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Santorum’s “team sport” remark a self-inflicted wound

Santorum’s “team sport” remark a self-inflicted wound

Contrary to what many are saying, Mitt Romney didn’t specifically attack Santorum on No Child Left Behind at the Arizona debate (here’s the transcript).

In fact, Romney defended Bush’s motives:

And with regards to No Child Left Behind, the right answer there — President Bush stood up and said, you know what? The teachers unions don’t want school choice, I want school choice to see who’s succeeding and failing.

He was right to fight for that. There are things that should be changed in the law, but we have to stand up to the federal teachers unions and put the kids first and the unions behind.

It was Ron Paul, and then an audience question, which brought Santorum‘s uncomfortable response on NCLB:

Well, you know what? I supported No Child Left Behind. I supported it. It was the principal priority of President Bush to try to take on a failing education system and try to impose some sort of testing regime that would be able to quantify how well we’re doing with respect to education.

I have to admit, I voted for that. It was against the principles I believed in, but, you know, when you’re part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake.

(BOOING) You know, politics is a team sport, folks. And sometimes you’ve got to rally together and do something. And in this case, you know, I thought testing was — and finding out how bad the problem was wasn’t a bad idea.

What was a bad idea was all the money that was put out there, and that, in fact, was a huge problem. I admit the mistake and I will not make that mistake again. You have someone who is committed.

Post-debate, Romney has mocked Santorum‘s “team player” line to attack Santorum‘s alleged strength, courage of conviction.

Courage” was the one word Santorum used to describe himself at the end of the debate, even after acknowledging that he voted against principle on NCLB.

So don’t blame Romney for Santorum‘s problem, it was a self-inflicted wound.

Nonetheless, it is fascinating to watch Romney’s prior spirited embrace of NCLB in 2008, Mitt Romney Strongly Supported No Child Left Behind:


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“Santorum‘s “team player””

don’t play on gw bush’s team. they be backstabbers.

1. Santorum’s “team sport” remark a self-inflicted wound

Back when Santorum was a Senator, I got the impression he was a walking gaffe machine–and I got that impression from conservative Web sites.

2. There is Disraeli’s Damn your principles! Stick to your party, but Benny did not mean that a politician should blurt his motives out in public.

Donald Douglas | February 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I’ve got that ABC interview here, with the separation of church and state controversy: “Full Interview: Rick Santorum on ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos'”.

I see Santorum is still digging that hole for himself by knocking Kennedy speech. Here is the speech BTW

    Here is John Cole at Balloon Juice plowing Santorum under.

    Of course, that isn’t what Kennedy said at all. What Kennedy was stating was that his decision-making would not be held hostage to the demands of the Vatican (or any other church leadership) . . .

    Nowhere in the speech did he dictate that people of faith could have no role in public life. Nowhere. Santorum is lying or stupid or both, and I’m going to go with both and throw in a dash of evil.

    What Santorum wants is not religious freedom. What he wants is the freedom to force you to live by his religious beliefs.

      Valerie in reply to gad-fly. | February 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      “What Santorum wants is not religious freedom. What he wants is the freedom to force you to live by his religious beliefs.”

      oh. Just like Barack Obama.

      SmokeVanThorn in reply to gad-fly. | February 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Gee, when a noted conservative like John Cole opposes Santorum, it really menas something.

      Terri in reply to gad-fly. | February 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks for posting that! I was having a REALLY hard time trying to figure out why that speech made Santorum want to “throw up”!

      Also, did you guys hear him call Obama a “snob” for wanting everyone to go to college, but when asked didn’t he want a higher education for his children he said yes.

      Also, about the Auto Bailout, Santorum is going around saying that Mitt turned his back on the people of Michigan because he didn’t support the bailout, yet, neither did Santorum.

      The one man who can get things done, and help SAVE this country is not doing well. I feel like I am living in some kind of alternate universe. Are people REALLY this stupid???

Rick’s a defensive player. We need a guy who knows how to play offense and that’s why we need Newt. Newt will take the ball into the opposing team’s half of the field and run it right into their end zone.

Windy City Commentary | February 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Looks like this blog will turn into a Romney site if Newt drops out. That’s too bad.

