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Super Tuesday results leave Romney a weakened Republican frontrunner
All Voices ^ | Mar 06, 2012 | Punditty

Posted on 03/06/2012 11:03:11 PM PST by Brown Deer

A little more than four years ago, after winning only three of 17 Super Tuesday states in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reassessed his campaign and decided the time had come to call it quits.

Super Tuesday 2012 has come and gone, and while he won’t be bowing out anytime soon, Romney is faced with a new dilemma this time around: how to shake his four remaining challengers and secure the GOP presidential nomination for the right to oppose President Barack Obama in the November election.

Romney and his top rival for the nomination, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, each won their share of states and delegates Tuesday, and they had to wait until Tuesday became Wednesday to learn that Romney had barely edged Santorum in Ohio. Romney also prevailed in his home state of Massachusetts, neighboring Vermont, Mormon-heavy Idaho and in a one-on-one matchup against Texas Rep. Ron Paul in Virginia, where Santorum and former Speaker Newt Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot.

For his part, Santorum prevailed in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota, while Gingrich won a decisive victory in Georgia. Results from the Alaska caucuses, where former half-term governor and failed 2008 vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin cast her vote for Gingrich, will be known early Wednesday.

Romney can’t deliver knockout punch

Even with his narrow win in Ohio, Romney failed to deliver the so-called “knockout blow” his supporters were hoping for. With Santorum winning three states and battling Romney tooth-and-nail in Ohio, the Romney campaign has to be assessing the road ahead and asking if there is, in fact, a path to a first-ballot nomination. The answer, it would seem, rests not with the Romney campaign but on whether his rivals bow out sooner rather than later.

Ironically, perhaps the best indication of Romney’s weakness as a potential nominee came in Virginia, a state he won. The state has a somewhat complicated ballot qualification process, and Romney and Paul were the only choices presented to voters in the state’s open primary. Polls leading up to election showed Romney with nearly 70 percent support and Paul under 30 percent, but that’s not how the final total shook out. Romney won, but Paul garnered his highest vote totals of any state thus car. The latest returns showed Romney with about 60 percent to Paul’s 40 percent.

Former Bill Clinton adviser and Fox News analyst Dick Morris presents a fairly compelling mathematical case that neither Santorum, Gingrich or Paul will get enough delegates from here until the GOP convention in late August to beat Romney on the first ballot, so they should all drop out and let Romney coast his way to the nomination. This, Morris argues, is the only way the GOP will have a chance to beat Obama. He figures that six more months of Republican candidates beating each other up cannot help the party’s chances this fall.

Romney’s weaknesses clearly exposed in Virginia

But Morris, for all his political experience, overlooks two very important points, both clearly discernible in the Virginia results: One, that for whatever reason or reasons, Romney is a flawed candidate; and two, that Paul’s message of individual liberty and adherence to the Constitution is one that Paul voters won’t find in Romney.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican turned Libertarian who will likely be the LP presidential nominee and appear on the ballot in all 50 states, has to be encouraged by the Virginia results because it proves that four out of 10 Republicans, when faced with a choice between Romney and one other candidate, could not bring themselves to vote for the man who still has to be considered the Republican frontrunner, albeit a weak one. Romney can’t seal the deal for one simple reason – he simply doesn’t appeal to enough elements of the party to unite it.

With a fairly light primary and caucus schedule remaining for March, and three of those contests to be held in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana – all states that Gingrich could win – Romney’s best hope for a meaningful win later in the month is Illinois. Santorum won the “beauty contest” in Missouri earlier this year, and he may well win the caucuses scheduled for March 17. He should also fare well in Kansas. Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico also hold nominating contests this month, so by the time all is said and done, Santorum and Gingrich could combine to easily exceed Romney’s total for states won in March.

Four years ago, it was all over for Romney by March. This time, he had hoped to seal the deal on Super Tuesday. Instead, he finds himself slugging it out with three candidates representing at least two very different wings of the Republican Party. If he can’t find a way to bridge those gaps in support soon, he may well lack the enthusiastic base needed to defeat Obama even if he does eventually win the Republican nomination.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: gop; primary; romney; supertuesday

1 posted on 03/06/2012 11:03:20 PM PST by Brown Deer
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To: Brown Deer

He can not win in Nov and is going to drag the down ticket races down with him. This is a disaster.

