Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum had a very testy exchange with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny at a campaign stop in Wisconsin Sunday evening.
In the midst of the encounter, Santorum angrily said, "Stop lying...Quit distorting our words...It's bulls--t!" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
After Zeleny asked Santorum, “You said that Mitt Romney was the worst Republican in the country – is that true," the former Pennsylvania senator incredulously asked, “What speech did you listen to? Stop lying!"
Santorum continued, “I said he was the worst Republican to run on the issue of ObamaCare, and that’s what I was talking about. I have said uniquely, for every speech I give, he is uniquely disqualified to run against Barack Obama on the issue of health care.”
“Would you guys quit distorting what I’m saying?” asked Santorum.
Zeleny wasn’t listening, and responded, “Do you think he is the worst Republican?”
Santorum didn’t let him finish and instead reiterated, “To run against Barack Obama on the issue of health care, because he fashioned the blueprint. I've been saying it in every speech. Quit distorting our words. If I see it, it's bulls—t. C'mon man, what are you doing?"
Zeleny then asked, “Who’s distorting your words?”
Santorum shot back, “You did by asking me that question.”
“You sound upset about something, Senator,” Zeleny replied.
“I’m upset when the media distorts what I say,” replied Santorum. “Yeah, I am. I do get upset.”
As Santorum kept walking down the line of supporters wanting autographs, he continued glaring at Zeleny adding, “Because you knew exactly what I was saying, and you misrepresented it.”
“Are you guys in the business of reporting the truth, or are you here to try to spin and make news?” Santorum asked Zeleny. “Stop it!”
Shaking his head in aggravation, Santorum continued, “You know, you guys don’t care about the truth at all, do you? You really don’t. Asking that question shows me you don’t care at all about the truth.”