Skip to comments.Establishment Shocked by Santorum Sweep
Posted on 02/08/2012 11:21:56 AM PST by Kaslin
RUSH: Rick Santorum, one night, three victories. CBS has the story: "Santorum Stunner: Sweeps 3 GOP Contests." I've taken a gander throughout the Republican media, conservative media, and all over the place, and they are shocked. They're literally shocked. The Republican establishment had no idea this was percolating out there. I can't believe how insulated they are. I mean I know they're insulated. I know they're inside the Beltway. I know they have their own world in which they live, but to look at the reaction they're having today, to see how shocked they are that Rick Santorum has come out of what they thought was an impossible position equivalent to nowhere, is an incredible thing. And we're gonna look at this in some detail.
Of course, the Drive-Bys are crediting me for this. You know, it's about time to put a stop to this. I know why they're doing it, and the real reason they're doing it is because they think they have this kind of power. They think they have the power, and in some cases they do with certain audiences. But they think they have the power to launch Obama from nowhere to the presidency, and it could be argued that they did play a significant role here, and so they think that of themselves. So a Republican candidate comes along out of nowhere. First it was Newt, now it's Santorum. It can't be the candidates. It can't be that Santorum's connecting with voters. It can't be that, no, no, it can't be that Santorum's resonating with Republican voters, the conservative base. It can't be that the conservative base just isn't happy with Romney. It can't be any of that. No, no, no.
It has to be that the Republican base is a bunch of mind-numbed robots sitting out there waiting for marching orders from me. (interruption) Well, while it's fun, Snerdley, while it's fun to sit here and tweak these people, and while it's fun to listen to their sound bites, which we're going to do today, and it's fun to listen to them talk about how I'm responsible for it, never forget that I have the most profound respect and admiration the people in this audience. I know full well that conservative voters, by and large -- there are always exceptions to things -- are intelligent, they're engaged, and they're clearly able to make up their own minds, and they do. It may be a mixture of both. But still, it's fascinating to watch because all of these conservatives sneak up.
The one thing, it's never gonna stop bothering me, this notion, this template, if you will, that conservative voters are a bunch of idiots and can't make up their own minds. They sit around and wait for marching orders. That's been one of the templates to describe this audience ever since this program started in 1988. It's insulting, it's demeaning, and it impugns these people, and I think it's a mistake because the Republican Party had better understand here that the people who are not voting for Romney are not doing it because I'm telling them to, or because anybody else is telling them to. They're doing it because they genuinely have a problem with Romney. And they're doing it because in Santorum's case, as I've been saying the past couple of weeks, if you're looking for a conservative who is the least corrupted, who has the least number of periods of wandering off the reservation, if you're looking for a conservative who's never sat down with Nancy Pelosi on the couch for any reason, you get Rick Santorum. And people know this.
Now, one of the things that could explain Santorum's sweep yesterday -- there are a number of things, but one thing that could explain it is people have to think that the guy can win. That's what the base is telling us today. They think Santorum can win. There may be some protest votes in this, but the establishment had better wake up and understand that Republican primary voters are doing this not just to stick a finger in the eye of the establishment, not just to be frivolous here. They're sending a message. They sent a message with Newt in South Carolina, and I told you then that Newt was the vessel for that message and that vote, the South Carolina primary victory that he had after the confrontation in the debate with Juan Williams.
RUSH: We'll take a brief time-out, come back and listen to a bit of Santorum's speech last night in St. Charles, Missouri. And after that we have a bite from Trump, who says, "I don't get this whole Santorum thing." Just last week he goes out and endorses Romney, and now this! Santorum sweeps three states.
There are a lot of people scratching their heads. And... (interruption) No, I wasn't surprised by this! I'm not surprised by this. It's one of the reasons that I haven't been panicking throughout all of this. I think I have a pretty good understanding and idea where the Republican base is. If they're given the opportunity to vote for what they think so important, they'll do it. Coupled with, "Is my vote gonna be cast where somebody can actually win?" I think people thought Newt could win. It's one of the reasons they voted for him. People are gonna say, "Well, you know, Santorum can't win. Everybody knows he's unelectable." We've been hearing this. Every one of our candidates is "Unelectable! Can't be elected!" It doesn't matter who, other than Romney. We've been told this by our side, our establishment, and by the Democrats and the media as well.
