If you listen to Rick Santorum, he’s insistant that the number of Michigan Democrats that turned out for him on Tuesday night is a sign that he has some sort of crossover appeal. As you know Santorum’s campaign reached out to Democrats in a last minute effort to win the state, and it appears that enough came out for Santorum to tie with Mitt Romney in the delegate count, where he would have otherwise lost handily.
And while It’s true that many of his big government leanings are very similiar to Left, Santorum’s “support” from Democrats comes mostly because they believe he is a weaker candidate than Romney.
For his part, Romney isn’t letting Santorum’s now cozy relationship with Democrats slide. His campaign rolled out this new web ad yesterday with quotes from Michigan Democrats explaining their support for Santorum:
There has been a lot of talk recently that we may see a brokered Republican convention this August. Most Republicans, including Karl Rove and Chris Christie, have dismissed the thought almost out of hand. But Roger Stone, a long-time Republican strategist, recently looked at the math and explained why this may be an issue that Republicans may have to face, though he agrees that it’s unlikely.
Stone discussed the prospect further last week on Fox and Friends:
A recently Gallup poll showed that a majority of Republicans don’t want a brokered convention. But with the dissatisfaction among Republicans towards the candidates may be too much for many to deal with come time for delegates to cast their votes in Tampa.
It wasn’t without drama in days leading up to Tuesday, but Mitt Romney won primaries in Arizona and Michigan. Polls in recent days, specifically in Michigan — Romney’s birth state, showed a close matchup between the former Massachusetts Governor and Rick Santorum, who had encouraged Democrats to cross the aisle to vote for him.
- Romney: 47%
- Santorum: 27%
- Gingrich: 16%
- Paul: 8%
- Romney: 41%
- Santorum: 38%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 7%
These results don’t mean that Romney is out of hot water. Super Tuesday (March 6th) looks like it will be a tough day for him, and it may become even tougher if Newt Gingrich decides to drop out of the race after what may be a poor showing. Conventional wisdom is that much of Gingrich’s support would go to Santorum.
But it doesn’t look like the race for the Republican nomination for president is going to end anytime soon, which bodes ill for the party. A nasty, prolonged race helps President Barack Obama and also hurts the GOP’s chances of holding the House and taking the Senate.
Now this is an interesting strategy. Faced with a increasingly tight primary in Mitt Romney’s home state of Michigan, Rick Santorum is reaching out to Democrats in a robocall in hopes to gain support ahead of the state’s primary next week:
GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum hopes Michigan Democrats can help him earn a victory in Tuesday’s primary.
That’s right. The former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign paid for a robocall asking Democrats to vote for him in Tuesday’s primary.
Recent polls show chief rival and Michigan native Mitt Romney and Santorum virtually even heading into the primary.
“We know that if we can get a Reagan Democrat in the primary, we can get them in the fall,” said Hogan Gidley, communications director for Santorum. He confirmed the campaign paid for the call.
Political observers say the move is just another sign of how close the GOP race is — and a “logical ploy.”
As Santorum has done during numerous Michigan visits the past two weeks, the call attacked Romney’s stance on the auto bailouts, saying the former Massachusetts governor’s opposition “was a slap in the face” to Michigan workers, according to audio obtained by online political news outlet Talking Points Memo.
Many believe that Santorum would be President Barack Obama’s weakest opponent in a general election matchup due to his controversial positions on social issues, which would be unattractive to voters concerned about the economy. Needless to say, Michigan Democrats may be happy to oblige.
Rick Santorum’s supporters seem to enjoy telling libertarians that we need to support Santorum should he become the GOP nominee. I’m not exactly sure he’ll beat Romney, but that’s not exactly germane to the point. The reason his supporters claim we should back Santorum is that if we don’t, Obama will win the White House again.
If it comes down to Obama or Santorum, I’m not sure that Santorum is the lesser of the two evils.
First, let’s look at his record. It’s all over the internet and been pretty well documented here (Just one of several examples) at United Liberty, so I’m not going to rehash it. Even the subject of this post isn’t all that different than some of the others on this site.
Instead, I’ll simply point it out, and then say, “see?”
Santorum isn’t a small government conservative. He’s just not. Anyone trying to say otherwise has either deluded themselves, or allowed Santorum to do that for them. It’s a shame too, because they’re not necessarily stupid people…but they’ve been taken in by the guy. How can I say that? See his record for Pete’s sake!
