Lies From Trump Vs. Obama Are Totally Different, According To Rick Santorum

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When asked Wednesday how he feels about the lies President Trump has told, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum responded by criticizing...Barack Obama. Although he acknowledged, after much prodding, that the current president "says things that don't comport with the facts" with the truth, Santorum said Trump's lies are less "important" than Obama's.

"President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims in 466 days," CNN's Chris Cuomo said to Santorum, citing a recent analysis of the president's public statements. "How do you justify this data from the Washington Post?"

"All I can say is that on some of the most important things that the last administration was dealing with, [Obama] didn't tell the truth," Santorum countered. "You can keep your doctor, you can keep your insurance, you can keep your — you know, we didn't pay off the Iranians, I mean —"

"Do you believe that President Obama lied more than Donald Trump?," Cuomo asked.

"Every president, unfortunately, doesn't necessarily come forth with the truth," Santorum replied.

When Cuomo repeated the question, Santorum insisted that "the substance of the previous president's lies were much more important than the substance of what the crowd size was at [Trump's] inaugural."

As Cuomo said, the Post analysis from Monday found that Trump has made over 3,000 false or misleading claims since assuming the presidency. But although the Trump's false claims about the size of his inaugural crowd were on that list, they were by no means the most prominent or substantive lies from the president that the Post tallied.

For instance, the Post counted no fewer than 34 occasions in which Trump falsely claimed that a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border is already being built; in reality, Congress has rejected Trump's request for those funds, and construction of a border wall has not begun. Trump insisted 72 times that the tax cut bill he signed was the biggest in U.S. history, according to the Post, when in fact it was the eighth biggest. On 18 occasions, the president falsely stated that wages were going up for the first time in years, but in reality, U.S. wages have steadily been rising since 2014.

When pressed by Cuomo on why he criticized Obama in response to a question about Trump, Santorum insisted that he was "not saying that [Trump] is not subject to hyperbole and exaggeration and other things."

"What other things?," Cuomo replied. "Does he lie? Does this president lie?"

"I, I don't know," Santorum replied, shaking his head. "I mean. The answer is, he certainly says things that don't comport with the facts."

"What does that mean, 'not comport with the facts?,'" a frustrated Cuomo asked.

"I don't like calling people liars," Santorum responded, "but the reality is, this president has a problem."

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Santorum served two terms in the Senate, eventually becoming the third-ranking Republican in the chamber, but was defeated in a blowout in his 2006 reelection race. At one point, Trump criticized Santorum for his 2006 loss, claiming that the Pennsylvania Republican was defeated by 19 points — "the biggest margin in history," according to Trump.

This was false, however: Santorum actually lost by less than 18 points, and although that's a very big margin, it was not the biggest margin of defeat in Senate history, either for an incumbent or a challenger. According to FactCheck.org, no fewer than 24 incumbent Senators have lost reelection by more than Santorum did.

Santorum's comments about Trump drew criticism from Joe Walsh, another former Republican lawmaker who lost reelection. Walsh, who represented Illinois in Congress and supports Trump, called Santorum's interview "embarrassing" and said that Republicans need take Trump to task for lying.

"THIS PRESIDENT LIES," Walsh tweeted. "HE LIES WAY TOO MUCH. And if we don't call him out on it, we give him permission to continue lying."