RUSH: When you see somebody running for office, I don't care who it is, for the presidency, do you think you know why they want to be president? Isn't it amazing -- (interruption) you don't wonder? (interruption) Well, okay. Well, that's the point. We're left to assume why these guys want to be president. The last time I can think anybody was asked was when Daniel Mudd asked Ted Kennedy back in 1980, and we got the forerunner of that gibberish at a Clinton fundraiser in the nineties. He had no answer for why he wanted to be president, no answer for why he was running. It strikes me that there aren't very many candidates who are asked that question point-blank. So we're left to assume. Like Snerdley was just shouting at me in the IFB. "I know why Obama wanted to run. He wants to totally change this country. He doesn't like the way the country was founded. It's his job to transform it." Yeah, we're left to assume that, and I think we're right. But he wasn't asked. At least not that I recall.
Now, sometimes they'll say, "I want to be president of this country for X, Y, Z." But put on the spot with the question, it doesn't happen. So when you look around, do you know why Newt -- I'm just asking, I don't have an answer here. These are rhetorical questions. I'm asking you, this audience as voters, when you watch a Republican debate, do you have any idea why Ron Paul wants to be president? Do you have any idea why Newt wants to be? Did you know why Bachmann wanted to be president? Did you know why Rick Perry did? I'm just asking. The reason I'm asking is because I think when you listen to Santorum, you know. He's answering the question without being asked, and it's in that little quote that I read to you about freedom and what's at stake in this election and this country. That's his "why."
That's his answer to the question why he wants to be president. It's a powerful thing. Here's what he said, "I'm not the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I'm the conservative alternative to Barack Obama. I care about the very rich, the very poor. I care about a hundred percent of America. Ladies and gentlemen, freedom's at stake in this election. America's honor is at stake." When you hear that, you have very little doubt what it is that's motivating or inspiring Santorum. Let's go to the sound bites. We have four of them here from St. Charles, Missouri, at Santorum headquarters last night.
SANTORUM: Wow. Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota! Thank you all so very, very much it is great to be here. I just can't thank the people of Missouri. We doubled 'em up here and in Minnesota! Let me just thank God for giving us the grace to be able to persevere through the dog days and blessing us and blessing our family. My wife Karen here, what a rock. I mean what a rock through these last few weeks. We have had more drama than any family really needs, and she has just been an amazing rock and a great blessing to me, and I just want to thank you in particular, my sweet, for all you've done. Thank you.
RUSH: Here's the next excerpt.
SANTORUM: I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't listening. Why would you think he would be listening now? Has he ever listened to the Voice of America before? (crowd yells "No!") No, why? Because he thinks he knows better. He thinks he's smarter than you. He thinks he's someone who is a privileged person who should be able to rule over all of you. But we have a different message for him.
RUSH: Rick Santorum talking about Obama. Obama, he's not listening tonight. He thinks he's better than we are. I think that nails it, by the way. I think Obama is one of these narcissistic egomaniacs, superiorist who actually does think he's better. The bitter clinger comment is an example. When Obama looks at everybody he has to look down his nose to see us. In the next bite, this is Santorum saying he's not the conservative alternative to Romney. He wants to be the conservative alternative to Obama.
SANTORUM: I hope you have been listening to our message, because if you listen to our message and you found out that on those issues -- health care, the environment, cap and trade, and on the Wall Street bailouts -- Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama. And in fact would not be the best person to come up and fight for your voices for freedom in America. Ladies and gentlemen, I don't stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama. (crowd chanting)
RUSH: It's the standard slogan at these rallies, "We pick Rick," that's always the slogan, got all fired up. Santorum is also very fluent in the language of conservatism. It's natural. It pours out. And explaining, for example, the theory of limited government is second nature to him. He doesn't have to be taught it. He doesn't have to have it written for him. He doesn't have to be briefed and he certainly doesn't have to be tutored right before he goes out to speak about it.
SANTORUM: The president over the last few years has tried to tell you that he -- in fact, the government -- can give you rights. The government can take care of you and provide for you. They can give you the "right" to health care like in Obamacare.
