Skip to comments.Is Rick Santorum the logical conservative alternative? (To Mitt Romney)
Posted on 02/01/2012 3:16:59 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Last night, a number of people on Twitter pointed out that Mitt Romney didn’t get a majority of the Florida primary vote and claimed that combining the percentages of all other competitors showed that he could still be stopped. I pointed out earlier that this assumes everyone wouldn’t vote for Romney as a second choice, which polling shows to be false (he was second among second choices in Florida), but let’s put that aside for a moment. To whom should conservatives look as the consolidation candidate? After watching Newt Gingrich lose two debates and suffer a steep reversal of fortunes in Florida, some look to Rick Santorum, such as Andrew Malcolm, who wonders if Gingrich has worn out his welcome:
In an amazingly graceless non-concession concession speech after not phoning the victor out of common competitive courtesy, Gingrich chose to talk not about minor matters such as how he proposes to win the Nov. 6 national general election against $1 billion.
No. Instead, Gingrich described in great detail what all he is already planning to do and sign during his first day in the Oval Office, in between taking the presidential oath and numerous inaugural parties.
After a humiliating defeat, Gingrich spoke of a two-man race, assuming his own GOP nomination and general election victories. Big ideas? Try loony ideas. The guy is living in a parallel universe.
Now, Gingrich takes his campaign to Nevada, the state with the most foreclosures in the nation, where he has three days to explain what he did for that $1.6 million that mortgage giant Freddie Mac paid him.
Jeffrey Anderson at The Weekly Standard looks at the numbers ahead:
In Missouri, where the next Republican primary will take place (next Tuesday), a new poll by PPP shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by 11 percentage points 45 to 34 percent while Ron Paul has 13 percent support. Newt Gingrich isnt on the ballot in Missouri, so the Show Me State offers a prime opening for Santorum to build on his earlier victory in neighboring Iowa.
Perhaps even more encouraging for Santorum are the candidates respective favorability ratings among prospective primary voters in the state. Santorums net favorability rating is +42 percent (63 percent favorable to 21 percent unfavorable), compared to +10 percent for Romney (46 percent favorable to 36 percent unfavorable). (Pauls net favorability rating is minus-29 percent 28 percent favorable to 57 percent unfavorable.)
Those aren’t the only numbers that suggest that Santorum could stand up better to Romney than Gingrich. PPP polling in key upcoming states show that Santorum challenges Romney more strongly in Ohio as well as Missouri:
Rick Santorum is leading the way for next week’s ‘beauty contest’ primary in Missouri with 45% to 34% for Romney, and 13% for Ron Paul. Newt Gingrich is not on the ballot for that, but he will be in the picture for Missouri’s caucus and leads the way for that with 30% to 28% for Santorum, 24% for Romney, and 11% for Paul.
In Ohio Gingrich is at 26% to 25% for Romney, 22% for Santorum, and 11% for Paul.
What might be most interesting in both states is what happens in a head to head between Romney and either Gingrich or Santorum:
-In Missouri Santorum leads Romney 50-37 and in Ohio Santorum leads 45-38.
-In Missouri Gingrich leads Romney 43-42 and in Ohio Gingrich leads 42-39.
Two takeaways from those numbers: if this ever came down to Romney, Paul, and just one out of Gingrich and Santorum, Romney would be in a lot of trouble. And he’d be in more trouble if the single conservative alternative ended up being Santorum.
It’s not just the numbers, either. The debates in Florida last week showed that Gingrich’s claim to mastery of the format simply don’t hold up. He lost both of those debates, and spent the rest of the week attacking Romney on religious freedom and proposing a lunar base that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars in an era where Republicans are arguing for reduced spending. If Gingrich was actually making the conservative case against Romney, I could see Sarah Palin’s point, but he’s not. He’s making a case for “big ideas” that involve a huge amount of spending, attacking Romney on any basis that happens to be handy, and he’s attacking the media.
The candidate actually making the conservative case on the campaign trail is Rick Santorum. Santorum scored points off of Romney in both Florida debates, especially the last one, because Santorum hasn’t ever backed an individual mandate as a health-care solution and doesn’t have to defend that position. He’s never backed TARP, either. That doesn’t make Santorum a perfect conservative candidate, but he seems to be the only one who’s focusing on the actual conservative agenda. Even if the motivation is to back a conservative alternative to Romney to “sharpen his steel” and force him to follow the conservative agenda, it’s Santorum who is most effective at making that the agenda.
