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Santorum's lost message
The Hill ^ | March 21, 20012 | A.B. Stoddard

Posted on 03/22/2012 11:43:32 AM PDT by RitaOK

Santorum’s lost message By A.B. Stoddard - 03/21/12 06:22 PM ET

Somewhere, buried in Rick Santorum’s fatally flawed campaign messaging, were winning words. Had he committed to them, the former senator could have derailed Mitt Romney’s path to the GOP nomination. Despite Romney’s overpowering resources and organization, Santorum’s potent argument — that the party could not throw the issue of healthcare away by nominating someone who had supported mandates — was his key to victory, but he threw it away.

As he transformed from Senator 2 Percent to the last credible alternative to Romney, Santorum often made the point that nominating Romney — or Newt Gingrich — would take the issue of healthcare off the table and benefit President Obama, as both Gingrich and Romney had declared support for mandates to purchase healthcare during their careers. Santorum also repeated, early on, that Gingrich and Romney had both supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program as well as cap-and-trade proposals, making him the only true conservative in the race.

With little money or staff, Santorum won Iowa and then three surprise victories on Feb. 7 in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. He rocketed from the bottom as a passionate, articulate, indefatigable campaigner who took every question from every eager voter. It was the pivotal moment in the race none of the Romney rivals who preceded him had achieved — and Santorum blew it. He veered off course, and out of this millennium, enthusiastically bemoaning birth-control pills, free prenatal testing and college education. He insulted Obama, calling him a snob, and President Kennedy. Santorum, a devout Catholic, said Kennedy’s insistence on a strong separation of church and state made him want to throw up.

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More from The Hill: ♦ Romney to meet with DeMint, Ryan ♦ ACLU rips employers who demand worker Facebook passwords ♦ Prop 8 lawyers threaten to sue MPAA over ‘R’ rating for ‘Bully’ ♦ Web traffic: Obama's site draws more than GOP field combined ♦ Obama: Romney 'pretending' he had different health plan ♦ Lawmaker to offer personal plea against military hazing ♦ Senators call on Obama to halt further Afghan troop withdrawals ♦ Dem senator presses Army on PTSD cases ♦ McCaskill deals blow to next round of military base closures

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On the night he lost the Michigan primary to Romney by 3 points, the exit polls told the story. He could have easily made up the votes to win from some of the women Romney won, the Catholics Romney won, the older voters Romney won, the voters earning more than $100,000 whom Romney won, and those voters with college degrees Romney won. That night Santorum seemed to acknowledge he had let it slip away — he brought out his mom and paid tribute to her education and years as a working mother, as well as his daughter and his wife. And he called Obama’s healthcare law the biggest issue in the campaign, a question of fundamental freedom: “They’re going to give you the right to healthcare; that’s what President Obama promised. But, of course, when the government gives you a right, they can take that right away. And when the government gives you that right, they can tell you how to exercise that right. And they do — not just what doctors you can see and what insurance policies or how much you’re going to get fined if you don’t do what the government tells you to do, but even go so far as to tell you how to exercise your faith as part of your healthcare bill. If the government can go that far with ObamaCare, just think what’s next.”

Combined with his push for fewer business regulations and less taxation, Santorum’s message on ObamaCare was all he needed to win over enough Romney voters to close the gap and beat him. It was the key to his appeal to independent voters, and to those voters focused more on the economy than the social issues Santorum has built a reputation championing.

But he strayed, and lost Ohio by 1 percentage point. Then he strayed again, decrying the dangers of porn, claiming the Obama administration “seems to favor pornographers over children and families” because it has “refused to enforce obscenity laws.” So this week he lost Illinois by more than 11 points. He won’t recover.

Stoddard is an associate editor of The Hill


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: campaign; message; santorum; santorumlostmessage
To be expected from a "freshman" candidacy brimming with glory and absolutely no finess or political instincts anywhere in sight, but for his use by others as a mouth piece entirely.

Pretty much a bingo for Stoddard.

1 posted on 03/22/2012 11:43:39 AM PDT by RitaOK
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To: RitaOK

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2862330/posts

Posted this morning........


2 posted on 03/22/2012 11:47:19 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: RitaOK

I’d expect someone who has been here a couple of years to word search before making a duplicate posting, too.


3 posted on 03/22/2012 11:48:14 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: RitaOK

Alrightee Slobbard. Mutt hasn’t won yet and probably won’t if Rick and Newt stay in.

Still, Rick’s message has been muddled as if he needs to explain everything or idea he has and he does it in a way that seems constituted, stilted and wretchingly painful ...

Still, Rick is my Plan-B.


4 posted on 03/22/2012 11:51:27 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: RitaOK

Alrightee Slobbard. Mutt hasn’t won yet and probably won’t if Rick and Newt stay in.

Still, Rick’s message has been muddled as if he needs to explain everything or idea he has and he does it in a way that seems constituted, stilted and wretchingly painful ...