Gingrich must get out of the race now.

Santorum 2012


2 posted on 03/06/2012 11:05:01 PM PST by RIghtwardHo
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To: RIghtwardHo

Romney 396
Santorum 158
Gingrich 103
Paul 60
Why should Gingrich get out?
Paul should get out.


3 posted on 03/06/2012 11:08:12 PM PST by svcw (Only difference between Romney & BH is one thinks he will be god & other one thinks he already is.)
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To: RIghtwardHo

Santorum had a good ground game in North Dakota, people all over, signs, etc. Paul had made appearances in towns which hadn’t seen a prospective potus candidate since Alan Keyes came through. When you show up and talk to folks out here, it makes a difference.


4 posted on 03/06/2012 11:11:40 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: RIghtwardHo

Romney 3.1 mil
Santorum 1.9 mil
Gingrich 1.8 mil
Paul 892K
Why should Gingrich get out?
Paul should leave.


5 posted on 03/06/2012 11:12:12 PM PST by svcw (Only difference between Romney & BH is one thinks he will be god & other one thinks he already is.)
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To: RIghtwardHo

You are right! Santorum get out now! Newt can beat Obama!


6 posted on 03/06/2012 11:15:32 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: RIghtwardHo
He can not win in Nov and is going to drag the down ticket races down with him. This is a disaster. Gingrich must get out of the race now. Santorum 2012

...and Newt thinks similarly about Santorum. Newt 2012
7 posted on 03/06/2012 11:17:05 PM PST by DJlaysitup
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To: Smokin' Joe
Santorum had a good ground game in North Dakota, people all over, signs, etc. Paul had made appearances in towns which hadn’t seen a prospective potus candidate since Alan Keyes came through. When you show up and talk to folks out here, it makes a difference.

It's a really big country (maybe too big sometimes) - door to door doesn't work much in National Elections - unless you have a paid ground game and bigtime ads on TV/Radio.
8 posted on 03/06/2012 11:22:43 PM PST by DJlaysitup
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To: All; Brown Deer
The FR Golden Gate Plan! is the "GOP Brokered Primary Now!"

Our good conservative candidates do NOT need to "drop out". We need to work together!

*** YES! for THIS thread, "Myth-Rom GO HOME, and Leave Us Alone!" ***

*1. GOP Needs Brokered Primary Now! (with emphasis on "Primary", Now!)
*2. Rick as temp Placekeeper Nominee;
*3. Decide Final Nominee @ Convention

Brokered Primary Now! = Secure Conservative Nomination for the GOP Convention

Then use the next 5 months of campaigning to determine the best Conservative Nominee.

=>>> Post 55 Says It All... on the "Brokered Primary Now!" thread.

9 posted on 03/06/2012 11:23:44 PM PST by Golden Gate
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To: DJlaysitup
It's a big country, and folks here are sparse enough that showing up in even one or two towns (in the state) makes a difference, especially when the candidate isn't concentrating on just the biggest cities.

How the North Dakota (caucus) vote came out:

Rick Santorum 39.7%

Ron Paul 28.1%

Mitt Romney 23.7%

Newt Gingrich 8.5%

10 posted on 03/06/2012 11:26:38 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: DJlaysitup

The Winning Our Future PAC is running ads in ARizona for Newt again... why would they do that after we’ve already had our primary? The ads are better than what they ran before the primary: positive, upbeat, talking more about why people like Newt rather than playing dark scary music and talking about Romney’s “business ethics” and how rich he was. (WTH were they thinking with that?)


11 posted on 03/06/2012 11:30:56 PM PST by ponygirl (Be Breitbart.)
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To: RIghtwardHo
Would you endorse a Presidential candidate, running on this platform?

Santorum did.

“I pledge to lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform…”

12 posted on 03/06/2012 11:31:22 PM PST by ansel12 (Santorum-Catholic and "I was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress" he said))
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To: Brown Deer

“.......he may well lack the enthusiastic base needed to defeat Obama even if he does eventually win the Republican nomination.”

Saintorum will have the same problem... they are both unfit for the job.


13 posted on 03/06/2012 11:49:26 PM PST by Gator113 (** President Newt Gingrich-"Our beloved republic deserves nothing less." ~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Brown Deer

Well, basically the problem with McCain...er, ah, Romney...


