- Former Senator Rick Santorum’s 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns are still in debt.
- The committees owe creditors a combined total of nearly $1 million, according to filings.
- Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign — at more than $4.63 million — remains the king of presidential committee debt.
Conservative commentator Rick Santorum once demanded “fiscal responsibility” as the 2012 presidential candidate, arguing that America needs a leader willing to make “tough choices” when it comes to spending.
A decade later, Santorum’s 2012 and 2016 presidential campaign committees remain deeply in debt, owing creditors a combined total of $1 million, according to quarterly financial filings submitted Thursday to the Federal Election Commission.
Both Santorum’s 2012 and 2016 committees are bringing in only a minimal amount of cash — a combined $3,516, as of March 31, the filings show.
The 2016 campaign committee owes Santorum himself $317,130, having repaid him only $26,869 on two personal loans he made to the campaign totaling $344,000. In addition, he is owed interest on a loan of more than $47,000.
The 2016 campaign also says it owes American Express $39,192 for “credit card” bills.
Among the 2012 campaign creditors are consultants, including Brabender Cox LLC, which owes $366,060 for media consulting, production and placement services.
Santorum could not be reached for comment.
During his 2012 campaign, Santorum lambasted Democrats for their spending habits. He criticized one of former President Barack Obama’s budget proposals, warning there would be “turmoil in the streets” without spending cuts. Santorum said he pledged to balance the budget and cut spending by $5 trillion over five years.
Santorum’s voting record as a senator on raising the debt limit has been criticized during this campaign, with then-Rep. Ron Paul of Texas called it a “big government, big spender” during a debate. Santorum, CNN reported, voted six times for permanent debt ceiling increases in the Senate, where he represented Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007.
More recently, Santorum, a longtime CNN commentator, “parted ways” with the network last year after coming under fire for derogatory remarks he made about Native Americans.
Despite the debt of his former campaign committees, Santorum’s two committees total less than a quarter of what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 2012 committee owes.
The “Newt 2012” campaign committee remains in debt at more than 4.63 million dollars, according to the financial file submitted in January to the FEC.
No presidential campaign in any election cycle owes creditors more money than Gingrich’s.
Due to federal rules, neither Gingrich nor Santorum are personally liable for the debts of their presidential committees.