Still, Rick is my Plan-B.


5 posted on 03/22/2012 11:51:57 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: RitaOK
LOL! I must be watching a different primary. I've seen nothing but Santorum trying to drive home this point for as far back as I can remember in this primary. In almost every interview he does they attempt to drive him off point. I believe she's the lib I see on the Romney channel all the time. What an idiot.
6 posted on 03/22/2012 11:53:07 AM PDT by throwback ( The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.)
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To: RitaOK

Of course, Santorum’s “piety” campaign accomplished the goal of taking the southern evangelical vote away from Newt Gingrich, which was the Obama “contraception” strategy all along. Checkmate!


7 posted on 03/22/2012 11:53:33 AM PDT by Bizhvywt
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To: RitaOK
It's a trifle difficult for people who don't have messages to stay on message.

Ronald Reagan stayed on message first and last because he had messages. Say what you will about Ron Paul, you've got to admit he's consistent with his principles because he has principles. The RINOs currently contending for the presidential nomination have been spouting this, that, and umpty-dozen other bits of drivel for one simple reason: they don't have principles or messages or plans. They say whatever they think will get attention. They so-called "clarify" statements because there was never anything definite behind their statements in the first place. Their so-called "accomplishments" are all over the political map. They're so busy trying to talk their way around the damage they've actually done, it doesn't seem to have occurred to them we, the American people, aren't impressed by double talk.

It's not a coincidence we weren't impressed by McCain, either.

8 posted on 03/22/2012 11:56:28 AM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: RitaOK

Santorum’s message has been freedom from the start. Also he wants to see AMerican manufacturing back, and I’d love to have more things made by my fellow Americans as well.

Is he a perfect orator? No. He’s better than Bush, and far better than a Prompter. Has he let some of the interviewers get him off message? He sure has. But he is not the “saint” or the “pious” one that so many FReepers call him. He’s a decent religious man and doesn’t try to be holier than thou like Huckabee. He is the type of candidate I think FReepers could have really rallied around to beat down the phony Romney and then the evil Barack.

I know Newt is smart and can tawk reel gud. But other than that, the man is a mess and not made for leadership. I bet he is the PERFECT professor. But he just can’t hold his neediness or wild eyed ideas back. He’s a good American but not ready —ever -— for the presidency. Rick Santorum has humility and will rise to the great occasion of being our representative. I trust him.


9 posted on 03/22/2012 12:01:22 PM PDT by Yaelle (Santorum 2012 - he's our only hope for change at this point)
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To: skeeter; PSYCHO-FREEP

skeeter, I wanted the column on the front page, not the midnight run of the wee hours, or page 2, or 3, but the front page.

It should disappear soon if it is deemed first degree ineptness.


10 posted on 03/22/2012 12:02:28 PM PDT by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. Newt knows where all the bodies are buried, because he buried them.)
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To: RitaOK

A huge criticism of this assessment: it’s just another example of the media being fully and completely in the tank for Obama. Don’t be nailing down the coffin on Santorum when he’s still alive and fighting.

It’s not over.

Now is the time to coalesce behind Santorum and KICK ROMNEY’S PHONY BUTT CHEEKS. COME ON, LA!


11 posted on 03/22/2012 12:04:29 PM PDT by Yaelle (Santorum 2012 - he's our only hope for change at this point)
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To: Yaelle

” I know Newt is smart and can tawk reel gud. But other than that, the man is a mess and not made for leadership. “


Oh, I know, because that’s exactly what the Marxists say about Newt, and the RINOS, and the czars, and Reid, McConnell, Pelosi, the GOP-E, Romney, Santorum.

It must be true. Especially with Newt, as the only candidate who ever walked the gud talk and actually performed in office, who kicked their @$$ off the reservation for fourteen years.

Now, what all has Rickster and Myther done for conservatism, EVER. No, not their “gud talk”, but whatcha got on the record where they EVER lead squat while in office—you know, a historic leadership movement?

Baited breath, here.


12 posted on 03/22/2012 12:17:00 PM PDT by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. Newt knows where all the bodies are buried, because he buried them.)
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To: Yaelle

A.B.(and who has a name like that anyway) is part of the “panel” on Bret Baier and other Faux shows.

She’s a lib and I’ve never once seen her crack a smile.
Join the list of defectors, A. B. (I repeat, who has a name like that anyway)??? LOL

Rick is coming to WI. this weekend and will attend the Conservative summit sponsored by AFP. I can’t wait!!!


13 posted on 03/22/2012 12:25:21 PM PDT by Mountain Mary ("This is OUR country and WE will decide"... Mark Levin)
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To: RitaOK

If Newt had dropped out earlier like he should have, he could have set himself up for a good administration cabinet post.

Now he has burned his bridges with the other candidates and just about everyone else.

He’ll be lecturing at Universities in the future and doing speaking engagements. He has alot o’big(and worthy) ideas which is okay..but he will not be making a comeback on the Presidential trail.