This is a man who has sworn to battle the “libertarian influence” in the Republican party. You know, that influence that still believes this is the land of the free and should be governed as such? If he opposes libertarianism so badly, I’m left to question why? Obama opposes libertarianism to an extent because he believes in the state’s authority to make people take care of one another through welfare programs. Santorum, on the other hand thinks that the pursuit of happiness is somehow a bad thing. He honestly seems to believe that government exists to force morality down people’s throats.
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:
While some conservatives are glossing over Rick Santorum’s voting record in the Senate, others are beginning to express serious concern about his penchant for big government and economic statism. Over Against Crony Capitalism, Nick Sorrentino gets right to the point about Santorum:
What a mess the Republican Party is in that Rick Santorum is being looked at seriously. In a time of deep economic challenge, where the Republican candidates should be polling in the double digits versus Obama, the GOP is seriously flirting with a man who has no intention of reducing the size of the state, in fact has a strong history of growing it, and also has a history of being thumped in elections.
This is not the voting record of a conservative. This is the voting record of a man who believes that government is the solution to many of society’s ills. This is not the direction we need to be heading as a country, especially right now.
Better get used to Obamacare guys, and wars, and economic meddling, and loss of privacy, and God only knows what else.
That list of votes includes support for Medicare Part D, tariffs (protectionism), the interests of labor union, crippling economic regulations, and sin taxes. And let’s not forget that in 2004, Santorum backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in a heated Republican primary battle. Of course, Specter would go on to become a Democrat, lose his primary election to his opponent; and Toomey is now the junior Senator from Pennsylvania.
A few days ago, I nearly wrote a post, based on what I was reading from some elections observers, encouraging Ron Paul supporters to calm down over the results in Maine. Paul supporters were arguing that the election had been stolen due to uncounted ballots. Josh Putnam, who blogs at Frontloading HQ and offers insight I generally respect, discounted the “conspiracy” being floated.
But over at the American Spectator, Jim Antle notes that the Maine Republican Party is under scrutiny due to the number of uncounted ballots, which may or may not be enough to question whether Mitt Romney won the caucus:
The Bangor Daily News is reporting that the Maine Republican Party is facing increasing pressure to reconsider its claim that Mitt Romney won the state’s caucuses until all the votes are counted. (Hat tip: Taegan Goddard.) Some caucuses were postponed due to snow and told that they won’t count in the final tally; towns that had their caucuses before February 11 were also inexplicably not counted.
It’s no secret that the editors of the National Review, a highly influential conservative publication, aren’t fans of Newt Gingrich. Back in December, they came out against the former Speaker’s bid for the Republican nomination, despite his lead in GOP primary polls at the time. They weren’t finished. Just last month they slammed Gingrich for his for his anti-capitalist attacks on Mitt Romney’s wealth.
And yesterday, the National Review called on Gingrich to get out of the race and endorse Santorum, using Gingrich’s own logic from last month against him:
At the moment Rick Santorum appears to be overtaking Newt Gingrich as the principal challenger to Mitt Romney. Santorum has won more contests than Gingrich (who has won only one), has more delegates, and leads him in the polls. In at least one poll, he also leads Romney. It isn’t yet a Romney–Santorum contest, but it could be headed that way.
We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.
Dear Republican primary voters and caucusgoers:
Yesterday, some of you in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri delivered stunning victories for former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. You may have thought in caucusing and voting for Santorum that you were dealing a blow to the big government establishment. Unfortunately, you weren’t. Santorum is and has always been a card-carrying member of the Beltway GOP. Santorum’s record in the U.S. Senate reveals consistent opposition to the principles of limited government, fiscal restraint, and individual liberty. That’s why libertarians can’t support him now or in the general election and why you shouldn’t either.
Rick Santorum has consistently voted in favor of big government, budget-busting programs. He has slammed former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) for signing RomneyCare into law, but RomneyCare and ObamaCare are hardly the first examples of big government intervention in the health care market. Another recent example was the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 establishing the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. While libertarians and limited government conservatives were busy arguing for the reduction of government health care entitlements, former President George W. Bush was busy expanding them — and Rick Santorum was happy to vote in favor of Medicare Part D along with other big government establishment Republicans in the U.S. Senate.