Plus, there is one more thing to consider, and that is the quality of leadership. Both of the frontrunners and their allies have engaged in disappointing attacks on free market enterprise in an attempt to exploit each others’ weaknesses, but Santorum has refrained from doing so, even though he has specifically targeted blue-collar voters who might respond to those attacks. Santorum has maintained a high level of integrity in his campaigning, and that’s something to consider when choosing the man who will represent the party in the 2012 elections.
Santorum also has a new ad out today, “Deal,” which targets Gingrich. It’s running in Nevada and Colorado this week:
It would help your case a lot more if we could just ignore facts like the conservative record of Newt Gingrich.
Rick’s been good on the social issues. He’s a disaster on everything else more or less. Google “50 Things You Don’t Know About Rick Santorum.”
Its what he put out in his 2006 election to prove to moderates and liberals in PA that he’s one of them. Pretty darned convincing too.
Anyone who links Charlie Zahm’s “Minstrel Boy” on their homepage can’t be all bad...
Somebody earlier today suggested I tend to focus more on what candidates are saying they will do, than on what they were like in the past. This might be true.
I certainly don’t dismiss the past, but I would say that if one candidate was always good before, and now says they will do something bad, I’ll probably believe them. If a candidate was bad before, but says they see the light, I might also believe them. But I can’t imagine specifically deciding that a candidate who says they oppose my position on an issue is actually lying to me about it.
I also tend to focus more on what happened in this century. People change. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t dismiss Gingrich’s infidelity, which happened at the same time he was getting those 100% conservative rankings. If we are supposed to accept that he’s a different person now, it seems inconsistant to argue that he’s conservative now because he was conservative then.
In that case, I'm sure you and Schumer are happy with the results of that 2006 election. Schumer deliberately targeted Santorum and while I can't find the verbatim quote at my fingertips, he said something to the effect that even if the dems had taken back the senate, he would have still regarded it as something of a loss had they not elimated Santorum.
IMHO, I would judge a conservative's credentials more by their loudest enemies than by an ill-considered campaign brochure. You're free to do otherwise.
Charlie’s a good PA boy...kind of like Rick ;^)
That’s some drum!
Love that song!
...all the bitterness of man must cease
and every battle must be ended.
You’re kind of whiney to be a man. Are you a female, a child or both?
I’m talking about right now in the primary race...not 15 years ago. And yes, I’ve been on the scene politically going back to Nixon.
This is where it gets difficult, so I will write slowly so you can understand ,because clearly to this point I have whooshed this right over your little head.
Rick S is running as “the one true conservative” and bragging that he always “takes the slings and arrows” and that in his 06 election - he says over and over and over and over and over and over and over again - that he at least lost standing up for principles.
That is all bullish-t. He lost trying like heck to be loved by the liberals and the moderates.
Every grown up supporting Newt is doing so eyes wide open with the pro’s and the con’s. Many children supporting Rick think he is something that he most certainly is not.
ROTFLMAO...Why do so many Newtopians decry Santorum as bitter, angry, spiteful, mean etc. while themselves reveling in those very same characteristics? Take a look in the mirror. You're rolling in the very same mud you sling.
The Mitwitts at Hot Air are pushing Santorum because they know he will continue to split the conservative vote, thereby helping their precious Romney.
I don’t think you have succeeded in making a concise, declarative statement. If I’m wrong, please oblige me.
Regarding what you did say—your premise is flawed. It seems you think that the only way to believe him now is if he were perfect then.
Nobody is perfect, ever. So Gingrich was a conservative bulldog then, but unfaithful to his wife. It doesn’t mean he didn’t truly believe in conservatism then, or now.
I say this: just watch his speeches from the past few weeks, and take it all in. Integrate the facts with your gut feeling.
Are you dumb or just playing dumb? Because your responses here are dumb.
Newtonians never claim we are pure. We never claim our guy is pure. We never claim to even be nice. We just claim to be competent.
Rick’s entire campaign is based on wind driven snow purity and its all bullish-t - so yes - we are sick and tired of Mr. Sanctimony. And his fans.
Because bullish-t purity is the most obnoxious trait one can have and your boy has it in spades.
If he ever cracks 15%, he will get his attacks and his campaign will last about 30 minutes longer.
