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Choices

Choices

Last Friday, I posted that if it came down to a choice between Romney and Santorum, “I’d have to think about it” because “[m]ost of all, I find [Santorum] to be the least scrutinized of the candidates so far.”

That post was taken as being “anti-Santorum,” but it was not.

Unlike Romney (with the exception of Bain, but don’t get me started) and Newt, who are pretty well known figures, and whose real or perceived faults mostly are known, Santorum’s record had not been scrutinized.

Clearly Santorum was a social conservative, but it was not at all clear to me that he was a smaller government, Tea Party kinda guy as his advertisements claimed.

Since then the record has emerged that in the Senate Santorum pretty much went along with the Republican big government agenda.  Those are just the facts.

Verum Serum has a post today about how Santorum fought against Republican attempts to means-test food stamps, which contributed to the ballooning of costs.  Karl at Patterico has more on Santorum’s big government history, as does PolitiJim.

While Santorum has attacked Newt for supporting TARP I in September 2008, the reality is that Newt spoke out forcefully against it, and only stated later that if he had to vote on it despite the failure to cure the deficiencies, he probably would have voted for it given the dire warnings from the President and Treasury Secretary, and business friends who argued that it was needed.

By contrast, there is no evidence of Santorum speaking out forcefully on the subject at the time.

The facts as they are coming out support what I suspected, that when Santorum was in office Santorum was not a smaller government, Tea Party kinda guy.  And neither was Mitt Romney, so there.

I am not convinced Santorum’s surge will survive on the social issue front.  As unfair and twisted as the spin may be, there is a narrow time window, and if it costs Santorum during primaries through Super Tuesday, it may be too late for him to recover.

I may still support Santorum if Newt does not reemerge, but not because Santorum is a smaller government, Tea Party kinda guy.  Or maybe I’ll just sit and watch.

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Comments

The problem with the “religious” attack on Santorum isn’t the message.

It is the MESSAGING, and the MESSENGER.

No rookie trial attorney would make the kind of loony mistakes in messaging that Santorum makes commonly.

Palin is a great contrast. She seems to have a natural talent for great messaging.

At the end of the day, I have to conclude he is a nanny-statist.

We need the Newt.

Ragspierre, yes! We need the Newt. And the Newtonian plan.

My parents once had a dog named Rags. Nice little fellow. He was a French poodle. But as far as I know, he had nothing to do with the French Revolution.

I think Newt is the most electable GOP candidate right now (http://libertarian-neocon.blogspot.com/2012/02/newt-is-most-electable-gop-candidate.html) and Santorum probably has zero chance. He is someone who offends gays, women, parents, protestants and libertarians (in total about 80-90% of the electorate). Who attacks prenatal diagnostics? Who says that protestant churches have been infiltrated by Satan? He is like a movie version of what liberals think all of us sound like. And unfortunately he believes all the stuff he is spewing.

    He not only believes it himself, he wants you to believe it also.

    Santorum, if nominated, will wipe out the whole Republican ticket and lead us back to an Obama Presidency and Democrats in control of both the house and senate.

    Devils and demons my ass.

I doubt that Santorum’s surge will continue much past Super Tuesday, if even that long. If Gingrich wins big in the South on Super Tuesday, watch for him to start building momentum again, which will draw off money and support, which is the only thing keeping Santorum in the campaign now.

Romney may be in trouble in Michigan, but I think that he’s still going to win there. Yes, he suffered some pain because people didn’t understand the economics and legalities of his argument about not bailing-out the Big 3, which ended up pretty much doing what he said (prepackaged bankruptcy), although with a drastically different group of Stakeholders. The UAW should have gotten NOTHING, and the fact that they did is a HUGE black mark against Federal Bankruptcy Law, because now there’s precedent for forcing through a plan that ignores creditor priority simply because a judge said-so and no higher judges wanted to get involved. It was solely a political payoff.

