By Judy Kurtz - 03/28/12 11:21 PM EDT
While Rick Santorum has defended his use of profanity during a recent confrontation with a reporter, senators say they like to keep it clean in public.
A New York Times journalist, Jeff
When pressed about the comment on Sunday, the former Pennsylvania senator replied, “Quit distorting my words. It’s bulls--t.”
“It’s never appropriate for third-
graders or lawmakers to curse in public, but sometimes we make mistakes,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamNever Trump voices face tough decision Trump: GOP critics can come back after my 'two terms' Graham: GOP has 'lost its way' on Trump MORE (R-S.C.) said Tuesday.
Before predicting that Romney will be the Republican nominee, Graham admitted that he’s slipped up before and used coarse language in front of others: “Sometimes, in the heat of the campaign, when you think somebody’s basically cheap-shotting you, you know, things can come out of your mouth that probably would not be a good role model.”
Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeThree more Republican senators to meet with Supreme Court nominee Senate unveils B waterways bill with aid for Flint 0 million Flint aid package included in water bill MORE (R-Okla.) seemed surprised by the news of Santorum’s reference to animal excrement: “That’s the last person I would expect that from.”
Inhofe added, “I just don’t use profanity, never have. I haven’t for 30 years.”
When we inquired about what happened three decades ago, Inhofe replied, “It has to do with Jesus.” He then pointed to a youthful-looking congressional aide who was sitting nearby and asked, “Do you know Jesus?” The aide nodded as the lawmaker darted off into his party’s policy lunch.
Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinOvernight Energy: Obama drinks Flint water during visit Overnight Energy: Clinton takes on former coal industry CEO Iran and heavy water: Five things to know MORE (D-Md.) didn’t mention any religious experiences in his decision to avoid using profanity, but did say, “I don’t like to curse ever, in my private life or in my public life.” Cardin then revealed, “My family thinks I’m a little strange about that.”
Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedTroops question rules for ISIS medal Bill would target retaliation against military sexual assault victims Pentagon: Russian military support for Assad remains strong MORE (D-R.I.) also says he considers swearing a no-no, saying, “I think the best approach to anything is to try to be polite and civil … I think it’s not just for interactions with reporters and personalities, this is a standard of conduct one should try to follow in dealing with everybody.”
An apology doesn’t seem in the works from the Santorum camp. In a Monday interview on “Fox and Friends,” Santorum said, “If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican.”
But Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Trail 2016: And then there was one Maine Republican senator suggests she could back Trump Larry Wilmore, Sting party in DC ahead of WHCD MORE (R-Maine) tells us she believes Santorum might have made a slight slip-up: “I think that lawmakers are human and occasionally they say things they regret later. I suspect this is an example of that.”
Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeReid: Cruz, Lee on Supreme Court should 'scare you' Cruz: Boehner unleashed his ‘inner Trump’ Senate pressured to take up email privacy bill after overwhelming House vote MORE (R-Utah), who endorsed Romney earlier this week, offered another possible explanation: “Everybody needs a mulligan once in a while. Maybe he was having a bad day.”
Sen. John McCainJohn McCainDemocrats race to link GOP incumbents to Trump Against all odds: It’s Trump Five takeaways from Indiana MORE (R-Ariz.) contended on Fox News Channel a few weeks ago that he doesn’t use salty language “very often,” taking issue with how his vocabulary was portrayed in HBO’s movie “Game Change.”
The Arizona Republican said that when a swearword does sneak into a politician’s language, “I believe the best thing to do — in most cases it’s just ‘It is what it is’ … and let the American people draw their own conclusions.”