14 posted on 03/07/2012 12:03:47 AM PST by OldArmy52 (Back to back winning ideas: McCain in 2008 & Romney in 2012! What winners!)
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To: Brown Deer

DICK Morris wants everyone but Romney to drop out. Dick Morris can suck my caucus.


15 posted on 03/07/2012 12:41:09 AM PST by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: Brown Deer

Dick Morris wants everyone but Romney to drop out. Well I think Dick Morris should su_k my caucus.


16 posted on 03/07/2012 12:43:48 AM PST by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: ScubieNuc

He would gladly suck your toes. Would that do the trick? :)


17 posted on 03/07/2012 12:54:03 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: RIghtwardHo
Santorum 2012

Gingrich 2012!

Ricky is just as phony as Mittens!

I want a candidate who understands and can explain conservatism.

18 posted on 03/07/2012 1:00:26 AM PST by cynwoody
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To: Brown Deer
...where...Sarah Palin cast her vote for Gingrich.

That's my girl...

19 posted on 03/07/2012 1:08:24 AM PST by csense
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To: RIghtwardHo

It’s “Super Tuesday,” only Romney and Gingrich can emerge to challenge Obama


20 posted on 03/07/2012 1:30:35 AM PST by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
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To: RIghtwardHo

You are crazy. Santorum CAN NOT win in November.

I work with LOTS of liberals and independents and they are just laughing at just the thought of Santorum.

They make jokes about playing football with a baby corpse... etc. Wait till that’s on SNL.


21 posted on 03/07/2012 2:52:24 AM PST by Reagan69 (I supported Sarah Palin and all I got was a lousy DVD !)
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To: SaraJohnson

Actually, when I think about that phrase, I wouldn’t want Dick Morris any where near my caucus unless I was peeing on Obama/Romney and he was in the huddle.
I am so sick of the GOP-e and the direction they have let America drift, I’d rather have a Military coup, then have their compromises. My plan for the future is to buy lead.


22 posted on 03/07/2012 3:07:34 AM PST by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: svcw

http://projects.wsj.com/campaign2012/delegates


23 posted on 03/07/2012 3:20:53 AM PST by csmusaret (I have kleptomania, but when it gets too bad I take something.)
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To: RIghtwardHo

It is a disaster. I’m hoping that finally we will be able to defeat Romney. but I’m ticked off at those rinos who keep Voting for him. It is time to defeat Romney or watch Obama win re-election.

Santorum and Gingrich have to make a pact. And help Santorum out. Maybe Gingrich becomes VP nominee. I don’t know. Whatever it takes.


24 posted on 03/07/2012 3:36:07 AM PST by Mozilla (Defeat Romney first then defeat Obama)
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To: Brown Deer

Ineligible RINO Backstabber:
"Thank me. When I cheat, I win."


FLASHBACK:

The McCain/Palin ticket was up ++4 to 10 pts
in some polls, days prior to Election 2008.
So rather than helping the GOP, Romney and
TeamROMNEY and the RNME (Republican National Media Establishment)
decided …to attack Gov. Palin to throw Election2008.

Romney, and the Van der Sloot RNME RINOs for Obama in 2008

Late in October, The American Spectator's The Prowler revealed:
"Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers…
have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.
'Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,'
says one former Romney aide…
'The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney.
"Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a 'diva' and was going off message intentionally."


The Palmetto Scoop reported: "One of the first stories to hit the national airwaves was
the claim of a major internal strife between close McCain aides and the folks handling his running mate Sarah Palin."
"I’m told by very good sources that this was indeed the case and that a rift had developed, but it was between Palin’s people and the staffers brought on from the failed presidential campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney, not McCain aides."
"The sources said nearly 80 percent of Romney’s former staff was absorbed by McCain and these individuals were responsible for what amounts to a premeditated, last-minute sabotage of Palin."
… aides loyal to Romney inside the McCain campaign, said The Scoop, reportedly saw
that Palin would be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 or 2016, which made her a threat to another presidential quest by Romney.


"These staffers are now out trying to finish her off ….hoping it would ingratiate themselves with Mitt Romney."


"Who's the Palin Leaker from the McCain Campaign?
National Review Online The publication of a Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin
appears to have opened old wounds in the McCain campaign.
... the source of the “Diva” leak was Nicolle Wallace’s husband."


