Back to previous page


Santorum makes zero mention of jobs in CNN debate

By ,

Just how focused on jobs was tonight’s GOP debate in Mesa, Arizona?

Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

In total, the four GOP contenders mentioned the word “jobs” only 10 times over the span of two hours — and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) uttered the word a grand total of zero times.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said the word four times each. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) mentioned it twice (one of those mentions was in reference to “the job Barack Obama isn’t doing”).

Moderator John King said the word “jobs” four times.

Recent polling shows unemployment and the economy remain among the most important issues facing the country in the eyes of the public. Thirty-one percent of adults across the nation polled by Gallup earlier this month cited the economy in general as the country’s most pressing problem, while 30 percent cited unemployment/jobs.

Santorum had entered Wednesday night’s debate riding on a wave of support in the polls and among conservative voters in key primary states. His debate performance — during which he struggled to answer questions about his record in Congress — could serve to blunt that momentum heading into next week’s contests in Michigan and Arizona.

The Washington Post Debate Tracker suggests that Santorum’s record on Capitol Hill was far and away the focus of the debate. The top word mentioned was “voted,” followed by “conservative,” then “spending” and then, “Congress.”

“Job?” It doesn’t make the Top 25 list.

© The Washington Post Company