I’m for government running your life only in the state capitol, not at the nation’s capitol.”

 

Sarah B. Boxer contributed contributed to this article.

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