Arizona is kind of a toss-up. I can see Santorum winning Arizona. As I’ve been complaining about this ENTIRE campaign so far, the polling continues to be weak at best.

    i think it is misconceptin that the law changed for the bondholders in the bankruptcy. they were strongarmed into relinquishing their rights. had they held fast they would have got what they brgained for. i think that was first time michael barone called the obama regime a gangster government.

      Hope Change in reply to javau. | February 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      The Obama White House called the lawyer for the bondholders a ‘terrorist” when he tried to stand up for the bondholders, — bondholders who were people like — teachers — and other middle class people — in court. Despicable lawlessness from the politically connected.

      This is a big reason why businesses are frozen and the economy is stuck. No one knows what else a lawless administration might do.

Santorum’s church attendance is laudable, but the biggest social threat we have is out of control government. It pays people to be immoral and do things that are harmful to their lives and families. It encourages people to lie, to not to care, to be cynical and take advantage of whatever one can. If Rick does not see that, all his religiosity means nothing,

What we see is not a choice but a lesser of 2 evils.

Nice, balanced post. I tend to think that Santorum “went along” with the Bush big government “compassionate conservativism” like everyone else did because they thought that’s the direction we were heading as a nation.

We, the people, sure didn’t have a voice then; indeed, many of us (myself included) didn’t even “wake up” until well after that philosophy was well-entrenched. Heck, even uber-conservative, definitely a TEA Party guy Jim DeMint was a pork fiend back in the day. Times change, consciousness awakens, people see that for what it was (big government statism under the “conservativism” mantle).

As to everyone getting their panties in a wad about Santorum being a Catholic who believes in God and Satan . . . um, I’m a protestant who believe in both. There’s this little book called the Bible that says they exist. I believe it.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy. | February 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    “We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”

    That is TERRIBLE, AWFUL, COMPLETELY INEXCUSABLE messaging.

    He could have conveyed the message he intended POSITIVELY.

    He also seems to be oblivious to the fact that there is nothing wrong with mainstream Protestantism that is not wrong with mainstream Catholicism.

      Rags:

      You hit the nail on the head. Little Ricky’s entire campaign has shown no vision and no forward-looking plan to bring us out of the economic hell that we are in. Like all political bureaucrats who have experienced little else, he stares at his feet as he takes each step — and he has no idea where he is going, nor does he seem to care.

        Hope Change in reply to gad-fly. | February 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        Remember England when Elizabeth the First came to the throne? They had been killing each other over religion. She said she refused to make windows into mean’s souls.

        One of the main points of America is freedom from religious persecution. When a political candidate points to his religion as the source for how the law will prescribe everyone’s behavior, it opens the door for people to start fighting with each other about religion.

        Of course, the Left would love this. All disputes among the people who make this country work are welcome to the Left.

        One of the things I like about Newt’s approach is that it centers on the political nature of the recognition by the Founding documents and the Founders themselves. The Declaration of Independence WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT — that men are endowed by THEIR CREATOR with inalienable rights —

        So we recognized that our place in the Cosmos is as we are created: sovereign individuals by birth right.

        The Churches, per se, are not the source of our morals.

        Our families are the source of our morals.

        We can support our families by making sure people have access to excellent education, lifelong learning, good employment prospects, equality before the law….

        but not by getting into big theological disputes over each reliion’s teachings.

        The Constitution provides taht, unless something is a Constitutionally-protected right, majority rules.

        Naturally, the Left tried to make more and more of its agenda “constitutionally protected”– this is why they have tried to corrupt our courts.

        Newt’s proposal to re-balance the impact of the judiciary is especially important and can be effective, without creating religious flame-wars among different sects of different religions.

        This is one of the reasons I want to know where Santorum’s money comes from. He doesn’t have a chance of being the nominee, I don’t think. So where does the money come from?

        Who benefits if social conservatives start feeling threatened, upset and alienated from the other conservatives?

        Why, I do believe it’s the LEFT.

        Watch how the shells are moved around, ladies and gentlemen. Cui bono?

      Astroman in reply to Ragspierre. | February 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Do you realize “mainline” Protestantism and “mainstream” Protestantism are two VERY different things?

