Skip to comments.The Book of Santorum
Posted on 04/14/2012 5:09:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
Mitt Romney would be wise to take a good hard look at what Rick Santorum did right and what he did wrong during his campaign. In his quest to unseat President Obama, Romney will face some of the same challenges Santorum faced.
Back in the summer of 2011, nobody thought Santorum had a shot at the Republican nomination. Nationally, he was polling at about 3 percent. But through sheer hard work and persistence, he won the Iowa caucus and was catapulted into the big time.
There are many lessons to be learned from Santorum's political journey, beginning with having a dream and fighting like hell to make it happen. The senator did that, and it makes him a noble figure to those of us who admire achievement.
But Santorum also made some vivid mistakes in underestimating the secular culture and the intent of the media. And this is where the Romney tutorial begins.
The national press is generally biased toward the left and has the long knives out for anyone spouting spiritual beliefs. Once Santorum began answering questions about his theology, it began to damage his political message. And when he criticized John F. Kennedy on the separation of church and state issue, the media went wild. You don't mess with JFK.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos defined the skeptical tone toward Santorum in January during the New Hampshire debate. He zeroed in on the senator's moral view of contraception, and foolishly, Santorum engaged. He should have simply said: "Hey, George, I have seven kids. I don't know much about it." End of exposition.
But no. Santorum rambled on about the downside of birth control, something most Americans simply don't want to hear about. Although most citizens are believers, the USA has become a largely secular country, and voters do not want politicians telling them how to conduct their private lives.
Soon, Santorum was besieged by questions about his faith-based belief system and, again, entered into the conversation, answering questions about the morality of homosexuality and the like. In doing so, he walked into a swamp he couldn't get out of and was marginalized as a religious zealot.
Memo to Romney: If the media ask you about Adam and Eve, simply say they didn't have jobs and it's Obama's fault. Keep the conversation on issues that matter to the voters. The media don't really care what you think about Cain and Abel or what you believe spiritually. They simply want to make you look like Elmer Gantry.
In the end, Santorum's spirited challenge to Romney actually better defined the governor for the voters, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your viewpoint. But going forward, Romney will face the same sand traps that bedeviled Santorum. Best to walk around them, Governor, because once you get in, you'll never get out.
I agree, that was the cardinal moment, when Romney smeared Gingrich. The phrase “resigned in disgrace” was repeated several times, to Newt’s face, and he hardly even addressed the point never mind refuted it. Nolo contendere does not sit well with the average person. Newt’s candidacy was demolished by his omission of a forceful defense.
As for Santorum, I’m holding my fire until such time as he endorses Mitt Romney.
Perhaps you don't realize that millions of MARRIED couples that have children use contraception because 1,2,3,etc, kids make for a plenty big enough family for them. And by the way, millions of Christian families use contraception - including an awful lot of Catholics (majorities of whom didn't vote for Santorum by the way).
You make it sounds like contraception is just rubbers and pill popping for a bunch of college kids. If you actually believe that your understanding of who uses contraception is woefully lacking.
Nowhere even remotely close to a majority of Americans want a candidate who believes as President it is his job to lecture the nation on why contraception is "not okay".
“Now that Mitt is the presumptive nominee, the media will be accusing him of being the right of Ghenghis Khan.”
Which of course is a lie. His record as governor is to the left of Bill Clinton’s and Jimmy Carter’s.
>>the media will be accusing him of being the right of Ghenghis Khan.
Here in MA they’ve been doing that for years. But again it’s Mass. land of Kennedy and Frank.
Keep in mind many in the country may be fiscally conservative but socially moderate (a talk show host once declared “We
want the Democrats out of our wallets, the Republicans out of our bedrooms, and both AWAY from our First and Second
Amendment rights!”) I’m more concerned with fiscal issues,
terrorism, immigration, taxes, etc.
As usual the GOP nominee is expected to veer off a bit to the Left for the final election but hopefully keep things
on the Right for fiscal affairs, taxes, etc. It’s tough to please everyone.
And I know in my own case, sorry Rick, I’m voting for a President, not a preacher. I know there are many religious folks who want a leader they can agree with but many (not all, but quite a few) voters are secular—and even some
who are religious are a bit more concerned with the debt,
Islamofascism, runaway taxation, etc. Ultimately I want someone who can deal mostly with those issues, though I do know faith issues are important to many, as well.
The Leprechaun has plenty of faith-based system. He believes firmly and unalterably
What’s not to like about this Man of Principle, Billy O’Riledly???
But supposedly the reasons he only ran for one term were
1) wanted to run for Pres.
2) knew he couldn’t defeat the Dem candidate in ‘06 (Deval
Patrick, who turned out to be the first black gov in history of the Commonwealth)
If his record were truly to the left maybe he could have run
for a second term and then run for Pres. while keeping his
office (as Kerry did). He knew he would have gotten trounced.
