Skip to comments.Santorum and the Evangelical Civil War in Iowa
Posted on 12/30/2011 1:36:24 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Evangelicals are in a civil war in Iowa. If they could unite behind a candidate, they could defeat Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in the Iowa caucuses, but they cant. Part of the problem is that three candidates are running for evangelical support but Iowa simply isnt big enough for the three of them. Theyre splitting the vote. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum are all making a play for the social conservatives they need to propel them onward. In 2008, sixty percent of the participants in the Iowa caucuses were evangelical.
Eight days ago Rick Santorum won the personal endorsements of two evangelical leadersBob Vander Plaats, CEO of the Family Leader, and Chuck Hurley, President of the Iowa Family Policy Center. The endorsements may have been just enough to push Santorum up in the pollsat Bachmanns expense. Vander Plaats asked Bachmann to drop out and endorse one of the social conservatives.
The Bachmann team is simply imploding with the defection of a top aide to the Ron Paul camp. She herself has said that it would take nothing less than a miracle to win. When you have to keep insisting that you arent dropping outit may be time to drop out. Look to Bachmann to exit stage left after Iowa. The question becomes who will she endorse.
Three new pollstodays NBC/Marist poll, yesterdays Rasmussen poll, CNN/Time/ORIC pollshow Santorum moving into third place. This is good new for Santorum. Conservative Republican candidates tend to out-perform in Iowa while moderate Republican candidates tend to under-perform. If this holds, Santorum is effectively in a three-way tie with Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. He is the only one of the candidates to visit all ninety-nine of Iowa counties.
Unlike Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansa,s to whom he is frequently compared, Santorum is a northeasterner, a Pennsylvanian. His appeal may be limited beyond working-class Catholics and Midwestern evangelicals. Hes at 2.7% in South Carolina. Moreover, even if Santorum were to win Iowaa big ifhe has essentially no money and no organization in any other state.
Expect to see Rick Perry start a media blitz against Rick Santorum, which, indeed, he has already begun, releasing a radio ad. If Bachmann drops out, Santorum is all that stands between Perry and winning evangelical voters. Rick Santorum spent sixteen years in office, after all, and that leaves a paper trail.
Despite his social conservative bona fides, Santorum was anything but a fiscal conservative, as Erick Erickson points out over at Red State.
* He supported steel tariffs in Pennsylvania
* He supported No Child Left Behind.
* He supported the prescription drug benefit.
* He supported the Bridge to Nowhere. In fact, according to Club for Growth, Santorum had the audacity to vote to continue funding the Bridge to Nowhere rather than send the money to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Those kind of attack ads write themselves, and you can be sure that Barack Obama will rest at nothing to mention Santorums support for the Bridge to Nowhere over the blacks who suffered in Katrina.
Santorum stands ready to defend those earmarks, but calls his voting in favor of a new drug entitlement a mistake. Santorum was crushed in his re-election bid by eighteen points in 2006.
Dec 29, 2011: "I've defended my earmarks in the sense that I'm proud of the money that I did set aside for priorities in my state instead of having bureaucrats do that," Santorum said on Fox News. "The Constitution gives the power of the purse to the Congress."
Feb 2009: Video of Rick Santorum defending earmarks on FOX News program in 2009 -- Juan Williams "pats Santorum on the back" (figuratively speaking) for "being proud" and taking responsibility for his record.
Santorum and Bachmann should drop out now.
This Sunday’s sermons should be very interesting from the thousands of church pulpits across the 99 Iowa counties!!!
[Just like George W. Bush] .......”He sees government as the means to conservative ends. But in using government to get conservative ends he has expanded government and set precedents for liberals to use government in the same ways for more liberal government. Rick Santorum was complicit in making Americans more dependent on government and justified it under the rubric of compassion.”
“Governor Perry let loose the observation that George and the Bushies hate it when Perry calls him George in public has never been a fiscal conservative. Never? Wasnt when he was in Texas . . . 95, 97, 99, George Bush was spending money. He also criticized Bush as being limp on immigration.”