This is what I don’t like about Rick – he says things in a way that unnecessarily antagonizes people. And once again, are we talking about gas prices? Obama’s policies? the economy? jobs?….nope. We are talking about what Rick said.
This is not presidential behavior. It’s amateur hour.

Bring on Newt, the last guy standing, who knows how to communicate and direct the national conservation.

    conservativegram in reply to tazz. | February 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Good post. I feel if Rick doesn’t lay low soon, no Republican stands a chance of being taken seriously. You know why his name is being tweeted more than anyone else in the race? Because he’s being made fun of more than anyone else.
    I so want to get back to the real issues.

This is all so incredibly sad and pathetic — in totality. This is where we’re at? Santorum had 21 debates to deconstruct Romney. So did Gingrich. (Even the fact these men submitted themselves to the degradatioons of 21 MSM debates is sad enough in itself.) I am a Gingrich supporter but have lost my sense of possibility here. Is it really that hard to rattle and topple this loser Romney? And how on earth does Gingrich expect to take on Obama if he can’t handle these two other clowns? So Romney had a huge money advantage. There are ways to fight this, and of all people Gingrich — I assumed — should have known them, should have had the wiliness and toughness to figure it out and fight it out.

I see no hope short of a stymied convention and a grassroots uprising.

    Hope Change in reply to raven. | February 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Hi raven.

    I understand when things look dark. But don’t give in!

    This is the most exciting political breakthrough in our lifetime. We’re right in the MIDDLE.

    They’re trying to hypnotize you. Don’t let them!

    Every highly-contested battle or game is won by people who keep their eye on where they’re going and why they want to get there.

    Do you think Tim Tebow allows himself to think negative thoughts? How about Mario Manningham and Eli Manning? “The New York Giants won the Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots with a score of 21-17. The winning touchdown was preceded by a spectacular 38 yard reception by receiver Mario Manningham. As in Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning was Super Bowl MVP.” How about Lance Armstrong? General Patton? The RAF? Churchill? Margaret Thatcher? Ronald Reagan? They all said Reagan couldn’t win, just as they’re saying now about Newt.

    Guard your thoughts!! What are you doing, watching TV? Anything that makes you feel hopeless is not your friend. Notice what makes you feel hopeless and do something different. You’re too good for this, raven. Much too good.

    Even The NIGHT BEFORE election 1994, Newt has said, he had colleagues who thought the idea that they would sweep into the House and Senate was a joke. The night before!!! They are going to be trying to drag you down EVERY DAY, ALL DAY. People you thought were your allies. And that is no joke.

    But so what? HIGH MORALE is not a function of other people agreeing with you.

    I know they try to make you think you’re the only one! I know it’s hard and it’s frustrating and sad. I know. They’re trying to psyche you out!

    The election of 2010 was just the beginning! Now it’s 2012: victory or death. It’s do or die. This is it. This it it, now. NOW.

    Your moral is YOUR job. Guard it fiercely!! It’s suicidal to be hopeless in the middle of a huge battle. This is a game-changing moment. Don’t give them their victory. They’re psyching you out!!!

    America can be an energy GIANT. We can return to the Constitution and the spirit of fair play. Have Determination & Good cheer. There are more of us than there are of them!

    Look at the example of those who have gone before us — others who faced terrifying times.
    For example,
    RONALD REAGAN: “These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

    My mother’s brother was a bombardier in WWII. He was the only one of his plane’s original crew who made it home. Think what that does to a person. Think what they have given for us! Is there someone you love, whom you would give your life to save, if they were a little child, running into traffic? Yeah, me too. Let’s be strong for them.

    Sometimes we just have to put on the armor of eternal truth and the deep verities, things that are not negotiable, and then we have to just plain stand on the line. This is potentially the most exciting breakthrough in politics we’ve ever seen.

    Get inspiration. “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH” will give you fortitude like nothing I’ve ever seen.
    “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH.”

    The part about George Washington makes me think that I absolutely refuse to let George Washington down. I would be ashamed for George Washington to see me cowing before these contemptible statists, when I am an American and my birthright is FREEDOM. That George Washington and the other Americans through the past 250 + years have won for me!

