Trump: 'Outlaw Teleprompters for Anybody Running for President'

By Susan Jones | August 26, 2015 | 9:23am EDT
In this Aug. 21, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign pep rally in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

( - Off-the-cuff speaker Donald Trump is not the first Repubican presidential hopeful to call for a ban on teleprompters, but he is the most recent.

Speaking in Iowa Tuesday, Trump was enthusiastically applauded for his suggestion:

"These other guys, they're going around, they make a speech in front of 21 people. Nobody cares, they read the same speech -- deet-deet-deet," he mocked. "They have teleprompters. I say we should outlaw teleprompters (cheers) for anybody, right? -- for anybody -- for anybody running for president."

In March 2012, Republican Rick Santorum said something very similar:

"See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter. Because all you're doing is reading someone else's words to people," he said at a restaurant in Gulfport, Miss. restaurant, as reported by CNN.

"You're voting for someone who is going to be the leader of our government," Santorum said. "It's important for you to understand who that person is in their own words, see them, look them in the eye...hear what's (in their) heart. You're choosing a leader. A leader isn't just about what's written on a piece of paper."

President Obama's consistent use of a teleprompter has been the subject of jokes at times.

In May 2013, Vice President Joe Biden -- speaking to a Jewish group - asked for the teleprompter to be removed.

"You can't tell Barack that the teleprompter's down," Biden said. "The standing joke in the office is, Barack's learning to speak without a teleprompter; I'm learning to speak with one."

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