On the “Meet the Candidate” [extended] segment of Bret Baier’s Special Report program - Oct 19, 2011 - (”Center Seat” guest Rick Santorum) the panel discussed with Rick Santorum his 2008 endorsement of Mitt Romney. (they showed a clip and then discussed it)
Iowa does seem to have a strong evangelical streak.
That, could place Santorum, Bachmann or Perry in the running for Iowa.
That said, the evangelical thing will evaporate in NH but will re emerge in SC.
Can Santorumn survive NH?
Bachmann won’t make it out of Iowa.
For several weeks at least, Iowa evangelicals who supported Huckabee in 2008 have been trending toward Santorum. Iowa evangelicals seem to be able to support a Catholic like Santorum while evangelicals elsewhere might not.
No Huckster, we can’t stand you!
Perry continues hammering Santorum on earmearks today in Waterloo:
WATERLOO, Iowa Texas Gov. Rick Perry demanded former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, whom he dubbed a prolific earmarker yesterday, explain his support of earmarks for pet projects, including a teapot museum and an indoor rainforest.
Senator Santorum, just to get a little more specific here, please tell me why you asked taxpayers to support the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Why did you ask the taxpayers of Iowa to support a teapot museum in North Carolina, an indoor rainforest in Iowa, and the mountain sheep institute, Montana sheep institute? Why were those important enough for you to vote for? Perry said to more than 100 people crowded into two rooms at Doughy Joeys Peetza- Joint.
Equating the two men in this way provides a convenient symmetry, but its also a false comparison that misses why many free marketers are comfortable with Gov. Perry even while critical of Solyndra.
Virtually every politician who has served for 12 years has voted stupidly on occasion. I do not have a problem with the tariff vote, myself, but the others were horrible votes. Caveat: I’m sure that the Bridge to Nowhere did not stand alone for a vote.
Why all the negative campaigning against fellow conservatives? Reagan would be ashamed of you.
You want to go negative? Do it against the liberal Willard or the nutjob Paul.
Amen to that.
Says liberals like Romney, McCain, and you.
SANTORUM (53) lawyer [Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. D.C. and Pittsburgh offices since 07] Fox News Contributor - 16 years public office, U.S. House of Representatives, Pennsylvania [1991-95] - U. S. Senator [1995-07] lost bid for 3rd term by largest margin in PA GOP history]; author
BACHMANN (55) lawyer Minnesota State Senate [2003-07]; U.S. House of Representatives [MN] [2007- _____] 8 years public office ; political activist; foster parent; 2011 autobiography
GINGRICH (68) U.S. House of Representatives [GA] - 20 years [Speaker 1995-99] Resigned from U.S. House of Rep after win - Fox News Contributor adviser - speaker author
PAUL (76) - U.S. House of Representatives [TX] - 20 years + 6-8 odd years running - Libertarian presidential bid  GOP presidential bids [2008-2012] -- U.S. Air Force flight surgeon [1963-65/Natl G. 1965-68] OBGYN; author
PERRY (61) - Texas Governor [2000 - ______] 26 years public office: TX Lt. Gov [1999-00]; TX Agriculture Commissioner [1991-99]; TX House of Rep [1985-91] ; Cotton Farmer [8 years]; Captain, U.S. Air Force pilot [1972- 77]; author
Anyone who calls Santorum a “pro-life statist” is a MORON! LOL Erickson has turned out to be an establishment hack. Bob
“Santorum and Bachmann should drop out now.”
Would’ve been better if Perry had never dropped in.
I hold Romney, McCain and Paul in utter contempt. Huckster is a soft-on-crime, big government man. As a man, I have mixed feelings about Huck, but his cozying up to Moochelle was the final straw for me. NO, I don’t miss the guy. Bob
From what I have been reading about Iowa, I don’t think they know what they want, and they are pretty irrelevant anyway.;
They are making such a mess of this they should have their caucus last instead of first and save themselves the embarrassment.
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