We’ve recently gone over Rick Santorum’s very un-conservative voting record on fiscal issues, noting that it makes him unfit for anyone claiming to be a Tea Party-minded voter. This was a point that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is also seeking the GOP nomination, brought home yesterday in an interview with CNN:
Ron Paul on Sunday re-launched his attack that Republican presidential rival Rick Santorum is a liberal, adding he doubts the former Pennsylvania senator could beat President Barack Obama in November if he wins the party’s nomination.
“His voting record is, I think from my viewpoint, an atrocious voting record - how liberal he’s been in all the things he’s voted for over the many years he was in the Senate and in the House,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Paul has previously attacked Santorum for voting for the debt ceiling five times as a senator, as well as the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska that was considered unnecessary government spending.
On Sunday, the candidate specifically pointed to Santorum’s high-profile comments on the recent birth control controversy, in which the White House amended a rule that would have required religious institutions to pay for contraception coverage.
Paul also criticized Santorum for the focus on social issues, such as the recent controversy on contraception, when the economy should be the foremost concern in the Republican primary:
On Sunday, [Paul] specifically pointed to Santorum’s high-profile comments on the recent birth control controversy, in which the White House amended a rule that would have required religious institutions to pay for contraception coverage.
While Santorum clarified his position on Friday, saying he believes “birth control can and should be available,” the candidate was an outspoken critic of the contraception policy as being a form of government “coercion.”
“It’s not about contraception. It’s about government control of our lives and it’s got to stop,” Santorum said in a February 10 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Paul, however, argued that the candidates, including Santorum, were focused on the wrong issues.
“This whole idea about that talking about the social issues and who is going to pay for birth control pills, I’m worried about undermining our civil liberties, the constant wars going on, the debt of $16 trillion,” Paul told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “They are worried about birth control pills and here he wants to control people’s social lives.”
Paul is absolutely right. The economy is the biggest issue to voters in the upcoming election, not whether or not contraceptives are acceptable or whether or not gays should be allowed to get married. But unfortunately, wedge social issues are important to Republicans. Moreover, Santorum isn’t exactly principled on fiscal issues given that he went along with the spending explosion under George W. Bush.
I’ve said it before, I think the eventual Republican nominee is going to lose to Barack Obama, but Rick Santorum is GOP’s worst-case scenario. It’ll be a blowout.