SANTORUM: Well, look what happens when the government gives you rights. When the government gives you rights, unlike when God gives you rights, the government can take them away. When government gives you rights, the government can tell you how to exercise those rights. And we saw that just in the last week with a group of people -- a small group of people: Just Catholics in the United States of America.
RUSH: Yep. It just flows out of there. Now, there was a piece today from the Independent Women's Forum, Charlotte Hays. I am familiar with this group. Members of this group have often referred to me as Braveheart in a political sense, although it was not Charlotte Hays. But they're a conservative bunch. They sorta created themselves as the alter ego of the feminazis. They appreciate strong men. They want strong men. They desire a role for strong men in relationships and in the world, in politics and all of this. They're a good bunch of people. So this is from Charlotte Hays, posted at eight o'clock this morning.
"If you think Rick Santorum can get independents, go for it, folks." So once again, here we have this notion that we can't win this without winning the independents, and conservatives can't win the independents. It's a group called the Independent Women's Forum, and they identify themselves as conservative. "If you think Rick Santorum can get independents, go for it, folks. Senator Santorum, who enjoyed a magnificent triumph in three states last night, deserves a lot of credit, as he would no doubt be the first to tell you, for hanging in there. He has been impressive in recent debates. And a grateful nation thanks Mr. Santorum for seemingly having dispatched Newt Gingrich back under his bridge..."
That means he's a troll. Newt's a troll. He's lurking under the bridge there, comes out every now and then for a debate. (interruption) It is snarky. That's my point. But "at least for the time being" we thank Santorum for dispatching Newt "back under his bridge." "But last night was not good for the Republican [P]arty," writes Ms. Hays. "I think the voters last night were acting like my favorite Cousin Harry," she says, "who yearns for a 'real conservative' and refers to Mitt Romney as McCain," and then she writes in parenthesis: "(a McCain presidency is looking pretty good right now; it was during the campaign, not a presidency, that McCain lost his nerve)," end parenthesis.
So this little paragraph here is chock-full of stuff. She's ripping people (paraphrased): "Oh, yeah, yeah! A McCain presidency is looking pretty good right now!" I actually could make the case that the party, the Republican Party would be far worse off today with McCain having won. But that's for another time. Back to Ms. Hays here. "Mitt Romney speaks conservatism like a second language -- that is because it is a second language for him. Is that such a bad thing? Sure, he needed somebody to tell him not to flaunt that coveted Bob Dole endorsement.
"He needs to quickly absorb some of the language and ideas that are first nature to movement [conservatives] (e.g., Walter Williams is good on the minimum wage, Mitt). I hate it when others beat me to ideas that Ive been playing with, but William Tucker did the other day, proposing that Romney, with his temperament, could be another Ronald Reagan. With a conservative Congress, the sky is the limit. In a way, Santorum has replaced Gingrich as the conservative feel-good candidate. As I said, if you think he can win in November, be my guest. I worry that he doesnt have the kind of broad appeal needed to beat even a disaster like Barack Obama."
Now, you might ask yourself... By the way, I said I "know" the Independent Women's Forum. I don't know Charlotte Hays. If I've met her, I don't recall. Rick Santorum is not rallying support because of a cult of personality. As I pointed out in the previous 45 minutes of this program, he's rallying support because he's the last real conservative still standing. He's running enthusiastically as a conservative. The issue is not whether he has "broad appeal." It's whether conservatism has broad appeal and can win over converts with the strength of its arguments, which get clearer.
RUSH: This whole thing with Charlotte Hays here: Either conservatism is what it is and you support it, or it isn't. Santorum is out... I don't care if you can say, "No delegates assigned." Three states! He swept three states. If the establishment's right, Romney should be winning everything now. It should be over, folks, and it's not. Romney's not sweeping everything.
So now the latest is, at least from Ms. Hays... Again, I don't know her. This is really not even a criticism of her. This is more an opportunity to illustrate a point. Santorum is out rallying support because he's the last real conservative still standing, and he is running as a conservative. He's not cloudy about it at all. There's no doubt about what and who Santorum is. So the question isn't: Well, does he have broad appeal? The question is: "Does conservatism -- properly explained, cheerfully proclaimed have broad appeal? Can conservatism win over converts with the strength of its argument?" And there's no question that it can! It does every time it's tried.