      The old “mainline” Protestant denominations support things like gay marriage, abortion on demand, etc. So yeah, mainline Protestant churches have sold their souls.

      I am what many people would consider to be a “Protestant” and I consider myself a strong critic of Catholicism. Nevertheless, I have no problem with Santorum’s criticism of mainline Protestantism.

        Ragspierre in reply to Astroman. | February 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        And what do Catholic mainliners believe WRT “social justice”?

        Hmmmm….???

        C’mon.

          Astroman in reply to Ragspierre. | February 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

          So by refusing to answer my question, does that mean you didn’t know what you were talking about, or that you knew and were therefore intentionally smearing Santorum?

There may be doubts about Santorum, but there is no room for doubt about Romney. He’s definitely not a small Govt tea party guy. And Romney stands by his big Govt romneycare legacy… the one and only thing he’s remained steadfast on.

Neither Romney nor Santo are perfect, but at least Santorum seems to believe what he says … without flip-flopping constantly. I don’t expect major changes in Santorum’s positions post- nom. Romney? Who knows?

Religion will be a problem for both of these guys.

If you don’t know anything about Kolob now, you’ll learn a lot after Romney gets the nomination. Oh what fun!

Santorum is a big government social conservative Republican and Romney is a big government liberal Republican.

Charles Curran | February 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Romney unveiled his ‘Tax Plan’ today.Said that he wanted to cut taxes across the board to make the it far to all. Then he said that he was going to close loop holes that benifit the top 1% so that revenue would be up, and everyone would pay their fair share. I’am not sure if he was quoting Barry O or not. But it sure sounds like it. That does not sound like ‘Supply Side’, as Kudlow hinted last night.

The only thing Santorum has spoken out forcefully over the years are social issues. He is running for President now. I want him to talk about the serious issues affecting the country right now. Social issues are not the pressing issues. It is the economy, severe lack of jobs, drilling our own oil, threats from our enemies, debt, Obamacare, utter corruption in the DOJ, and whatever else we will discover once Obama and his gang are out of office.

If he wants my vote, I want him to start talking about what his plan is for turning the economy around, increasing jobs, what is his plans for Iran, Israel, and the middle east. What is his plan for increasing our oil supply, what is his plan for lowering the debt, lowering taxes, lowering the skyrocketing price of gas, getting rid of Obamacare. Is he still for SOPA, which will destroy online businesses, like he said he was in one of the debates?…. I want specifics, not vague promises and platitudes.

Right now Newt is the only one discussing these issues and specifically what he will do to address them.

    Tazz, unfortunately, Santorum has not yet figured out how to avoid the LSM (and increasingly “conservative”) traps, but he does have serious stances on important issues. One need only visit his site to read about them: http://www.ricksantorum.com/issues

    Or watch a few clips on YouTube. Here’s one on unions and education: http://youtu.be/alD67f25OTg Here’s one on foreign policy: http://youtu.be/nrAGtZHTxwg

    As conservatives, we should know better than to wait for the media, including the increasingly narrow-minded conservative media, to inform us. If you (and not just you, Tazz, anyone) wants to know what Santorum believes, where he stands, what his solutions are, it’s not that hard to find out. Try Bing.

I think people are becoming more aware of Santorum’s voting record. The fact remains, why don’t his supporters see this? Are we supposed to disregard his voting record? Or, is
Santorum’s popularity just in “fly-over” country?

Today, Mitt Romney rolled out a new tax cut reduction plan. I’m sure that will give him a big boost. Rush wasn’t that sold on it, saying it could be better. I think Mitt did this just to give himself a boost in Michigan. Do the people buy into it?

I’m still in Newt’s corner, but Georgia doesn’t seem to be a given for him. Now that he put it out there that Gov. Romney should get out of the race if he doesn’t win Michigan, will Newt get out if he loses Georgia?

So many questions, that I needs answers for.

