The Case for Rick Santorum

As Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney continue to fire volleys at one another, there’s one candidate who’s been standing in the background since day one – biding his time, unscathed by the errant shrapnel fired from his opponents and channeling Reagan when the opportunities are presented to him. Ignored by the mainstream press and downplayed by pundits in the conservative media, Rick Santorum has continued to campaign, to debate and to make his case to the American people.

He pleads the case of conservatism in drafty town halls and cramped diners on a shoe-string budget. He focuses on principles while Romney and Gingrich focus on annihilating each other.

The most consistent Conservative in this race was delivered a late victory in Iowa and has been spot-on during the debates. Yet, Newt told him to get out of the race – he wasn’t going to be the nominee. He doesn’t have what it takes to lead the nation. He doesn’t have the “grand” ideas of the other candidates. True, he doesn’t have those “grand” populist ideas. And he doesn’t have the personal or political baggage either. Romney downplays Santorum’s candidacy with a broad grin and Ron Paul is off somewhere in the background rambling on about the Fed and sound monetary policy. The funny thing is that with the exception of Paul, the candidates share one primary victory each. According to the GOP Elite, Santorum doesn’t have a prayer. It’s over. Get out, Rick. You put up a good fight, but you’re just not presidential material.

This is the message to Santorum…and yet he does not go away.

Mitt Romney is leading in most Florida polls including a Rasmussen telephone survey that was conducted Wednesday night among likely Republican voters. The former Massachusetts governor led the poll with 39% to Gingrich’s 31% and Santorum’s 12%. A Real Clear Politics poll from Thursday had Santorum at 8%, Gingrich at 32% and Romney with a commanding lead at 40%.

Yet…if Santorum is the most consistent conservative in the race, then why is he holding down third place in most Florida polls? It’s a bit convoluted.

Romney, the establishment’s candidate, is the “front runner” – despite the fact that he lost Iowa, lost South Carolina and predictably won his home-away-from-home state of New Hampshire. His wallet can keep him in the race indefinitely, but the question is whether or not he and Gingrich are going to be able trade blows all the way until the convention. At some point, one of these guys is either not going to be able to make the 10-count or will simply implode – a possibility more greatly feared int he Gingrich camp.  Regardless, they’re hell-bent on taking each other out and the media will certainly be a willing accomplice in seeing it through. The press is figuring that the more damage they do to each other in the primary, the more Obama benefits in the general election.

Given the unfolding of events with regard to the daily sparring between Gingrich and Romney, I see no reason for Santorum to concede anything or make plans to get out of this race. He’s not in a position to win Florida but he can certainly make a reasonable showing there.

For all his grand declarations about the Founders, shrinking government, and funneling power away from Washington, does anybody really anticipate this from Newt Gingrich? How can someone who trumpets the greatness of Franklin Delano Roosevelt also trumpet the value of small and limited government? The answer is they can’t. Newt might be one of the best politicians in American history, but his conservatism is deeply flawed. He knows how to sling mud better than any other modern day public official but I want a nominee who is principled, not just someone who can beat Obama. I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say that there is no room for sitting on the couch with Pelosi, supporting the idea of man-made global warming, and advocating for an individual mandate within our idea of conservatism. Newt is not Obama, but he is still of the same ilk. He favors progressivism. He favors bigger government.

Newt needs to understand that there’s a difference between an over-reaching federal monolith and the strong central government envisioned by the Founders. I am for the latter. Newt fancies himself the alternative to Romney. He’s not the establishment candidate. He’s not the Washington insider. Yet he spent many, many years in Washington. Romney has spent zero years in Washington. The governor might be the establishment’s pick, but Newt is the real establishment candidate if the Washington intelligentsia would simply court him.

As for Romney, if he does get the nomination, how will he be able to contrast himself with Obama? He’s got RomneyCare hanging around his neck and he’s going to attack Obama on the new health care law? The same law modeled after what the Governor did in the Bay State? And if elected, Romney’s going to begin the process of repeal on his first day in office? I’m having trouble believing this, especially when his aides come out and play down the possibility of getting it repealed. Now, that’s the path to garnering support with the conservative movement!

Santorum is not a part of the establishment. Santorum is not a progressive. He is not a moderate. He is the conservative candidate that the Tea Party and other conservatives rallied for. Now he’s here. He’s in the campaign, but there’s the concern that he can’t win. He can’t get the nomination. And even if he does, can he beat Obama?

Rick Santorum is more than capable of beating Barack Obama in a general election. But we hear the same old song on television from the pundits. He’s too conservative on social issues. He’ll never get enough support from the independents. He doesn’t have the name recognition of Mitt or Newt. He just doesn’t have that flare in the debates.

There could not be more of a stark contrast between two candidates. Barack Obama – student of Marx and Alinsky – or Rick Santorum – student of the Founders and Reagan. Radical leftist or staunch Conservative. The candidate of political expediency or the candidate of rock-solid principles. The candidate of statism or the candidate of Constitutionalism.

The press and the candidates should really start taking Santorum’s candidacy a little more seriously. He may very well be the last man standing in this political saga.

The choice is simple. Do we seek candidates who possess the strong possibility of growing government or do we support someone who will adhere to the Constitution. That’s really what it boils down to. The choice is simple. Now make it.

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5 Responses to The Case for Rick Santorum

  1. Pingback: The Case for Santorum « Preserving Liberty

  2. HeleneH says:

    This is my case for Rick Santorum
    As a society our future depends on our children. I am going to support someone who will fight for our children, cherish life, both born & unborn. I believe that person is Rick Santorum. I hope you will join me and support him as well.

  3. lg1015 says:

    I have been a supporter of Rick Santorum from day one! He is the most conservative candidate running. He values family and our God given rights, and he makes no apology for it.

  4. Barb says:

    I had signed up for both Gingrich and Santorum, because honestly, I liked both more than Romney and Paul. After seeing the last debate, I was sure that Santorum was the “big boy” in the room. He stands for true American family values and he has become so Presidential looking as he has grown into this race.
    I thought Newt was the only one that could beat Obama, but now I am certain that Santorum could as well. He has a beautiful family and a beautiful story to go with it.
    I have no issue with the Speaker, but I just see a beautiful light shining on Rick Santorum.

  5. Dana Pearson says:

    FWIW, I like Romney better than Santorum. Santorum is even more of a saber rattler than Newt.

    However, Santorum has a reasonable tax plan (although the 0% tax rate on manufacturers is a bit low) and he doesn’t want to send 13,000 people to the moon at taxpayers expense. So, Santorum is way way way better than Newt.