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Santorum calls rivals hypocrites for declining Trump debate

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, December 8, 2011 20:10 EDT
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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore.
 
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum lashed out at his rivals on Thursday for turning down an invitation to the Donald Trump-moderated debate on December 27.

It now appears the debate will only be between Santorum and the latest frontrunner, Newt Gingrich.

“Many of my opponents jockeyed to be the first to fly up to New York and use Donald Trump for a photo op and no doubt try and secure an endorsement,” Santorum said in a statement. “But when Donald wants to moderate a debate – they refuse to attend. That’s what’s so wrong with politics today – hypocrisy.”

Gingrich, Perry, Romney and Bachmann have all met with Trump during their campaigns.

Rep. Ron Paul was the first candidate to decline, with his spokesman describing the event as “beneath the office of the Presidency.” Shortly afterwards, former Utah Governor John Huntsman declined as well.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney later turned down the invitation as well. Texas Governor Rick Perry and Rep. Michelle Bachmann followed suit on Thursday.

“At this critical time in our nation’s history, just weeks before Iowan’s cast this important vote – many of the other candidates want to hide behind TV ads and mail pieces,” Santorum continued. “We plan to be there front and center in person to debate Newt directly, and if it’s just the two of us, we’re fine with it.”

Even Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), has said he thinks the debate is “a problem.

Santorum concluded: “There’s no doubt that any of us are better than Barack Obama – however, we can’t afford to put up a person who can’t clearly articulate a vision or has a glass jaw or a unprincipled past. Donald Trump knows business and knows global markets – and we all know he’ll be able to bring in a broad audience. And let’s be honest, at least Donald Trump will have more in common with the candidates than with the vast majority of past moderators.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
 
 
 
 
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