"Peeking Out From the McCain Wreckage: Mitt Romney"

"Someone's got to say it: IS MITT ROMNEY RESPONSIBLE FOR OBAMA'S VICTORY?"

"Vanity: Team Romney Sabotaged Palin and Continuing to Do So?"

"Romney Supporters Trashing Palin"

"Romney advisors sniping at Palin?"



25 posted on 03/07/2012 3:52:07 AM PST by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: RIghtwardHo
Gingrich must get out of the race now. Santorum 2012

Santorum wouldn't even be able to carry his own state in November.

26 posted on 03/07/2012 4:00:10 AM PST by voicereason (Dems, Pubbies...too often a one-sided coin.)
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To: SaraJohnson

I agree, Sara.

Rick just doesn’t have the killer instinct that we need to win.

He’s out of his league.


27 posted on 03/07/2012 4:04:33 AM PST by bonfire
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To: RIghtwardHo
When Rick won former CSA Tennesee that told me Gingrich was finally washed up—but Newt doesn't need to get out cause last night showed Rick is quite capable of beating Mitt and then the prick on his own.
28 posted on 03/07/2012 4:12:31 AM PST by Happy Rain ("Better add another wing to The White House cause the Santorum clan is coming.")
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To: Diogenesis

My God. What's up with the fur on his right hand?

29 posted on 03/07/2012 4:22:19 AM PST by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: RIghtwardHo

santorum is a big government bush 1 and 2 type candidate... 12 years of the bushes damn near destroyed the republican party... No, I will not vote for mcromney, nor will I vote for another big government establishment type....


30 posted on 03/07/2012 4:25:43 AM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: Brown Deer

Sucks to be a weak sister, eh Romney?


31 posted on 03/07/2012 4:45:19 AM PST by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: ansel12; All
Ansel, you've got a valid point. Santorum made a mistake supporting Specter in the 1996 presidential race.

You're citing one item out of a list of problem statements that has been posted on a number of places on Free Republic, and seems to be coming from a list posted on Ron Paul's website, which has posted a video of Arlen Specter's 1995 speech here: http://www.ronpaul2012.com/2012/03/02/santorum-with-specter-in-1996-to-protect-a-womans-right-to-choose/

I listened to all of Specter's speech — nearly a half-hour of it. His speech outlined a platform focused on a flat tax, his role as a Philadelphia prosecutor in reducing violent crime and an emphasis on no plea bargains for career criminals, an aggressive military posture, forcing North Korea to allow nuclear weapons inspections, fighting terrorism, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, cutting federal expenses, and paying off the national debt. He focused on the value of education, noting that his father had no formal education and his mother had to drop out of school after eighth grade.

I think many of us would say those are good things.

Unfortunately, Specter also cited Goldwater's belief that the government should stay out of people's bedrooms and opposed what he called a “radical social agenda” of opposition to abortion and promotion of school prayer. He opposed Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, and Ralph Reed, citing them by name: “We do not need holy wars; what we need is tolerance, brotherhood, and simple humanity.” He said “I and millions of other pro-choice Republicans will not be disenfranchised and made second-class citizens,” but also emphasized the value of people “with deep religious and moral convictions” while opposing “bringing God into politics.”

Specter quoted Jack Kemp saying “when it comes to moral values, we should seek to persuade rather than impose,” and said moral issues such as abortion should be left to the conscience of the individual.

Quoting Specter again: “Let me say it as plainly as I can: Neither this nation nor this party can afford a candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant right that we end up re-electing a president of the incompetent left.”

It seems obvious that Arlen Specter's views are a major problem.

It also seems to me that most of us already knew that Santorum has a history of defending Specter. I don't like that.

Now if someone can show me that Santorum actually agrees with some of these horrible views advocated by Specter nearly two decades ago, I'll be a lot more concerned. This list of views attacking a Christian role in politics sounds much more like what is being said by some supporters of other candidates here on Free Republic, not like something Santorum believes today.

What follows is from Ron Paul's website, hut as far as I can tell it's accurately quoting Specter's speech:

_____

Here are a few key takeaways from the 25 minute C-SPAN video, with Santorum seen nodding and applauding at Specter’s side:

3:46 mark: “In 1996, I intend to win the other house — the White House — with ten commitments to America… including a woman’s right to choose…

13:22 mark: “Even though we have this historic opportunity for these achievements, there are those in our party who would lead us down a different path — and squander this unique moment in our nation’s history — by using our political capital — to pursue a radical social agenda — that would end a woman’s right to choose…

13:48 mark: “When Pat Robertson says there is no constitutional doctrine of separation between Church and State, I say he is wrong…

14:31 mark: “When Ralph Reed says a pro-choice Republican isn’t qualified to be our President, I say the Republican Party will not be intimidated or blackmailed by those kinds of threats.I, and millions of other pro-choice Republicans, will not be disenfranchised and made second class citizens.

