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AP, Kasie Hunt Try to Perpetuate 'Hatchet Job of All Time' Claim That Santorum Said He Would Support Obama Over Romney

Tom Blumer's picture

Failure to heed Rush Limbaugh's Thursday warning relating to another matter ("If I were you, I would regard every AP story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama") is allowing the Associated Press to perpetuate what I demonstrated on Friday is a totally unsupported falsehood concerning a statement made by presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

What Santorum said was a clearly conditional statement (full context and here): "If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future." Here is what the AP's headline writers and the wire service's Will Weissert twisted things on Friday (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):


Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee and for a second day compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy.

Conservatives and Republicans may not like what Santorum actually said, but that's not the issue at this blog. The issue is whether what AP wrote is correct. The answer is that there's no conceivable way you can stretch what Santorum said into what the AP's Weissert wrote. As I noted on Friday: "the statement is conditional, and that if Romney can demonstrate that he is more than 'a little different,' Santorum's concern is no longer valid."

As expected from a news organization which, as Rush asserted, seems dedicated to the reelection of Barack Obama over virtually everything else, the AP's Kasie Hunt doubled down on Saturday in her report (also saved at host) from Louisiana:

Rick Santorum is looking to Louisiana for a much-needed rebound as Republican voters go to the polls Saturday in the state's GOP primary.

The former Pennsylvania senator is expected to do well in the contest, just a handful of days after a decisive loss to front-runner Mitt Romney in Illinois on Tuesday.

... Santorum spent much of Friday on the defensive, explaining comments he made earlier in the week and insisting he would support the eventual GOP nominee. Still, Santorum says there are similarities between front-runner Romney and Obama that make them indistinguishable on some issues. He caused an intraparty uproar earlier in the week after suggesting he'd prefer a second term for Obama over a Romney presidency.

"Over my dead body would I vote for Barack Obama," Santorum said as he walked back his original comments less than 24 hours before Louisiana polls were set to open.

Santorum never suggested anything of the kind, but Hunt and AP appear to want his non-existent "suggestion" (note how she "cleverly" moved away from "said") and his non-existent "walkback" to become part of Campaign 2012 folklore. Unfortunately, many center-right pundits and outlets, either because they allowed themselves to be deceived without going to the tape or because they can't resist the chance to cynically bash a candidate who isn't their guy, have parroted what the AP has written. They should know better to presumptively believe anything the AP writes, especially about Republicans and conservatives (and in some cases I believe they do know better, but went ahead anyway).

Santorum, with understandable hyperbole considering the circumstances, characterized the AP's smear as "the hatchet job of all time" in an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Friday.

Whether or not Romney is more than "a little different" from Barack Obama is a matter for debate -- and it's not as if the cause for having the debate doesn't exist. There are more than a few conservatives who have followed Mitt Romney since his gubernatorial term in Massachusetts who have cited at least a dozen current and historical examples (best compilations are here and here) of where the differences between Romney and Obama are from all appearances either small or non-existent. There is one update to an assertion at the second link: RomneyCare currently has abortions with no copay, not the $50 copay cited.

If the candidate can't explain them away or acknowledge and apologize for having made serious mistakes, then the concern about whether or not he is more than "a little different" from Barack Obama will remain a topic subject to debate.

What isn't open to debate is that the Associated Press has brazenly deceived its news users and subscribing outlets, and has shown yet again why it completely deserves to be called the Administration's Press -- or perhaps even better (partial HT to a NewsBusters reader), the Administration's Propagandists.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.


Comments

#1 Wow

Tom you can admonish the media for trashing on a Republican primary candidate for the trillionth time. What you can't do is convince me that Santorum meant something else. His statement clearly implies that Romney is just like Obama and that any election match up would be meaningless.

Also the AP would hate it if we actually started running against Obama right now, instead of ourselves.

#2 What you can't do is convince

What you can't do is convince me that Santorum meant something else.

What about ...

“(I've been) traveling around this country saying that the highest priority is to defeat Barack Obama, and what I was saying there is that, if we don’t have a choice, then the American public, y’know, may decide to keep Barack Obama. That’s all I said. I’ve said it in every speech.”

... don't you understand?

If that's not good enough, how about the quote I just added in the interest of forcing home the point: ""Over my dead body would I vote for Barack Obama"?

As Stacey McCain says so eloquently: "Don’t let liberals tell you what to think. Don’t play along with the 'gotcha' game. Don’t help them defame people’s reputations." Like it or not, that's what you're doing.

