Santorum: ‘I would never vote for President Obama. Are you kidding me?’

Jeff Poor | Media Reporter

On Friday’s “Your World” on the Fox News Channel, Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum made a sometimes-heated effort to clarify remarks he made that were interpreted as him saying he would prefer President Barack Obama over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

According to Santorum, those remarks were misconstrued and  he was referring to the general public — not himself. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Santorum campaign)

“This is just laughable,” Santorum said. “I’m out here running — sacrificing my time and my energy and my family, committing myself and traveling around this country — saying the highest priority of this country is defeat Barack Obama, and what I was saying there is, that if we don’t have a choice, that the American public may decide to keep Barack Obama.”

“That is all I said. I’ve said it every speech. This is the hatchet job of all time,” he said. “I’ve said repeatedly that the No. 1 priority is defeating Barack Obama. I’d support anybody, and he said, ‘Would you support Ron Paul?’ Of course I’d support Ron Paul. I’d support anybody on the Republican ticket, and I said it throughout the course of this campaign.”

“This is a Romney and a Gingrich campaign that it cannot focus on the issues and the issues are that they are uniquely disqualified from taking on President Obama on the biggest issues of the day,” he continued. “That’s the point I was making yesterday, it’s the point I will continue to make.”

It all comes down to semantics, the former Pennsylvania senator explained. He said when he said “we,” he didn’t mean “me.”

“I said ‘we,’ meaning ‘we the people’ might — not me,” Santorum said. “I would never — I have always said I would never vote for President Obama. Are you kidding me? What do you think I am doing this for? Do you think because I like Barack Obama? It’s so absurd it’s not even worth printing but you folks are all wound up because, well, ‘we’ meaning a general ‘we’ as in the people. ”

Santorum maintained that he has been consistent with his position.

“When I said ‘we,’ I meant the American public,” Santorum continued. “I have said it in every single speech, I’ve said it for a year that if we don’t give the people of America a contrast in this election, we’re not going to be successful. That’s the point I have been making. That’s why I said we need a strong conservative, and to take that ‘we,’ and say I meant ‘me,’ that I wouldn’t vote. No, I was saying the people may not vote for someone who they don’t see as a different candidate.”

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