The problem is it's not tried enough in electoral Republican politics. But the last time it was overwhelmingly successful was Reagan. We've been through time and time again how much the establishment doesn't like that. They just don't like conservatives and they don't like conservatism, for all the reasons that we've stated. But in times like these? One of the reasons you want down-the-middle, straight conservative is because of the opportunity to contrast it with Obama. Times like this are when conservatism becomes crystal clear to people that don't understand it or have never had it explained to them or don't quite think ideologically in their lives. It's the greatest opportunity ever to explain conservatism to people. It explains itself! As times get more dire, and as Obama becomes more stridently left, conservatism comes into focus.
Now, if you are a conservative and you don't believe that that's true, then why be a conservative?
If conservatism has to be modified or moderated somehow, why be a conservative? So there's a lot going on with this. There is a lot that establishment types could learn and go ahead and use from this experience and this example. I know it gets frustrating, folks, having to constantly teach. You look at the left, and they don't have to teach it. Liberalism is the most gutless choice you can make. You see some suffering and go, "Oh, gosh, I hate that!" Oh, you're a liberal and you've got a big heart. You got compassion. You've done nothing but see it. You've done nothing but say you saw it. You come along with ideas to fix it, and that's when you get opened up to all these charges and you have to take an intellectual foray into understanding what this is about.
And there is more where that came from!
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At approx. the 10:00 min mark.
NO to Romney!!!
Santorum is not my first choice (she’s not running), nor is he even my first choice among those who are running. In fact Santorum is my last choice among those still effectively in the race - ahead of Paul and Romney but neither of them are acceptable choices. However, at least Santorum is a choice, unlike Romney who will not under any circumstances get my vote. While yesterday was mostly a beauty contest, the message is that no one likes Romney. I despise the man and will not vote for him, and a significant majority of republicans and all conservatives can’t stand Romney. The GOP establishment needs to stop trying to ram Romney down our throats and start looking for a candidate who can win. Santorum is one of several who might win, and I congratulate him on a good week.
I think your “Catholic Spring” comment was spot-on.
This election was all about The Economy Stupid until Obama stepped in it with this birth control fiasco and the Ninth Circuit overrode California voters on gay marriage.
Now Social Conservatism is back front-and-center, which plays to Rick’s strengths.
Only thing that bothers me is that in such a heavily Catholic state, Rick got his head handed to him by that barely sentient Democrat lemming Bob Casey.
Santorum’s stuning Leftist beebers everywhere!
Rush is on the money here:
“The Republican Party had better understand here that the people who are not voting for Romney are not doing it because I’m telling them to, or because anybody else is telling them to. They’re doing it because they genuinely have a problem with Romney. And they’re doing it because in Santorum’s case, as I’ve been saying the past couple of weeks, if you’re looking for a conservative who is the least corrupted, who has the least number of periods of wandering off the reservation, if you’re looking for a conservative who’s never sat down with Nancy Pelosi on the couch for any reason, you get Rick Santorum. And people know this.”
Santorum is out rallying support because he's the last real conservative still standing, and he is running as a conservative. He's not cloudy about it at all. There's no doubt about what and who Santorum is. So the question isn't: Well, does he have broad appeal? The question is: "Does conservatism -- properly explained, cheerfully proclaimed have broad appeal? Can conservatism win over converts with the strength of its argument?" And there's no question that it can! It does every time it's tried.
Maybe celebrity endorsements hurt.
Shortly after Trump endorses Romney ... 3 losses.
Palin all but endorsing Gingrich ... nada
Newt Gingrich is too old and too fat to beat 0bama. I know that his white toupee and fat belly should not matter, but it does. There is no way that the Mormon bishop will beat 0bama. I really believe that Santorum is our best chance to take the White House and save this country.
Establishment isn’t worried - they do not play by our rules.
Santorum is the GOPe backup candidate. He is establishment all the way. The GOPe would be very happy with Santorum in the White House.
Finally! A front runner I can get behind since the Cain train derailed!
I wonder if the establishment will at last, long last, finally begin to realize that genuine republican voters...JUST...DON’T...WAN’T...MITT!
FU KARL ROVE!
Most catholics vote liberal.
When faced with the choice of a fake Democrat (Santorum) and a real Democrat (Casey) they picked the real one.