(btw he got elected in the first place because “Acting Gov.” Jane Swift was a disaster, polls horribly low.
I think his opponent was Dem. Shannon O’Brien, who was
kinda weak. MA occasionally elects moderate Republicans
such as Romney (lefty to the rest of the country,
“Moderate” here). But he knew he couldn’t win re-election.
They were itching to put a Dem back in.
also to widespread divorce, which in turn creates widespread fatherlessness which in turn is the single most important factor predicting criminality.
Separating sex from procreation was the biggest change-factor in the sexual revolution and it’s destroyed our culture.
Contraception actually affects married sex too. Destabilizes married relationships. You’ll refuse even to consider this possibility, I’m sure.
But it’s true.
Santorum is NOT campaigning on abolishing contraceptives. No one is advocating that. Only liberals think he’s for making contraceptives illegal.
Instead, he simply tells the truth about how the pill transformed our culture into free-sex decadence.
You seem to be unaware that small families are destroying our country — leading directly to our crushing entitlement crisis and our borders being overrun by large-family illegal aliens.
That may be “lecturing” in your rather juvenile way of putting it, but it’s still the truth. Politicians should tell the truth.
“If his [Romney’s] record were truly to the left . . .”
His record is truly to the left, and it is truly to the left of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Because of that fact, he has less chance than a Massachussetts fetus come November.
“The last line of the article encourages Romney to choose cowardice over courage.”
Well, it is certainly addressed to the correct candidate and the correct party.
With Romney we don’t have to worry about any of those pesky confrontational politics. No confrontation with the UN. No Confrontation with the EPA. No confrontation with the department of education. No confrontation over border control.
I doubt Romney would even consider overturning anything Obama has done because it would lead to confrontation.
I have several large homeschooling families in my church who oppose contraception on principle, and have made huge economic sacrifices to have a half-dozen to a dozen kids while the wife stays home to do homeschooling. (In other words, this isn't just a Catholic issue — lots of the most conservative Protestant evangelicals in the homeschooling movement oppose contraception as a matter of principle.) Not one of those families ever, even one time, criticized me for disagreeing with them, even though one of those men is an elder. They understand that the sphere of the family involves personal choices into which the institutional church should enter only rarely — the elders don't run my home, I do, and God will hold me directly accountable for how I run it.
Rick Santorum never said he wanted to ban birth control. He said he didn't choose to use birth control, and believed it enabled wildly promiscuous sex.
Nobody can deny the obvious truth that birth control enabled the “sexual revolution.” Go read Time Magazine's cover story on the Pill if you won't listen to a conservative saying that. As for the first point, it's none of my business how many children somebody else’s family chooses to have, and Rick Santorum never said he wanted to restrict access to birth control.
The same bravery and willingness to stand up for his moral convictions that attracted conservative Christian voters are what attracted liberal fire from the left.
Romans 13:3-4 says civil rulers are supposed to be a terror to evildoers: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
You can know a lot about somebody by who their enemies are. Santorum attracted (mostly) the right enemies. That's not a problem in my book.
A very eloquent and persuasive post.
Romney should thank Newt for making him hire a new debate coach.
The mocking reception Newt's space speech--filled with mainstream thinking of those who still care about space--will be a mile marker in America's fall from greatness and its apathetic acceptance of coming irrelevancy to humanity's advancement.
Culturally American exceptionalism is dead; our influence continues to diminish; the American era is all but over. We are in a transitory period with China most likely to dominate through the second half of the century.
I watched the debates. Romney didn’t cause Newt to fail. He attacked Newt, like he attacks everyone, all the time (Newt even mentioned that in the debate).
The fact is, Newt could have won those two debates, as he had won all previous debates. He didn’t. He lost. And then went on to lose the primary.
And now you’re saying the debates didn’t matter. Oh well, I guess we can go round and round with the postmortems ad infinitum.
Neither one of us is going to change the other’s mind. We have to agree to disagree on this. Or not. I don’t really care that much.
But what I think is what I still think despite your suggestion that it was the money, not the debate, that mattered.
“The mocking reception Newt’s space speech—filled with mainstream thinking of those who still care about space—will be a mile marker in America’s fall from greatness and its apathetic acceptance of coming irrelevancy to humanity’s advancement.”
I too think that was a landmark on our road of decline.
“Keep in mind many in the country may be fiscally conservative but socially moderate”
WTF does that mean? Conservative is conservative. One cannot want less expensive government without taking some personal responsibility.
“the Republicans out of our bedrooms”
How are Republcans in anyone’s bedrooms? The Kennedys and Clintons are Dems.
Thank you, Psalm 144.