#3 But Tom that argument is

But Tom that argument is predicated on Santorum's pitch that he is more conservative than Romney, and that Romney is the same thing as Obama. That's actually in dispute if you look at how many people have chosen Romney over Santorum. I can't help Santorum and his failing non-starter campaign, the media is going to hate him with or without me anyway.

#4 Oh please

That's actually in dispute if you look at how many people have chosen Romney over Santorum.

That's not the yardstick for whose beliefs, actions and results are or aren't conservative.

On the results side, he has done more damage to conservatism than any person alive. You can't read the linked article and credibly claim to disagree after completing it.

#5 well Tom

This is kind of picking and choosing isn't it? What about Fox and Drudge?

#6 They both ...

... relied on the AP story.

Drudge's headline linked to the AP story.

This link at Fox from Friday is to the AP story.

They relied on AP's content either gullibly or opportunistically. You can decide which on each.

#7 well Tom

They obviously agreed with what they said. Fox is mostly fair and balanced right? How about those other far left liberal websites that believe this bias like Townhall and Newsmax?

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/kevinglass/2012/03/23/santorum_suggests_ano...

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/santorum-romney-presidential-election/2...

#8 I don't know where you got

I don't know where you got the idea that I (since I agree with Tom) just take everything that comes from Fox News or townhall as infallible.

I don't read Newsmax, but if they had that there, then I disagree with them too.

#9 i never said infallable

In fact I did not refer to you at all in this forum. Also the words I used were fair and balanced.

Mr Blumer said Fox and Drudge referenced the AP article. Newsmax and Townhall were original articles but I could be wrong.

#10 ➚ Neither did motherbelt

Motherbelt used the word "infallible", meaning "without error"

Shawn used "infallable" beaning (I guess) "incapable of falling?"

#11 lol CA

You got me :-)

#12 ➚ If you get my beaning

;-)

#13 You are making antithetical posts.

Antithetical posts that are directly disagreeing with contributors. Antithetical posts that question Fox News. A site rarely identified as having a bias problem here on this site. Then complaining when you are identified as a troll.

#14 well unlike you

Mr Blumer defends his points with class and adds much to this site unlike the attention seeking parasite like yourself.

#15 I realize you are at war with The Vet, shawn, and are ---

"fighting fire with fire" so to speak; but The Vet does indeed add a tremendous amount to this site in the way of information, humor, and troll dismemberment..

What individual, shawn, that posts here without being under duress, isn't seeking attention in one form or another?

Using the phrase"attention seeking parasite" may have a ring to it, but people in glass houses ---

MD

"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#16 ~Well!

I don't know 'bout y'all, but I gotta gun to my head.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#17 VIOLENT IMAGERY!

Gasp Bru you're now speaking violently about yourself! Horrors! Are you afraid for yourself from yourself?

Proud member of the 53%!

#18 Good evening Rad

It's plain to see she's going to shoot that mean broad if we don't do what she says.

 

Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#19 Good evening Bru

When I saw the "Well!!" I thought Jack Benny had returned. It's OK since it's you. but I'm still a little disappointed that ir's not him.

 

Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#20 ~I'm almost as funny

and much easier on the eyes.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#21 Full disclosure, Bru ---

so do I.

Luckily, even though it's only a water pistol, it is empty.

Seeking attention is perfectly reasonable when attempting to right the wrongs put forth by the media, or when showing support for those who do.    :o)

MD

"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#22 ~Well, since you showed me yours, I'll show you mine

I have come here to chew bubblegum, and to kick @ss.

And I'm all out of bubblegum.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#23 Not me, Bru ---

I hang around here in order to stay current on liberal lies that the 'main stream' media won't admit to putting out.

The additional benefit of observing trolls getting their asses kicked seven ways from Sunday, however,  is a most enjoyable side effect.  :o)

MD 

"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#24 Don't do it Bru! The world

Don't do it Bru! The world is a better place with you in it.

For the MSM: In your pomp and all your glory, you're a poorer man than me.  As you lick the boots of death born out of fear.

Ian Anderson "Wind up"

#25 Funny.

I don't feel like a parasite.

#26 Shawn

Newsmax has been going downhill for some time. They have Kathleen Parker as a regular columnist.