Well, Rush nailed it today when he talked about the tidal wave of factors in 2006:
1. Bush fatigue
2. War fatigue
3. Mark Foley
4. A RAT tidal wave of the House and Senate, running as conservatives... lying, of course. We know how that came out.
I woke up to “Fox and Friends” playing Santorum’s speach, and it was like music to my ears. Add about 10 years and he will be ‘Reaganesque’.
I would love to see Gingrich/Santorum this go’round, for 16 years of conservatism.
I think Gingrich has grown up and will tear down what he can, and Santorum will finish the job.
ANYONE OF THESE BUT ROMNEY
He got swept up in a wave. He smoked Casey in all the debates, but it didn’t matter. Pope John Paul II could have been on the PA ballot and would have lost that year.
Never thought Ann would sell out Conservatives but she sure did. Her credibility has gone to ZERO!
I hope to see the establishment shocked again and again all the way to the convention. Hopefully, the general election will put them into cardiac arrest.
It's not stupidity that has conservatives falling for "He can win;" it's fear, desperation, and a general sense of powerlessness. The reason is simple, since Coolidge there has never been a single conservative government. Not one. We have never been in power.
Fewer than 70,000 Republicans out of a million registered bothered to go. It's very easy for a candidate or interest group to pack them.
The reason is because they don't decide anything. It is a nonbinding straw poll. All the caucuses really do is elect someone to go to the county convention, which elects people to go to the state convention, which elects delegates to the national convention.
I agree the result is a big surprise, but way to much is being read into Colorado.
My two dropped out also. So sad! Maybe we’ll make it anyway?
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I am going to stick with fellow Catholics in Pres. Obamas war on Catholics. Wherein Fr. Z rants.
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(That was REALLY good!!)
I think part of that was the reflexive blue-collar Catholic, Union voters remembering Bob Casey, SR, and thinking his son would be like him. The other part was that many Republicans were angry that Rick Santorum sided with is Senatorial colleague, Arlen Spector, over Arlen's conservative primary challenger, Pat Toomey.
The establishment needs to be shocked!
“Most Catholics vote liberal.”
Maybe in your neck of the woods they do, but here in Iowa they sure don’t.
This might be your opinion but I’d hold off saying it like it were a fact.
You might want to post some proof of that if you have any.
Past is prologue. I think he recognizes that the bishops' indignation is decades late... and likely to subside if the administration concedes this one point. This current abuse is only the next step in a long journey which should have been opposed long ago. I'm afraid of the bishops crowing victory and congratulating the administration for its forbearance... such a scenario would all but seal Obama's reelection.
I fear the "rope-a-dope" where the administration--rather than accomplishing a heavy-handed deed--actually gets the endorsement of the Catholic Church in America for being reasonable.
Pat Boone endorsed Santorum :-)
Three other factors (in descending order of importance, IMO):
1) The larger GOP wipeout of 2006.
2) Santorum no longer had pro-life PA Dems to himself, as Casey Sr. was the last of the true Dem pro-lifers and Casey Jr. ran on that mantle, negating the pro-life advantage Santorum had in the previous two elections, and
3) Santorum did make some missteps that the PA media magnified beyond recognition.
That's some pretty long odds, even for an incumbent - and being incumbent GOP in 2006 was no advantage.
WE NEED TO REMEMBER Santorum received more campaign funds from lobbyists in 2006 than any other member on The Hill at that time, even more than John Murtha and Tom Delay ever did when they were in office.
Sen.Santorum met regularly with K Street lobbyists every Tuesday morning, loves earmarks for special interests and still defends them today. Read that last part again: he acknowledges the spending with NO apologies.
He believes it is fine to keep collecting federal tax dollars to give to Congress to determine what lobbyist-driven projects the Congress would like to provide funds for back in the states.
The U.S. is SIXTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS in debt, and when Sen.Santorum was still in Congress, he was one of those who helped drive some of that debt up. His constituents turned him out of the Senate for supporting Arlen Specter's run for the Senate.
This situation reminds me why so many people voted for Gov.James Earl Carter in 1976. He seemed so good compared to the Republicans tainted by Watergate, a social conservative, a Christian with family values who taught Sunday school. Four years later he left office branded the worst president ever to live in the White House.
It is important to weigh a candidate's whole record against what he claims today. We vote for the package, not the single issue when we elect someone.