    Ragspierre in reply to Scorpio51. | February 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    And by the way, I want to make sure you understand that, for middle income families, the deductibility of home mortgage interest and charitable contributions will continue. But for high income folks, we are going to cut back on that, so we make sure the top 1% pay their fair share or more.
    –Mitt Romney

    …adopting the class-warfare BS of the Collective.

    (Facepalm)

    Hope Change in reply to Scorpio51. | February 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Scorpio51 — I don’t think you really support Newt.

    You’re constantly saying you’re in Newt’s corner but then saying why Newt can’t or shouldn’t win.

    Supporters don’t do that.

    You can support whichever candidate you prefer. Of course.

    But if you really support Newt, you seriously need to get clear about why and how strongly.

    Because you are nothing but a fair-weather friend.

    And I’m wondering if you are a concern troll.

    Hope Change in reply to Scorpio51. | February 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Scorpio51 — I’m beginning to wonder if you really support Newt.

    You’re constantly saying you’re in Newt’s corner but then saying why Newt can’t or shouldn’t win.

    Supporters don’t do that.

    You can support whichever candidate you prefer. Of course.

    But if you really support Newt, you seriously need to get clear about why and how strongly.

    Because you are nothing but a fair-weather friend.

    And I’m wondering if you are a concern troll.

    Hope Change in reply to Scorpio51. | February 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Scorpio51 — I’m beginning to wonder if you really support Newt.

    You’re constantly saying you’re in Newt’s corner but then saying why Newt can’t or shouldn’t win.

    Supporters don’t do that.

    You can support whichever candidate you prefer. Of course.

    But if you really support Newt, you seriously need to get clear about why and how strongly.

    Because it often seems you are nothing but a fair-weather friend.

    And I’m wondering if you are a concern troll.

    With all due respect. But where does the constant undermining come from , if you support Newt?

The only reason to support Santorum is to force a brokered convention.

Newt is still the best LEADER in the race …. he stands heads and shoulders above the other three wannabes !!! : )

Once again – Santorum has made it clear that going along to get along with a spending GOP president was the wrong course – and again I’ll ask is that honesty less honest than Newt saying sitting on a couch with a Marxist parroting left wing rhetoric was stupid?

I guess being part of the gang of seven doesn’t count as not “big government” either.

I guess his current economic plans are big government too.

*sigh*

Instead of “A Time for Choosing” we’re getting “A Time for Quitting” from the die-hard Newt-ists when confronted with a Santorum – great 🙁

Santorum supporters have not been as such.

Not pro-Santorum but ABR.

My take on the Santorum surge is that conservatives are being played by the Romney people. Newt has always been their main threat but the only way to contain him is by shifting support to Santorum in an effort to get Newt out and turning their full throttle vitriol on Rick, figuring it would then be easy to take down Rick. But now Romney has been forced to attack Rick early and Newt’s still in the race.

I noticed when Newt was up in polls, Romney supporters actually made positive comments about Rick saying he was preferable to Newt and didn’t attack him. But they didn’t figure it would work so well for Rick or that Newt would hold on and stay in the race. Rombots are finding out that rounding up voters is like herding cats, you just can’t control it.

I also believe that Newt completely understands what’s going on – that’s why he is running a mostly stealth campaign. IMO He actually needs for Rick to do well in the mid-west. Newt will not attack Rick – Romney will do all the Rick bashing but ultimately Newt will be the beneficiary. States don’t matter, delegates do, and all you have to do is get enough to bring it to the convention, at this point that’s probably all that any of them can hope for and Newt’s willing to play the hand he’s dealt.

Newt is what I call an “instinctual politician” and they are the best kind because they know how to move through the maze of politics without hitting a dead end. That’s why he has survived so long in politics, he knows there are several ways to win this thing. Romney and Santorum, not so much, not even close to having good political instincts. Romney doesn’t know how to embrace a firm position on an issue and Santorum doesn’t know when to get off an issue.

Newt, on the other hand, owns all the issues.

The only thing I can say to Newt supporters is, if you want him to win because you believe he is the best choice for our country, then help him any way you can.

Newt 2012 – The man with the plan!

