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.
Now that Mitt is the presumptive nominee, the media will be accusing him of being the right of Ghenghis Khan.
This is good advice from BO’R. Hope it’s heeded.
<<<<<<<< BILL O’REILLY — 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 >>>>>>>>>>>
Wrong, Bill-o! Apparently you lack any “faith-based belief system” whatsoever. If Santorum had not spoken up on social issues, he would have gotten nowhere in the polls. He came out the blue and won 11 primaries. Santorum had the courage to warn of the moral decay that is destroying our families and our future.
The collapse of civilization that is even more important than the next election.
Agree with your point in post #3. But we’re stuck with Romney who’s better than the Obamantion and must be elected.
Remember this is coming from a guy who cheated on his wife and kids.
But polls among likely voters in the general election showed him to be much weaker against Obama than Romney.
Yet actual voters weren’t voting for Gingrich.
Rick Santorum is a 53 year old child in a sweater vest. He had no chance of beating Obama, and now has left us with Romney as our nominee. Thanks Rick, and all your clueless supporters.That's true to a point and I do have a certain amount of disappointment in the Huckabee Voters who I think this time around jumped on the Santorum bandwagon.
But you are leaving something out, something very important:
A week before the Florida primary Newt was in the lead and in the driver's seat and really was in position to transform his recent surge into a political version of Sherman's March to the Sea.
But then Romney, in the first pre-Florida debate, very cooly, and with great calculation, branded Newt as an "influence peddler". It was a public act of political assassination conducted with great skill and extreme heartlessness.
And Newt was absolutely unable to defend himself. As if he had no idea that any of that stuff was going to come up. The Great Debater (who at that point really only had his debating skill as his main qualification before the R voters) spluttered and stared into the camera like a deer caught in headlights.
On that night it was over for Newt.
Romney did it to him, that's for sure. And the Huckabee Voters fell for it, that's for sure.
But the fact remains, the Great Debater Newt Gingrich stumbled that night, and in the next debate too, and it was Game Over for Newt Gingrich.
I'm NOT saying "rightfully so". I continued to be -- and continue to be -- a Newt Gingrich supporter.
But the fact is, Newt blew it. He knew he was the target and he knew Romney's skill at political assassination. And yet, he failed. The Great Debater failed. And the Huckabee Voter stepped in and raised up Rick Santorum.
That's what happened.
But no. Santorum rambled on about the downside of birth control, something most Americans simply don't want to hear about.
Foolish indeed, but that was the problem with Santorum - he simply couldn't resist talking about these things.
Most Americans do not think contraception is "not okay". In fact, it is an alien concept to most folks - even probably half or more of Catholics don't take their church seriously when it comes to this issue.
Whether contraception is "not okay" should have never been a part of the campaign. Were Santorum disciplined he would have avoided the issue like the plague and simply said something along the lines of "I'm a Catholic, I personally accept the church's teaching on the issue, but it is not part of my campaign and not a matter for the government to involve itself in". Had he said that from minute one he'd have never given the media the opportunity to savage him over it and he would have avoided raising so many doubts in the minds of conservatives looking for a viable non-Romney.
I agree with you on the Romney polls. But the first and foremost challenge for Santorum was to get noticed. He was a total ZERO. He barely had a dime to his name.
His supposedly incendiary comments made him the right enemies — liberals! He proved himself a bona fide conservative. Now, for the next campaign, he can use his abundant speaking talent and political experience to expand his horizon and into economic and defense issues.
He could have talked about moral decay without giving interviews announcing that as President he would do what no President has done before and have a national conversation on why contraception is "not okay". I'm sorry, but that was just stupid. Most people not only don't accept that view, they recoil from politicians who think they need to lecture us about it. Rick Santorum may have won over the Robertson/Huckabee voters on social issues like that, but there are simply not enough GOP primary voters out there to nominate a candidate who says this kind of stuff. It's why even when he was doing reasonable well political analysts largely wrote him off.
No, it did not. You are attempting to rewrite history. Santorum made his statements about contraception being "not okay" long before the contraception mandate was announced. The only reason it did not get a lot of media coverage at the time was because no one cared about Rick Santorum because he was an afterthought candidate. As the other candidates faded and Rick emerged, people then went back and paid attention to what he said.
Rick Santorum explained why as President he'd feel the need to lecture us on why contraception is "not okay" in October of last year - LONG before the insurance mandate issue.
"One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, 'Well, thats okay. Contraceptions okay.' Its not okay...."
Now that is a direct quote from Rick Santorum in October of 2011 and it is ON VIDEO.
The contraception insurance mandate was not announced till later in January 2012.
I love the way you clowns encourage cowardice but it isn't surprising coming from people who manipulate the facts to make your point.
No, you simply don't know your facts. Further, MOST of us "clowns" as you put it, aren't against contraception and do NOT want our president to be lecturing the American people on why contraception is "not okay". We ARE against the contraception mandate, but Santorum, having made those previous statements BEFORE the mandate was announced, screwed that message up because the GOP suddenly had a competitive candidate who flat out opposed contraception entirely.
Sigh, you may go now.
Some of us will continue to fight for America despite your lack of morals or courage.
It’s not stupid to mention contraception. You may think it’s OK to shack up with a chick in your dorm room using the pill. But the advent of the pill led directly to our promiscuous culture, rampant disease, abortion and a huge surge of unwed motherhood.
Santorum is not campaigning on making contraceptives illegal. Liberals may recall from his cold hard facts. But he’s just an honest man, telling the whole truth.
Contrary to what you think, more than just the Huckabee and Robertson crowd care about social issues. And a lot more SHOULD be concerned.
What you talking bout Willis? If Santorum didn’t run Romney would have sowed it up months ago. (and polling indicated he COULD have beaten Osama in November)