We definitely need someone to save the nation; we need someone who promises to change the way Washington has been working. We need a leader.
>>>>Only thing that bothers me is that in such a heavily Catholic state, Rick got his head handed to him by that barely sentient Democrat lemming Bob Casey.<<<<
>>I think part of that was the reflexive blue-collar Catholic, Union voters remembering Bob Casey, SR, and thinking his son would be like him. The other part was that many Republicans were angry that Rick Santorum sided with is Senatorial colleague, Arlen Spector, over Arlen’s conservative primary challenger, Pat Toomey.<<
All true, and in addition, I believe that Casey ran as pro-life, pro-gun candidate, neutralizing key parts of Santorum’s message.
Sad to say...it Jack.
Pat Boone endorsed Santorum :-)
LOL. Like I said, maybe celebrity endorsements hurt.
I’m interested in what happened in Colorado. As most FR people know Romney received 60% of the Republican vote in 2008. Has there been a demographic shift? What percentage of the Mormon vote did Romney receive Tuesday?
I am so tired of these Romney backers like this Charlotte Hays women Rush quotes who fall back on the “electability” argument instead of being HONEST about why they’re supporting Romney. The Republican Romney backers I’ve known are not just social moderates, they are anti-religious bigots. They look down their noses with disdain and mockery at social/religious conservatives. They are VERY happy to not talk about abortion because they are VERY happy with the status quo. And their new issue is gay marriage...the only thing that surpasses their desire to legalize gay marriage is their disdain and distaste for the people who DON’T want to legalize it.
I disagree with Rush on several things. I understand more why Newt wants to be president than why Rick does. Newt has been very clear that he wants to radically change Washington and fix the broken system. Rick hasn’t been nearly as clear on the “theme” for his presidency. Ron Paul is pretty darn clear as well. Mitt is obviously the one who’s not clear at all.
I disagree that Reagan was the last time we tried to sell conservatism to the public. 1994 and Newt’s Contract with America was the last time and domestically it was even more important and significant than the Reagan revolution. Reagan’s greatest triumph was on foreign policy.
I also disagree that Rick is getting support because he’s the last conservative or whatever Rush said. Rick is getting support because people, rightly or wrongly, are buying into the line that Newt is unelectable (they just haven’t swallowed the corresponding story that Mitt IS electable). People know Newt is a true conservative, all the exit polls have shown it. No one is buying the UTTER NONSENSE that Newt is not a rock-solid conservative.
Are you from Pennsylvania? Bob Casey Sr. was a beloved multi-term Catholic pro-life Democrat governor here who had several high-profile showdowns with the Democrat party. People knew very little about the son and he basically rode in on the coattails of his extremely popular father, thanks in large part to having the same name as him. It was a terrible year for Republicans in general, and anyone who reminded people of Bob Casey Sr. was going to be a more than acceptable alternative.
I hope to see the establishment shocked again and again all the way to the convention.
Elitist always underestimate the dumb masses:)
I’m not totally sure of the timing, but many conservatives like Rush and even Santorum endorsed Romney last time (which I find hard to imagine but it apparently happened). So Romney was the conservative alternative to McCain, and now Santorum is the conservative alternative to Romney. It’s a consistent result, the voters voted more or less for who they thought was the most acceptable conservative each time and against the frontrunning moderate.
And of course you have proof of this other than your own opinion?
I’m catholic. I’ve got tons of friends who are also catholic and we are all staunch conservatives and are registered Republicans.
I think you’re using a very broad brush here with nothing to prove your statement.
You obviously got your feelings hurt, but stick around for a while and you will see that especially the catholics here recognize that the vast majority of catholics at large vote the Democrat line.
That is no reflection on you.
I’m sure that most East Coast catholics might vote that way. As do some who call themselves catholics like Kerry and Pelosi, but the go-to-church-every-sunday Catholics don’t and they don’t support pro-choice candidates.
Again, post some proof otherwise it’s just your opinion and worth the paper it’s printed on.
Also, are YOU Catholic?
Seems to be some religious bigotry taking place here on FR.
They didn't matter before Newt was carpet bombed by Mitt in Iowa. And I don't think any of mitt's ads were about gingrich's hair, so I doubt they matter now. At least not to adults.