    Then Newt talks about the people of Poland, and how they looked around and saw that there were more of them than there were of the Communists and how the Poles fought for 10 years to get rid of the Soviet domination. The courage. and they were facing actual death, actual imprisonment, the actual KGB or whoever ran the secret police in Poland. What are we up against compared to that?

    Then, raven, refresh your memory about the PLAN. Watch Newt’s CPAC speech again. Think about where your special gifts will be useful once we start dismantling the bloated federal government and start having a federal government that is lean and actually works. Good federal employees will finally be able to do their jobs!! What can you do closer to home when we bring power home to local communities and the States.

    2012 CPAC speech.
(I put a loose transcript there so you can skim through it if you want.)

    And raven, make sure you get plenty of rest. Take a walk. Take a break. Tell a joke. Call a friend. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

    Friends don’t let friends get discouraged in the middle of the most exciting political breakthrough in our lifetimes!

    Once Newt is elected, it’s going to get worse, in a way, for a while. Until the reforms start working.

    The Left thinks it’s on the verge of pwning America. Sharks. Blood in the water.


    Peace, raven! I love your comments. Stay with us, please. I rely on you! I hope you feel better!

      Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | February 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm


      Keep your eyes focused on the lighthouse, not on the waves crashing into the boat!!!!

      Hope Change, I appreciate your fine words. I haven’t given up. I have faith in America. The cowards and losers on the Romney Right and the misery-merchants on the Left will meet their respective bad ends. But the road will get harder, and I do not believe we will be led through the coming troubles by either Gingrich or Santorum. Gingrich had his moment and failed it; he had his boot on Romney’s neck and the media caught in a defensive frenzy and he let up on both. Politics is bloodsport, a basic truth he forgot. Santorum was never an option.

      But more surprises are in store. This is not over.

It’s not that hard to rattle that loser, Romney. It’s that hard to get through the commentary by the the “Republican” talking heads who think they have the right to dictate your choice of candidate.

    Hope Change in reply to Valerie. | February 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Valerie, well said, well said.

    Which is why fewer and fewer people watch them.

    The commentary here is often incomparably more insightful. And usually better informed.

So, Mitt Romney is positioning himself as a…Maverick?

That’s ironic on, well, at least two levels…

Video, Romney. It’s abundantly clear that the guy doesn’t have a clue. Not from stupid, but from not interested enough to have thought about it. So he just glibly blathers away whatever he thinks will fly.

Hope, your just too nice. Raven, stop whining and either volunteer, or watch this country go to crap. I’ve read quite a few of your posts, and I agree it can sometimes get depressing, but to continually sit on a pitty pot & whine rather than get out there & do something is a total waste of time. I have faith that Newt & Co. are doing the best that they can, unfortunately, they can’t vote for us too. And to sit there and say how couldn’t Newt clobber Romney by now? What primary have you been watching. Yes, Money is HUGE. If all you see are Romney ads, your probably going to believe them. As well as having Fox News, Natl. Review, WSJ, and numerous other Establishment news sources all in the bag for Romney, yeah, it’s REALLY HARD to overcome the odds. Oh yeah, they’ve also gotten every RINO & fake Tea Partiers in office now endorsing Romney & defending him too. Oops, forgot, they’ve also gotten how many news sources to flat out lie & distort almost his whole career. If you aren’t lazy & look it up yourself you know these are lies but, most Americans are lazy & believe the easy sources. It’s amazing he’s still in the race at all. Thank god he is a gifted orator, leader and visionary. I pray to god Palin will finally fully endorse him & maybe get on the stump with him to get more press. He’s the only true conservative candidate with a AMERICAN plan to return us to the Constitution from before he’s even in the WH – if Americans (TEA PARTIERS ESPECIALLY) don’t wake up and vote for him, we’ll be doomed to Romney or Obama. Can anyone say the New Europe.

I agree that Sarah Palin has to stop sitting on the sidelines and come out for Newt.

We need to stop the comments from the “peanut gallery” by Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and especially from Ann Coulter.

Newt and Sarah Palin would ignite this race like no other.