He is, for all purposes, a huge spoiler right now....and done as a piece of pot roast.


14 posted on 03/22/2012 12:29:48 PM PDT by Mountain Mary ("This is OUR country and WE will decide"... Mark Levin)
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To: RitaOK

I guess the mods like it.


15 posted on 03/22/2012 12:44:16 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: Mountain Mary

” Now he has burned his bridges with the other candidates and just about everyone else. “

Newt’s bridges were burned with these candidates, and just about everyone else from the beginning, because these candidates and just about everyone else has a stellar RECORD, unlike Newt, of being part of the problem and a friend to, or protoge of the GOP-E. Newt on the other hand banished the Democrats for our sake, and repels the RINO Establishment and the Marxists.

Newt is well defined by his enemies. They are mine also.


16 posted on 03/22/2012 1:32:07 PM PDT by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. Newt knows where all the bodies are buried, because he buried them.)
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To: Yaelle

You’ve nailed it on many levels.

“he is not the “saint” or the “pious” one that so many FReepers call him.”

Santorum is far far from the theocratic image the media portrays, but you need really savvy PR and media in your corner to counter that. Even conservatives push the false narrative and Santorum steps on his own lines too much. It’s a case of the power of liberal media and the dangers of lack of campaign message discipline, ie, dont fall in the lib-media traps.

Despite that, Santorum would make the best nominee. I fear it is slipping from his grasp at this point.


17 posted on 03/22/2012 1:36:21 PM PDT by WOSG (Anyone But Obama)
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To: RitaOK

When there is a hostile press, you need to be able to recognize and deflect “gotcha” questions. Santorum either does not know this, or is entirely inept at it.

I am closer to Rick on the issues than the other 4, but he is not capable of handling the heat, and therefore I can’t support him. Rick’s positions with Newt’s ability to parry and counter-punch? Now that would be sweet.


18 posted on 03/22/2012 3:33:27 PM PDT by cookcounty (Newt 2012: ---> Because he got it DONE.)
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To: RitaOK

He won’t recover.
______________________________________________________________

RICK Santorum is proving to be dumber than RICK Perry. Who’d a ever thought that was possible for anyone to accomplish.


19 posted on 03/22/2012 8:44:56 PM PDT by no dems (Take it to Tampa: Palin / Ryan or Palin / Rubio or Ryan/Rubio in 2012)
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP

Posted this morning......
______________________________________________________________
So, who gives a sh** ? Some of us don’t have the luxury of sitting at the friggin’ computer all day. We have a life and we have a job.


20 posted on 03/22/2012 8:46:51 PM PDT by no dems (Take it to Tampa: Palin / Ryan or Palin / Rubio or Ryan/Rubio in 2012)
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To: Vendome

bttt


21 posted on 03/22/2012 8:48:22 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Newt/Sarah 2012)
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To: Bizhvywt

Oh good. I’ll tell the Catholic Bishops they can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that that’s all it was.


22 posted on 03/22/2012 9:27:16 PM PDT by Lauren BaRecall (I declare for Santorum.)
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To: Yaelle

The Louisiana turnout on March 24 is expected to be just 10 percent, a good opportunity for Mittens to prevail again. People there usually vote for someone they have heard of.


23 posted on 03/23/2012 4:43:41 AM PDT by Theodore R. (Past is prologue: The American people have again let us down in this election cycle.)
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To: RitaOK
Newt is well defined by his enemies This expression was first used by Democrats in support of Grover Cleveland in 1884! The only question now is who endorses Romney first, Newt or Saint Rick.
24 posted on 03/23/2012 4:46:26 AM PDT by Theodore R. (Past is prologue: The American people have again let us down in this election cycle.)
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To: Theodore R.

Hopefully, if a cave for Romney must occur that conceivably Newt and Rick jointly at convention do their caving. Hope they hold out until then given the protest to Romney-E going on out here. What do you think?


25 posted on 03/23/2012 9:47:34 AM PDT by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. Newt knows where all the bodies are buried, because he buried them.)
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To: RitaOK

This is being misinterpreted, especially by the pro-Romney crowd, which is desperately grasping at any straw to erase the Etch-a-Sketch remarks.

Romney is too much like Obama — that Mitt is a RINO whose record looks like that of Obama and thus, you can choose either one and get essentially the same thing.

You might remember that Mittens voted for Tsongas.

Romney has said that he is for a national health mandate (Obamacare), even though he is denying that right now. You can find him saying that he is for a mandate on a NATIONAL level, on Youtube.

*Romney ran as a PRO-CHOICE candidate for Governor

*Romney supported Cap and Trade

*Romney supports a national healthcare mandate and is the creator of Romneycare (the blueprint for Obamacare)

*Romney helped give Massachusetts gay marriage

*Romney believes in man-made global warming

*Romney was for the bail outs


26 posted on 03/23/2012 10:52:17 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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