15:33 mark: “… it is not Christian, or religious, or Judeo-Christian to bring God into politics; or to advocate intolerance and promote exclusion.

15:54 mark: “I want to take abortion out of politics. I want to keep the Republican Party focused on the vital economic and foreign policy issues — and leave moral issues such as abortion to the conscience of the individual. I believe abortion is an issue to be decided by women…

16:40 mark: “I pledge to lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform…”

_________

12 posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2012 1:31:22 AM by ansel12 (Santorum-Catholic and “I was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress” he said))

Would you endorse a Presidential candidate, running on this platform?
Santorum did.

“I pledge to lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform…”

32 posted on 03/07/2012 5:11:29 AM PST by darrellmaurina
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To: Brown Deer

Once again, you wouldn’t know it according to the front page on Newspapers.
I saw one the Headline was something like Super Tuesday Win Split.
In other words basically a tie.
So then why do they show a huge picture of Romney and his wife.
While they show a much smaller what looked like a stock photo of Santorum off to the lower right side.

Many of the NP I saw just had photos of Willard and noone else.


33 posted on 03/07/2012 5:25:06 AM PST by Leep (Dueling tag lines=don't worry,you'll be a vegetable guy soon<>It's gonna be a Newt day!)
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To: svcw

Of course Paul should drop out, but he and his followers are deranged, so we know that won’t happen.


34 posted on 03/07/2012 7:17:02 AM PST by Cato in PA (1/26/12: Bloody Thursday)
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To: txhurl
"My God. What's up with the fur on his right hand"

It's a wereWillard!

35 posted on 03/07/2012 7:39:05 AM PST by CatherineofAragon (I can haz Romney's defeat?)
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To: Golden Gate

A brokered convention will result in a moderate/liberal nominee. The establishment controls the levers of power in the party and they will assuredly control the convention with an iron fist and their candidate will win.

Unless a conservative wins the nomination outright the best we can hope for is a replay of 2008 where we get another bone tossed to us in the form of the VP candidate.

Should we still win we will be again told to STFU and go to the back of the bus by the party. Nothing will change.

If we lose we will told by the party boys and the establishment it was our fault because we didn’t support their candidate enough. Nothing will change.


36 posted on 03/07/2012 11:07:47 AM PST by sarge83
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To: darrellmaurina
Now if someone can show me that Santorum actually agrees with some of these horrible views advocated by Specter nearly two decades ago, I'll be a lot more concerned.

LOL, you mean other than trying to raise up Specter from obscurity to make Specter President and endorsing his campaign platform of, “I pledge to lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform…” 15 years ago?

Supporting Whitman in 1997, continuing to support Specter even into 2004, and Santorum being run out of office largely for that dedicated, never ending support?

Then Santorum going from Specter to Romney which was the closes thing to specter available last election?

37 posted on 03/07/2012 11:43:14 AM PST by ansel12 (Santorum-Catholic and "I was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress" he said))
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To: Reagan69

Reagan69 wrote:
<<
You are crazy. Santorum CAN NOT win in November.

I work with LOTS of liberals and independents and they are just laughing at just the thought of Santorum.

They make jokes about playing football with a baby corpse... etc. Wait till that’s on SNL.
>>

************************************************************

If you’re going to base your personal feelings about a particular candidate because it makes you too uncomfortable to see a bunch of snarky left-wingers laughing at him, then they’re going to mentally manipulate you into thinking we can only win with a liberal John McCain type. Come on, you’re better than that! Of course, liberals and “independents” going to mock ANY conservative candidate. In fact, I would WORRY if they approved of my guy!


38 posted on 03/07/2012 11:45:14 AM PST by DestroyLiberalism
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To: sarge83

First, we stop Romney, then we deal with what follows.


39 posted on 03/07/2012 11:57:15 AM PST by ansel12 (Santorum-Catholic and "I was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress" he said))
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