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

The American Conservative Union website is down now, but I checked Santorum’s lifetime ACU score a couple of weeks ago, and it was in the 70s. I want to say the exact score was 76, but I may be wrong. I’m certain Newt’s is a far more respectable 90.

I think Santorum willingly played along with the Bush/Rove/DeLay strategy to rebrand liberalism as “compassionate conservatism”. They were under the mistaken belief that by doing so, the big spending Republicans would then have majorities for a long time.

I always like to see which Republicans had the guts to vote against their own party when the Republicans passed Medicare Part D – a new entitlement which at the time was estimated to be almost as clostly as Obamacare – without a single tax dollar raised to pay for it.

It’s pretty funny. #1 RINO Linc Chafee voted against it. As did McCain and Grahmnesty. Santorum voted for it. Full Senate votes here:

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=108&session=1&vote=00459

In the House, alleged fiscal hawk Paul Ryan voted for it. Authentic conservatives like Jim DeMint (who was then in the House) and Mike Pence voted against it.

Here’s how the whole House voted:

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2003/roll669.xml

    Yes, MaggotAtBroadAndWall, thank you for that analysis!

    It reminds me of some of the reasons I am so fed up.

    Bush et al are too smart for the American people!

    Oh yes, they are so clever!

    they will bribe us all, but just a little less than the Left!

    “Compassionate conservatism”!

    They deserve every lost election they’ve ever had.

Ragspiere

“also seems to be oblivious to the fact that there is nothing wrong with mainstream Protestantism that is not wrong with mainstream Catholicism”

Santorum really has a lot of nerve. Look at the history of the catholic church and you will see corruption with a capital C. And it is still going on. If you have money you can get a divorce with no trouble whatsoever. Look at the Kennedys (just about all of them). Every other catholic is stuck if they can’t grease the palm of the church. And let’s not forget at the pervert priests and their superiors who ignored these crimes. Nay, worse than that they sent those perverts to batten on new victims. If Santorum really wanted to be elected president he really should just shut his mouth and not alienate a good 70% of the electorate.

    Astroman in reply to BarbaraS. | February 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Do you understand the difference between “mainline” and “mainstream” Protestantism? Because likes Rags, you’re either ignorant or intentionally deceptive.

    Terri in reply to BarbaraS. | February 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    One thing that stops me from strongly supporting Santorum against Romney are the scandals with the Catholic Church and along with Santorum nominating Jerry Sandusky for the “Congressional Angels in Adoption Award”

    AND

    Santorum, Talent, and Foley cost us the Senate in 2006, and that this led to Harry Reid taking over as the Senate power broker. They seem to forget that Talent (again, who works for Mitt Romney’s campaign) and Santorum covered up the scandal. Just because Tim Russert is dead doesn’t mean that his warning about the Foley scandal costing Republicans the Senate in 2006.

    While I am not insinuating anything, I am just saying that with all of that it makes me uncomfortable.

Everyody is talking about Paul tossing his delegates to Romney but I haven’t seen anyone talking about Santorum doing this. I stil think Santorum is a plant by the establishment to do just that. I think he was put in place to siphon off votes from other candidates and turn around and give them to Romney. And Paul probably has an agreement with Romney too. The republican establishment has taken a leaf out of the dims’ book by using underhanded methods. It’s a shame they’re using these tactics against their base instead of the dims.

    Terri in reply to BarbaraS. | February 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Ya know, I have thought of Santorum doing that too. Jim Talent (works on Romneys campaign) and Santorum go back aways and they have a history together. I still think that Paul will give his delegates to Romney though.

    Scorpio51 in reply to BarbaraS. | February 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Terri, I am a former 40 year resident of Missouri and am familiar with Jim Talent’s support of Romney. Talent openly LIED about Newt in a Romney PAC ad, so I wouldn’t put anything past what they would do. I now live in Kansas for 5 years.

    As for Santorum throwing his delegates to Mitt? I don’t think he could in any way do that because of his attack on RomneyCare. I thought perhaps Rick would give delegates to Newt. But, I may be way off base.

