Santorum Calls Bullsh** on the New York Times

As we first reported yesterday, Rick Santorum grabbed headlines when he cursed at a New York Times reporter who asked the Republican presidential candidate a question with a distorted quote from a speech he gave in Wisconsin earlier that day. And now video has emerged of the testy encounter:

The question from New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny that pushed Santorum over the edge was whether it was true that he said, “Mitt Romney is the worst Republican in the country.” Before the question ended Santorum’s head cocked back in disgust.

“What speech did you listen to? Stop lying,” said Santorum has he extended his finger towards the reporters face. Santorum had said at a Saturday evening rally near Racine, “Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

When questioned by Zeleny, Santorum made clear that his comments about Romney as the “worst Republican in the country” were strictly in regards to campaigning against President Obama on the issue of health care. “Would you guys quit distorting what I’m saying” Santorum fired back at the New York Times reporter. “Quit distorting my words … . If I see it, it’s bullsh**.”

“You sound upset,” Zeleny remarked as Santorum walked away.

“I’m upset when the media distorts what I say, yea I am, I do get upset,” said Santorum, still glaring back at Zeleny while signing autographs. “What are you guys in the business of doing? Reporting the truth…Or are you guys here to try and spin, and make news. Stop it.”

Zeleny appeared on CBS Monday morning where he claimed he was not distorting Santorum’s words.

“No, simply asked for clarification,” Zeleny replied. “He said in his speech to a room full of supporters that he believes Mitt Romney is the worst Republican in the country. Health care was not attached to that sentence in his sound bite there, so simply asking him for clarification. And he did, in fact, explain in full there that health care is what he was talking about.”

Mediaite reports that Santorum’s campaign sent out an email to supporters following the incident, alleging that Zeleny “aggressively attacked him:”

“…while campaigning in Wisconsin, I criticized Romney and Obama for their outrageous healthcare 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.”

Santorum appeared on Fox and Friends Monday morning, where he first joked about the incident: “If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during a course of a campaign, you’re really not really a real Republican.”


“It was just one of these harassing moments, after having to answer the question a few times… he comes back with the same old question, same old spin,” Santorum explained. “I just said ‘ok, I’ve had enough of this’…. you know what.”