Mar 23, 2012 by

[We must not let the Associated Press (and then Matt Drudge) deliberately take Santorum’s statement which was said in the conditional tense and use it to deceive the American voters. The liberal media is Obama’s own propaganda machine, and anything they can do to twist and deceive, they will do. This latest is a prime example of “yellow journalism.” – Donna Garner]


AP Deliberately Deceives on Santorum’s Conditional Statement Comparing Romney and Obama

By Tom Blumer | March 23, 2012 | 08:53





Rush Limbaugh was right yesterday when he suggested that “If I were you, I would regard every AP (Associated Press) story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama.” Rush fan Matt Drudge, who currently has a deliberately misleading AP report linked at the top of his Drudge Report, would do well to heed Rush’s suggestion.



The AP story by Will Weissert concerns what GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said yesterday about Mitt Romney.



What Santorum actually said was that “If they’re going to be a little different (Romney compared to President Barack Obama), we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”



Notice that 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is conditional, and that if Romney can demonstrate that he is more than “a little different,” Santorum’s concern is no longer valid.


That’s not what Weissert’s headline or copy portray (HT to a NewsBusters emailer; bold is mine):


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.



Santorum reiterated an argument he has made before: The former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough to offer voters a clear choice in the fall election and that only he can provide that contrast.



“You win by giving people a choice,” Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there.”



Santorum added: “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”



Santorum was referencing Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment Wednesday that “everything changes” for the fall campaign. “It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” he said on CNN. “You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”


The remark reignited criticism of Romney as the type of politician who will say or do anything to win.



Will Weissert and the AP’s headline writer disgracefully used their headline and first two paragraphs to stuff words into Rick Santorum’s mouth that he never said, before getting to what he actually said in the fourth paragraph. Santorum never said anything remotely resembling “Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if I’m not the nominee” — and Weissert and his employer know it.


Sadly, the propaganda effort is well on its way to working. After all these years of watching AP, Matt Drudge should know better, and so should a lot of other center-right bloggers who are jumping all over Santorum, who made a clearly conditional statement which has become quite reasonable in light of what Eric “Etch A Sketch” Fehrnstrom said.


Will Weissert and AP dishonestly turned Santorum’s comment into something which portrays him as an over-the-top campaigner, which he isn’t, and the GOP candidates in general as bitterly feuding and immature. Sadly, Drudge and others bit.


You know who this helps? Hint: It’s not Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. AP can add another item to its “Mission Accomplished” list.







Santorum rep. tries to clarify Romney vs. Pres. Obama match-up in primary, general election


Rick Santorum Press Secretary Alice Stewart appears on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien to discuss Santorum’s recent comment on the potential choice between Mitt Romney and President Obama – “If they’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 for the future.”


Stewart says, “What he was referring to in the context of a statement was that he’s worried that voters will have that feeling. What we need in order for the GOP to win is we need to have a choice. We need a clear vision different from what we currently have. With Mitt Romney, it’s the same vision, and it’s one that’s not the right direction for this country. And he was worried that voters would have that feeling.


What we have with Mitt Romney is a mirror image of Barack Obama. Both believe in government takeover of health care, cap and trade, Wall Street bailout. We need a candidate as nominee for the Republican party that’s a contrast to what we currently have and that’s what Rick Santorum is.


He wants to, first and foremost, we don’t celebrate the second anniversary of Obamacare, we need to have a candidate who will vow to repeal and replace Obamacare. We can’t honestly take Mitt Romney’s word that he’s going to repeal and replace it when he’s the one that wrote the model, the prototype in Romneycare.”


Stewart continues, “Rick has made it abundantly clear once a nominee is chosen he’ll stand behind the nominee and do everything we can to replace Barack Obama. That’s what the beauty of the primary process is. It’s to have candidates out there with differing messages and also different points of view on key issues. Rick is out there to show the contrast. He’s out there to show that he’s the only consistent conservative in this race in terms of the key issues that people are concerned with.”


When guest anchor Christine Romans asks for clarification, “During the primary season [Santorum] thinks the choice is Obama over Romney if that’s your choice, but when it’s the general election, he will say Romney.”


Stewart answers,

“As I said, Rick has made it clear that once the nominee is chosen, he’ll stand behind it. We’re confident as the delegate math continues that Rick will be the nominee. We feel we have a clear path to victory in this case.


Romney is outspending us in areas 21 to one. He’s been running for president for more than six years and he’s up against the ropes. He has not energized the base.

That’s why Rick Santorum is doing so well and his message is resonating with people.”


Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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