    The only one I’m almost certain about is Ron Paul. He’s a Mitt man and will give delegates to Mitt.

      Hi Scorpio51, (I am a Scorpio too)

      I would hope that he would give them to Newt, but he did endorse Romney in 08, so I really don’t know what he would do.

I am not thrilled with Rick Santorum’s antipathy against libertarians. But then I see something like this and I find myself leaning more Santorum.

Rick Santorum is living on borrowed time for a simple reason – he can’t convince the GOP electorate that he can win in November. Republicans have typically abided by The Bucklety Rule and nominated the most conservative candidate that is electable. Given the dearth of quality candidates this cycle, the choice is easy, maybe depressingly easy, but easy nonetheless … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

    Hope Change in reply to ombdz. | February 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hi ombdz.

    lndlyb4 | February 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm
    • Hope Change,
    • I thought I’d just watch the first few minutes. I couldn’t stop watching. I’d heard him make parts of this speech before and new some of the “punch lines” but found that I couldn’t wait to hear them again.
    • I’ve said it before Newt is not just the best of a lousy crop of candidates, he is the man for our time. It’s not that he’s the best debater, he’s the best thinker.
    • He’s able to strike on some of the same social issues that others do without sounding judgmental or that he’s just catering to the religious right.
    • This is a man that is easy to picture as the leader of the free world.

    You can see for yourself.
    “A WHOLE NEW APPROACH TO AMERICAN ENERGY: RENEWED ECONOMY, MONEY IN YOUR POCKET” http://conservatives4newt.blogspot.com/2012/02/newt-gingrich-plain-talk-about-american.html
– February 19, 2012 – 28:59

      Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | February 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      Hi again ombdz — sorry if I was abrupt. I’m getting sick of the “weak field dearth” meme.

      Below is a link to the the video lndlyb4 was listening to, after which lndlyb4 wrote the comment I copied above. I had copied a comment from Say_What, which I again am copying now, for you, below:

      [Starting from here, the comment by Say What:]
      • Say_What | February 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm
      • If anyone is starting to get bored with all social issues, all the time – if you need an infusion of information about the issues that are of grave importance to our country and you want to hear solutions, then check out Newt’s speech and town hall at Oral Roberts University – it is the best thing I’ve heard this entire campaign season:
      http://vimeo.com/37151079
      • It is the best one hour you can spend listening to one of the most brilliant minds in politics … Newt! [end of comment by Say_What]

      ombdz, if we are committed to pulling ourselves out of the hole of darkness, despair, Leftist brutal political favoritism and poverty that the 80+ years of Leftist slide have brought/are inexorably bringing us to, we have to step up our game. Considerably.

      Someone has to pull the car our of the socialist ditch before we can drive the car again. You know this, I’m sure. WE can’t just continue to drift along taking advantage of the ever-dwindling freedoms that other people won for us.

      It’s not enough to elect someone who will sit in the car, in the ditch, honking the horn, adjusting the review mirrors, buying a snack from a roadside vendor, and pretending to be doing something.

      that means we have to choose someone who knows what they’re doing. Fortunately, there IS someone who knows what he’s doing. Newt.

      The internet makes each of us virtually a genius, so it’s pretty easy to be informed with minimal effort.

      Again, sorry if I’m being abrupt. I think maybe I am. Don’t mean to be. Peace. You get to choose the candidate of your preference. I hope to heavens it’s Newt. Cause Newt is the man with the plan.

Friends, I work with a gaggle of low information voters. Their attention span is never longer than a soundbite (unless American Idol is on). If you think their takeaway from Santorum’s stance on social issues is anything other than “Republicans want to ban contraception”, your co-workers are an exception. You’ve got to remember, us informed political junkies are a minority. To see if I am right, ask a random sampling of co-workers who the Speak of the House is.
Sad.But.True.

It might turn out to be a foreign policy election, however. I am impressed with Santorum’s foreign policy gravitas.

Santorum is well versed on foreign policy,but Newt is as well. I would rather stand with him.

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