Someonew has given you bad information, FRiend. Sntorum’s voting record is LESS conservative than Gingrich’s, In 1994 for example, Newt had a 100% ACU score, compared to Santorum’s 94%. Even Ron Paul had a higher score (88%) than Santorum that year, LOL.
Of course, anybody who supports Santorum must be dumb. Makes me wonder why Newt and his supporters so badly want us on their side...
"Newtonians never claim we are pure. We never claim our guy is pure."
Well, there are simply some sales that just can't be made.
"We never claim to even be nice."
So much for the "Reagan Mantle" ya'll keep talking about.
"We just claim to be competent."
I've never said otherwise.
"Ricks entire campaign is based on wind driven snow purity and its all bullish-t - "
Rick's advocacy of life is not only moral, it's based deeply in natural law and in our founding documents. The two are hardly exclusive. Purity in that regard is something all the candidates should be striving to achieve.
"...so yes - we are sick and tired of Mr. Sanctimony. And his fans...Because bullish-t purity is the most obnoxious trait one can have and your boy has it in spades."
Newt was once regarded by many of his opponents as being sanctimonious and self-righteous. He just had a little trouble waling the walk.
"If he ever cracks 15%, he will get his attacks and his campaign will last about 30 minutes longer."
Again, if he's so insignificant why does he exorcise you so?
Another question is why do people, who are supposedly trying to convince you to vote for your guy, insult you while doing it? I dont see how that strategy works.
That’s cherry-picking certain years. Here’s the best way to compare if you are using ACU as a ruler:
Santorum: Lifetime ACU rating 88
Ron Paul: Lifetime ACU rating 82
Gingrich: Lifetime ACU rating 90
Joe Scarborough: Lifetime ACU rating 95
“Unlike Newt, Rick didnt make his campaign about bashing capitalism and pandering to Hispanics by talking about inhumane immigration policy. He doesnt have divorces and affairs to deal with and he didnt work for Freddie Mac. So I can see why many conservatives would go for Rick over Newt.”
Well said. Further, people seem to be ignoring the fact that most likely we’ll have a Republican majority in the House and Senate, and that provides a check on any egregious behavior by the President.
I expect conservatives and the Tea Party will provide plenty of feedback as well.
In my view, Gingrich is a no-go in the general. I say this despite loving his stance on space exploration, which I hope the next President will mostly adopt anyhow. It is based on the idea of free enterprise driving our space program rather than government bureaucracy.
“Let there be no doubt that Santorum is definitely in the tank for Romney.”
I doubt that.
No, in fact I utterly reject it.
“Kill Newts chances, yes he will”
No need for that, Newt has done an excellent job of it during his career.
I definitely like some things about Newt, but others are certainly in the “hold your nose” category.
You silly! :-) I’ll be holding the Bible for Rick as he takes his Presidential oath of office!
“Gingrich is battle-scarred.”
Gingrich is battle-scarred to the point he is a quadriplegic on life support. Other than his volatile personality, tendency to make wild claims, and unlikability, that is his only drawback.
It would be a very ugly sight watching him go against 0bama...I hope I don’t have to endure it. McCain at least ran a close race, with the help of Sarah Palin. I seriously doubt Gingrich will find as inspirational of a running mate.
Instead of simply using personal insults how about coming up with something Gingrich has said or a stance of his that’s Big Government like Santorum.
You might be amazed to find that I don’t have too much of a problem with any of that, perhaps other than the AIDS aid, although that was an area that GWB strongly supported also. (Bear in mind that the stem cell research involves adult stem cells.)
I’m hopeful that a more conservative Congress, grass roots conservatives and the Tea Party can educate Santorum on the virtues of smaller government and freedom in general. I hope he perceives that times have changed - given our shiny new $15 trillion debt.
So you aren’t a fiscal conservative. That kind of spending and government interference is what got us here!
You back the dude and don't know what he stands for?! Oh good God!! And you VOTE?! No wonder we're screwed as a nation?
I am so out of here!
“Instead of simply using personal insults how about coming up with something Gingrich has said or a stance of his thats Big Government like Santorum.”
First of all, I used no insults - just very common perceptions of Gingrich, which are easily backed up by example. Did he not have to admit that he made incorrect statements in the last debate, for instance?
Just to pick something out of the air as far a “Big Government” goes, how about the engaging image of him on a couch with Nancy Pelosi agreeing that we must combat global warming? That was a genius move on his part, to be sure...and speaks volumes about his judgement and commitment to “conservatism”.
