Tales from the Trail

Santorum swears while chewing out reporter

Republican hopeful Rick Santorum cursed during an angry exchange with a New York Times reporter on Sunday, casting a shadow on the image he’s crafted as a social conservative and Christian candidate, and giving fodder to critics who are calling it the “the latest tantorum” meltdown.

At a rally in Wisconsin, a reporter questioned Santorum about calling his rival, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, “the worst Republican” to run against Democratic President Barack Obama. In an earlier speech Santorum equated health care legislation enacted during Romney’s governorship of Massachusetts with Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul.

Visibly annoyed, Santorum asked the reporter, “What speech did you listen to?” and told him to “stop lying.” After accusing the reporter and the media in general of disregarding the truth, Santorum cursed before shaking his head and walking away.

Santorum won the Louisiana primary handily over the weekend with backing from the state’s many Christian evangelicals. A former footnote in the primary race, Santorum has found momentum from evangelical Christians who suspect Romney’s record and his Mormon religion. Santorum has staked his campaign on his image as a devout Catholic.

Watch the video here from CBS News:

Photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Hauck (Santorum speaks to supporters at the Ledgeview Center in the Ledgeview Bowling Lanes in Fond du Lac Wisconsin)

Maybe it’s better not to get that big endorsement

One staple of the U.S. political scene is the quest for endorsements, and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney seems to be leading in the race for support from the GOP establishment.

He picked up the support of Arizona Senator John McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, who also was a member of the U.S. presidential field until August.

He may not be part of the party “establishment,” but Romney even got the backing of a high-profile party figure — albeit one who declared himself an independent in December — reality television star and real estate mogul Donald Trump, who called the former Massachusetts governor “tough, sharp and smart.”