#27 There's no question that

There's no question that Santorum meant that if you don't vote for him, somebody truly different, truly conservative, that you might as well just vote for Obama. I was somewhat undecided before hearing him say this. I thought that either candidate would be a huge improvement over Obama, but now I know that Santorum sees the current situation the same way he's seen/voted on other controversial, unappealing to conservatives, legislation. He is willing to throw in his towel and everybody else's towel when challenged. He obviously doesn't understand the importance of this election past his own aspirations.

#28 How can you spin what he said

I don't know how you can spin what he said, when there is video of him making the statement. It is very clear that he means "we" (not including himself in that we as he claimed later which is another story) might as well vote for Obama if "etch a sketch candidate of the future" meaning Romney becomes the nominee. Why are you spinning this?

In God We Trust.

#29 There is no spin ...

... he didn't say what the AP claimed he said that (in AP's quotemark-free works) "he'd prefer a second term for Obama over a Romney presidency."

It's not arguable.

The AP is spinning, and you're dancing right along.

#30 The concept is not that difficult.

Different people have said the same thing excepting they were not candidates for the Presidential office.

1. Given - Barack Obama is leading this country to fiscal disaster, going off the fiscal cliff.

2. Posit - There is a Republican candidate that will act exactly as Obama in leading this country off the fiscal cliff.

3. Conclusion - It would be better to have a "D" at the helm when the country goes off the fiscal cliff as the "R"'s will be better positioned to pick up the pieces and set in motion a system to make sure it never happens again.

Mr Blumer is 100% spot on.

#31 Balderdash! Santorum did mean Obama over Romney

Ok...the media is clearly and overwhelmingly biased to the left and slobbers all over Obama. That said, Santorum slipped off the cliff with his statement that it would be preferable to sticl with Obama than a Romney Presidency. His comments could not have been clearer. I heard Santorum try to explain his statement on Hannity and he stumbled badly but was helped by a symphathetic Hannity who favors anyone but Romney (Santorum...and especially Newt)..

Those of you on Newsbusters who say there is not a HUGE difference between Romney and Obama are as biased in your own way as is the liberal media (in your disdain for Romney). Romney policies are radically opposed to Obama's in virtually all the major categories led by Romney undeniable support of business and free enterprise. Other major ones are foreiign policy, immigration, energy, in fact too many to mention.

Santorum is clearly in this for himself and does not care about tne desterate need we have to defeat Obama...unless it is him doing so.. As the Romney candidacy becomes more inevitable, Rick has become desperate. Yes he won Lousiana but the balance of the primaries strongly favor Romney.

Much to the chagrin of the many social issues first advocates on Newstbusters I have said many times that Romney is a much stronger candidate which has been born out in many polls (like them or not). Santorum is a lightweight career politician who voted for earmarks, raising the debt limit, and played the game in the senate. At least Romney understands business and has created jobs successfuly and will oversee a vigorous apporach to getting job creation through free enterprise moving again...it is the Economy.... Americans are most concerned with getting or keeping their jobs, not having to pay $5/gallon for gas and seeing a massive government grow. Santorum is out for himself and will be a sore loser when he drops out...if he ever does. Oh.....and don't forget...Santorum campaigned for Romney in 2008 calling him the clear conservative choice.

Chris H. Beyer Right of Way Pundit

#32 Then I suppose you have responses ...

... to this and this which are substantive and specific?

#33 Substantive and Specific, yet still distortions

Just like AP is distorting exactly what Santorum said, the first link you provide distorts Romney's record:

The link, (greggjackson.com), claims:  Obama supports abortion on demand. Romney signed $50 co-pay abortions into law...

When I see someone claiming that Romney signed a law that provides for a $50 co-pay for abortions, that's pretty much what I would think that law would state.  Yet, without much effort I found the following rebuttal to that claim:  3* But didn’t Romney’s health care bill include $50 abortion copays?

"No, the bill does not mention abortion. Blaming the co-pay on Romney is a bit like blaming the founding fathers for Roe v Wade, since the Constitution created the Supreme Court. The truth is, the bill Romney signed does not say anything about abortion but creates an independent agency called the “Connector” which sets the co-pay amount.(4)"   

I'm not trying to defend Romney as Governor of Massachusetts.  I'm merely pointing out that distortions abound when it comes to politics.  Of course, I'm just basing my post on the information contained in the website I linked, (which is a pro-Romney website).  In order to research it thoroughly, I would have to go to the source and read the actual bill that Romney signed.


 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas...on the taxpayer’s dime." Barack Obama

#34 That's a "response"?