I understand many are desperate to find an alternative to 0bamney...but let’s not lose our heads, or principles, in the process.
His speeches are the worst part. I’ll be listening, and it will be great, and I can see inspiration. Then he’ll say something rediculous, and it throws me out of the mood.
He’s just one of those types. Ideas with no filter. Says good things, says outrageous things, can’t seem to distinguish between them.
I’d love to love him like others do, because he’s not a bad choice, except I don’t think he can actually win, which would make him a bad choice.
“So you arent a fiscal conservative. That kind of spending and government interference is what got us here!”
I’m very much a fiscal conservative. You seem to be confused about the role of President, as opposed to Congress. Further, many of those initiatives occurred during better times - I expect Santorum will do his best to promote what’s best for America given our current circumstances, based on his character.
“You back the dude and don’t know what he stands for?! Oh good God!! And you VOTE?! No wonder we’re screwed as a nation?”
I saw Santorum’s victory speech after the Iowa caucus, and it was quite inspirational. You should watch it on YouTube if you haven’t already. I’m sure he’s a patriot who passionately cares about the future of our country, and that his core values are very much in line with traditional conservatism.
Can you really say the same about Newt, given his checkered past? Further, does Newt actually have a chance in the general, given the vicious attack on said past that’ll be mounted by the MSM and the Dems? I don’t think so...
“I am so out of here!”
Don’t let the door hit your posterior too hard... ;-)
Enjoy Rick’s socialist tendencies: From his own 06 campaign:
My stars — that Santorum pitch piece is meant to be in SUPPORT of Santorum!
Some of its greatest hits (and the bold is NOT mine): “Rick was successful in his efforts to prevent Congress from making cuts to the food stamp program!
Rick has been one of the Senate’s most active leaders in fighting for funding to battle world AIDS and to help eliminate world poverty, working closely with Bono, the lead singer of U2!
Rick has voted for record levels of funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools!
Rick has sponsored legislation called “Fair Care” which would help laid-off workers to continue to receive their healthcare benefits!
Rick teamed up with Senator Joe Lieberman to write the “Savings for Working Familieis Act” of 2005, which would expand a matching savings account program for low income families which can be used to help their children afford college!
Rick wrote legislation that would increase the national minimum wage!
Rick helped pass an increase in funding for early childhood development programs such as Headstart!
Rick Santorum opposed TARP. He didnt cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008. He didnt follow the pro-bailout GOP crowd including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and he didnt have to obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now, like Rick Perry and Herman Cain did. He also opposed the auto bailout, Freddie and Fannie bailout, and porkulus bills.In my view, those points quite nicely trump yours. ;-)
Santorum opposed individual health care mandates clearly and forcefully as far back as his 1994 U.S. Senate run. He has launched the most cogent, forceful fusillade against both Romney and Gingrich for their muddied, pro-individual health care mandate waters.
He voted against cap and trade in 2003, voted yes to drilling in ANWR, and unlike Romney and Gingrich, Santorum has never dabbled with eco-radicals like John Holdren, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. He hasnt written any Contracts with the Earth.
Santorum is strong on border security, national security, and defense. Mitt the Flip-Flopper and Open Borders-Pandering Newt have been far less trustworthy on immigration enforcement.
Santorum is an eloquent spokesperson for the culture of life. He has been savaged and ridiculed by leftist elites for upholding traditional family values not just in word, but in deed.
They also rather richly illustrate the capricious nature of Newt Gingrich.
You can read the rest here.
That's old news. Shame on you for doing a double jeopardy. Next time, try to keep it fresh. :-D
He will lose and give us Romney. Newt has a small chance, Rick has none.
He implodes every time he's attacked. He can't help himself, he lacks self control (3 wives is proof os that).
Have you read Newt’s book ‘A Contract with the Earth’? it could have been written by Al Gore. Newt is not our conservative saviour!
The hell he has no chance! Santo polls much better than Newt in a head to head battle with Romney and better than Newt vs obama and better than Newt in approval. Santo has 30% negs vs 60% for Newt. Now tell me who has no chance!
I’m sorry, but I believe that newt is imploding without any help. His robo-calls lying about Romney preventing Holocaust survivors from getting Kosher meals were reprehensible. You don’t have to LIE about Romney, when his REAL record in office is replete with grist for the mill. Rick is the ONLY alternative, IMO. Bob
Be careful what you believe.