Rick Santorum: Trump’s Speech Was A ‘Win’ Because He Showed Compassion And A ‘Softer Side’

Rick Santorum: Trump’s Speech Was A ‘Win’ Because He Showed Compassion And A ‘Softer Side’

Following President Donald Trump’s highly political primetime Oval Office address that featured him blaming Democrats for the government shutdown as he tried to rally public support for his border wall, it was time for the talking heads to weigh in. And while fact-checkers shredded the speech and critics said the networks got played by airing what was essentially his standard stump speech, CNN political commentator Rick Santorum declared it an unequivocal victory for the president.

During a typically jam-packed CNN panel, Santorum rejected the general consensus of the evening that Trump had delivered a dud, saying that “anybody who honestly looked at what was said tonight, this was a win for the president, and on several fronts.”

Noting that another panelist was “criticizing the president for being insincere,” the former Pennsylvania senator told the panel that Trump “did something he doesn’t do very often.”

He continued, “And I thought he did it, for him, very well, which was to show a softer side, to make a more compassionate argument, and to tone down the rhetoric.”

Santorum went on to praise Trump for being “presidential” and working with his staff to “put a presentation together” — i.e. read from a script. He further stated that what the president is asking for is actually something the Democrats support and that he’ll be “for all these things” that other Republicans haven’t agreed on in the past.

“The political argument is if I’m Joe America sitting here looking at the at the president, the president has crossed Republicans on three or four things, ‘I’m willing to do those things, just give me a wall.’ And they’re saying, ‘Hell, no!’ That doesn’t sell in the long run,” the conservative pundit declared.

Meanwhile, a Reuters/Ipsos poll that came out hours before the president gave his address reveals that 51 percent of American adults believe Trump deserves most of the blame for the shutdown, compared to 32 percent who feel congressional Democrats are at fault. Seven percent blame congressional Republicans. That is a negative four-point change for Trump since a similar poll in late-December.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.