In other words:
- Romney signed RomneyCare.
- RomneyCare created the Connector.
- The Connector set the co-pay amount for abortions (because taxpayer-funded abortions are permitted in RomneyCare) at $50.
- The fact that the Connector, which owes its very existence to RomneyCare, was able to set the copay at $50 (BTW, it's zero for certain patients) is not Romney's fault?

O ... M ... G. Someone please pass the duct tape.

#35 It's still a distortion

Is the end result, a $50 co-pay for an abortion Romney's fault? Sure, because he signed the legislation that created the entity which had the authority to write the co-pays. But we are talking about distortions. Romney didn't sign a bill that specified $50 co-pays for abortions. A more accurate way to portray what happened would be:

Legislation signed by Romney resulted in $50 co-pay for abortions

I dislike the open ended legislation that is created by political bodies that gives authorization to subsequently created panels where those panels then write the actual laws.  It results in "cover" being taken by the politicians who can then say, "Hey!, i didn't intend on that as the result."  But I also want to be accurate in the description of what these politicians are doing, when they do it.

A distortion is still a distortion.  It doesn't cease to be one because of the level of degree of the distortion.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas...on the taxpayer’s dime." Barack Obama

#36 Wow ...

OK, you're agreeing that:

- "taxpayer-funded abortions are permitted in RomneyCare" (which hadn't been the case before. Two state court rulings were interpreted to "mandate" that they be covered, but they never were, because court rulings in Massachusetts don't create law. Only the Legislature does, and it never created such a law ... until it passed ... RomneyCare).

- all the Connector did is set the copay for the service.

But you still insist that it's a "distortion" to say that Romney's signature on RomneyCare "resulted" (led to) a $50 copay for abortions.

You've got to be kidding me.

#37 Not at all

It's accurate to say that Romney's signature on RomneyCare resulted, (or led to) a $50 co-pay for abortions. I have absolutely no problem with that.

The distortion that I pointed out originally was from a link you provided, which stated.

  • Romney signed $50 co-pay abortions into law

If the greggjackson.com article that you linked stated that Romney signed legislation that resulted in $50 co-pay abortions becoming law, then there would have been no distortions.  The qualifier "becoming" being key.  It's my contention that the phrase "Romney signed $50 co-pay abortions into law" implies that that is exactly what he did;  that Romney signed legislation that stated, prior to his signature, that $50 co-pay abortions would become law.

I think there is a big difference between the two statements.  Greggjackson.com could have accurately pointed out what happened without reducing the point they are trying to make.  I don't think it's a "distinction without a difference".  It's a distortion to say that "Romney signed $50 co-pay abortions into law".  It's simply not accurate.  Romney signed legislation that resulted in a $50 co-pay for abortions is accurate.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas...on the taxpayer’s dime." Barack Obama

#38 Wow ...

OK, you're agreeing that:

- "taxpayer-funded abortions are permitted in RomneyCare" (which hadn't been the case before. Two state court rulings were interpreted to "mandate" that they be covered, but they never were, because court rulings in Massachusetts don't create law. Only the Legislature does, and it never created such a law ... until it passed ... RomneyCare).

- all the Connector did is set the copay for the service.

But you still insist that it's a "distortion" to say that Romney's signature on RomneyCare "resulted" (led to) a $50 copay for abortions.

You've got to be kidding me.

#39 Again. The concept is not that hard.

If Rick Santorum were saying the same things as Mitt Romney and take the same positions as Mitt Romney, then you might as well vote for Mitt Romney.

Am I telling you to vote for Mitt Romney? No. I am setting a conditon. If. If. If.

If 1. a: in the event that
b: allowing that
c: on the assumption that
d: on condition that

Seeing as Rick Santorum is different, says different things, and takes different positions, then the condition is not met and you are under no sway to vote for Mitt Romney using my condition as stated.

#40 Great point made on radio.......

The Leftist media shows their true colors everytime someone on the Right makes anything they consider a gaffe. How do they show it? Because on the Left, there's this guy named Joe Biden, who spits out gaffes and stupidity faster than most humans, and he's VP. He provides all kinds of things for the media to treat like this, and do they? Nope, they don't.

That alone should tell anyone with a brain how biased the media is.

#41 Tom, I'm still on your side, for whatever that's worth.

AP twisted the story, Drudge headline their distortion, and everyone else ran with it.

This is just like the "rip and read" method of network news.

