Santorum: Fox News is ‘shilling’ for Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum accused Fox News of “shilling” for GOP front-runner Mitt Romney during a contentious interview Tuesday on the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show.

“He’s had a 10-to-1 money advantage,” Santorum said of Romney. “He’s had all the organizational advantages. He has Fox News shilling for him every day, no offense Brian, but I see it. And yet, he can’t seal the deal because he just doesn’t have the goods to be able to motivate the Republican base to win this election.”

Host Brian Kilmeade, who is also a co-host of the “Fox and Friends” morning show on the cable network, objected to Santorum’s suggestion that Fox News — the dominant source of television news for conservative viewers — is biased toward Romney.

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“On Fox News shilling for Mitt Romney 24 hours a day, I totally disagree with that,” Kilmeade said.

That led to a heated confrontation between the pair, during which Santorum objected to Fox News orienting its coverage around the race for delegates:

Santorum: “Brian, look, I love you guys ...”

Kilmeade: “No, you can feel the way you want, I’m just telling you, there’s no way I agree with that, and you’ve been on as much as anyone ...”

Santorum: “I can tell you, we watch the coverage there, and look, you guys are allowed to cover what you want to cover — I can tell you we want to make sure a conservative is nominated, and we’re going to go out there and nominate on mathematics, we’re not going to focus on the process — ”

Kilmeade: “You don’t want us to add up delegates?”

Santorum: “We want to focus on the issues that are going to help us win, and that’s what our campaign is going to be about.”

Kilmeade: “I will say this, Mitt Romney’s people respond when we request, and we’ve been requesting you on this show for three months minimum, and we’ve gotten nothing but, ‘Yeah, we’ll see,’ which blows me away.”


The GOP hopeful went on to say that he appreciated the opportunity to appear on Kilmeade’s radio program and would meet with his staff to discuss being booked more frequently on the show.

Santorum has said repeatedly that he believes the media are oriented against his campaign. During an appearance earlier Tuesday on Fox News, the former Pennsylvania senator said that the media favor Romney because he would be the weaker candidate against President Obama.

“I understand why the media wants Romney — because they know that Obama can beat Romney,” Santorum said. “We need a nominee who’s a Reagan conservative.”

Santorum has also accused the popular Drudge Report news website of cheerleading for Romney. The Drudge Report had linked to an article reporting Santorum had hung up on a Cincinnati-area radio station out of frustration, a claim Santorum later denied.

“That’s baloney. I was driving and we lost the call and I called him back two minutes later and we finished the conversation. Drudge, again showing for Romney, gets the facts wrong,” Santorum told WLW radio in Cincinnati.