I'd still like to know in what universe "might as well" translates to "it's preferable to."

For most people with a knowledge of the English (and assuming nothing is being distorted) "might as well" is equaivalent to "6 of one, half a dozen of the other." 

Santorum said if you're only going to have a "little" difference  "might as well" stay with the devil you know, rather than going with the devil you don't.

But apparently the judgment's been made, Santorum's been mischaracterized, and it's now set in stone.

I can understand Drudge running with this, he's practically openly campaigning for Romney, (he ran a headline saying that Santorum ENDORSED Romney (4 years ago!) when Santorum wasn't even running.

I agree with you; this is a shameful feeding frenzy on what should have been a non-story.

#42 ~Just like the frenzy over a blurb about enforcing porn laws

The media doesn't report the news anymore; they make it.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#43 Mr. Blumer....

Read up this list and you will see the idiocy of Rick Santorum. :Look at the number of times you have to defend what you said. Why would anyone running for President say something as dumb as he did?

The answer is that Santorum is very lazy. As with Newt he has no organization of staff that can keep him pointed in the correct position. Let us be honest here please.

He know that he can't take the nomination. He is setting up a scenario where Romney loses this Fall and in 2016 he can ride in like a champion and win it all then. That is in his mind and in the mind of the very small staff he has. He believe he can pull a Reagan, but either he is not intelligent enough to remember 1976 or he does not understand what took place between 1976 and 1980.

He did an incredible faux pas and he should know it. The fact so many people are tying to explain this shows that this boy is not ready for prime time. April 3rd shall show that. It is time to get this over with and I understand that so far at least five very senior people have told him to drop out. He is killing his own future. He needs to go he had his fifteen minutes.

Jack

 

#44 Considering the liberal media*

Maybe Santorum should rely on a telepromptor

http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/25/santorum-zimmerman-has-a-very-sick-min...

#45 I'm not "defending" what I wrote ...

... I'm pointing out how people are letting themselves get conned by the AP spinmeisters.

It seems to be working rather well. If I were as craven as they, I would be having a good old time watching people buy into or take advantage of their bilge.

#46 This scenario is much like the brouhaha over the shooting ---

of the 17 year old Trayvon Martin; in that people are going to believe what they believe - regardless.

cbeyer is a case in point; he has been trashing Santorum from day one.

NTTAWWT; still a free country when it comes to trashing political figures.   Unless, of course, you are anything other than Black and happen to be dissatisfied with the current occupant of the Oval Office.  That (he) is an ass of a different color, as it were.

I will continue to side with those like Tom Blumer; professionals who present information gleaned from their perusing of myriad sources with fairness in mind rather than hype.

MD

"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#47 And as a professional...

He is not trouncing on one candidate or siding with one candidate over another.* I would be hard pressed, even with the borrowed WB gun to my head to say who Mr. Blumer is voting for. A true professional. He is reporting (somewhat by way of pointing out the bias of the MSM) on the candidates rather than trying to use his pulpit to push one candidate on us.

Sadly, it cannot be said for a lot of the MSM. There should be a website pointing that out.**

* Hear that blogger wannabe cbeyer.
**That was sarcasm. For those that don't know I occasionally engage in that.

#48 MatthewDean

There are few people I respect as much as you on this site. Yes the vet has done a good job at troll busting the past few years, but it has since gone to his head.

I try my best to ignore him, but he is kind of hard to ignore when he is constantly calling me a tard or comparing me to Nwahs and it gets tired.

He obviously is not happy when he is not trying to show off and get the attention he craves from some of the NB ladies. He thinks he is still in the military and thinks he is Richard Gere in Spanish even. Up where we belong is in the background and he is wearing his Navy hat while all the girls swoon of his skinny good looks.  However he comes across as more of Bluto. I have offered to end this many times with the Vet

Obviously the mods are okay with this schtick, but I find nothing wrong with fighting back.

#49 mattoodin! mattodin! mattodin!

I iz got thoroughly spnaked up dar above. Plz see me belowz. Iz try again.

#50 ~Shawn

Dude.

You've put waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much thought into that Vet fantasy.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#51 Absolutely nothing wrong with fighting back; ---

I doubt I would respect anyone who would roll over, curl up, and not take issue with what they consider being targeted.  

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

I would give an h/t for that one, but I have no idea who said it.

And so it goes.

MD

"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#52 It seems

John Wayne, or George Jetson

Seek Truth, Defend Liberty

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