Rick Santorum

Gingrich bounces check to get on Utah ballot

It’s been a rough go at the Republican nomination for Newt Gingrich. He enjoyed a bump in the polls back in the December as conservatives were still trying to find a viable alternative to Mitt Romney. But when Rick Santorum was able to gain traction in the race, Gingrich struggled mightily, winning only his home state of Georgia and neighboring South Carolina to date.

Now that Santorum is out of the race, Gingrich is again trying to convince Republicans to back him. Not long after sending an e-mail claiming to be the “last conservative standing,” it was reported that Gingrich’s campaign bounced a $500 check to get on the primary ballot in Utah:

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich might fail to appear on the Utah primary ballot after a check for the required filing fee bounced, according to media reports.

The check for $500 bounced on March 27, Utah state election director Mark Thomas told ABC News, which first reported the story.

“Our office immediately attempted to contact the campaign and the designated agent, but no phone calls were returned,” Thomas said, according to ABC.

“We also asked the state Republican Party to assist us, but they also could not get into communication with them, although I do not know how they attempted to contact them,” he added.

According to Bloomberg, Gingrich’s campaign has had severe fundraising woes and is $4.5 million in debt. However, Gingrich insists that he is going to take his campaign to the Republican National Convention in August where he hopes to influence the party’s 2012 platform. After all, that’s about the only thing he can hope to do at this point.

Looking back at Rick Santorum’s campaign

As you know, Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign yesterday, ostensibly handing the nomination over to Mitt Romney, who has been the target of ire from many conservatives during the race. Santorum’s decision doesn’t come with the best of circumstances due to his daughter’s recent hospitalization — and we may disagree with him, we do wish the best for he and his family.

But with his exit, let’s take a look back at some of the issues we had with Santorum, ranging from his statism on economic issues to his candidacy being a last resort for the anti-Romney faction of the GOP electorate.

Not a Fiscal Conservative: This has been a oft-repeated criticism of Santorum at United Liberty. While tried to pass himself off as a fiscal conservative, his record indicated otherwise. Santorum vigoriously defended his earmarks, supported tariff hikes, voted for Medicare Part D, was supportive of labor unions, and voted for every bloated budget passed under George W. Bush.

Santorum meets with conservatives in hopes to save campaign

Looking for away to bring conservatives together even as Republicans being to coalesce around Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum met with movement leaders in hopes to come up with a last ditch effort to make a comeback and take the GOP nomination:

The conversation focused on the struggling candidacy of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and whether a final push could be made to unite conservatives and stop the likely nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The idea of Santorum leaving the race was not raised.

“It was a discussion of how to win, not a discussion of anything other than that,” said Gary Bauer, a prominent social conservative leader who was at the meeting.

Despite this optimism, there are signs that the wear and tear of the campaign trail and the daunting odds against his winning the nomination are weighing on Santorum.

“He is exhausted,” said one influential Republican who has talked to Santorum in recent days. “He is very, very worried about losing Pennsylvania. He is trying to find a way to throw a very long pass that could change the game.”

That search for game-changers seems unlikely to produce success for Santorum. A Gingrich decision to exit the race and endorse Santorum in an attempt to unite conservatives seems unlikely to happen or to affect the outcome of the nomination fight.

Romney sweeps Tuesday’s primaries

If you’re Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, you’re taking a hard look this morning at whether or not you should stay in the race for the Republican nomination. Last night, Mitt Romney had a very good showing in three primaries — Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, taking some 90% of the delegates on the table.

Maryland

  • Romney: 49%
  • Santorum: 29%
  • Gingrich: 11%
  • Paul: 10%

Wisconsin

  • Romney: 43%
  • Santorum: 38%
  • Paul: 12%
  • Gingrich: 6%

District of Columbia

  • Romney: 70%
  • Paul: 12%
  • Gingrich:  11%

As it stands now, Romney has 655 delegates, more than half of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum is far behind with 278 delegates. Gingrich has 135. And Ron Paul, who has had a better showing that four years ago, only has 51.

It’s becoming more apparent that Romney isn’t going to be stopped at this point. And The Hill reports this morning that Santorum may go ahead and withdraw from the race before Pennsylvania, his home state, heads to the polls on April 24th. It would be a face saving move. He wouldn’t risk losing his home state to Romney, where he only holds a small lead, and he wouldn’t harm his chances in 2016 — assuming Romney doesn’t win in the fall.

Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson back Romney in Wisconsin

With polls in Wisconsin showing Mitt Romney with a healthy lead headed into tomorrow’s primary, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both respected conservatives, have endorsed the former Massachusetts Governor in hopes to put him over the top.

Ryan, whose “Path to Prosperity” has become the budget blueprint for House Republicans, endorsed Romney on Friday:

“Who will make the best president? And who has the best chance of defeating Barack Obama? … In my opinion, Mitt Romney is clearly that person,” Ryan said on “Fox & Friends.” “I am convinced that Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what it takes to get America back on track.”

Asked if this was a message he has conveyed to Rick Santorum, Ryan, whose budget plan passed the House on Thursday, said he is planning on speaking to the former Pennsylvania senator later on Friday.

“I’m just convinced now, that if we drag this thing on until summer, it’s going to make it that much harder to defeat Barack Obama this fall,” he added. “The more we drag it out, the harder it is to win in November.”

Johnson, a part of the 2010 Tea Party class who has become a strong voice on health care, announced his support of Romney yesterday during a visit to Meet the Press:

Johnson announced the endorsement on MSNBC’s Meet the Press (MTP), according to a Sunday morning tweet from MTP executive producer Betsy Fischer.

Conservatives begin to coalesce around Romney

There is no denying that Mitt Romney has had a very good March, finally pulling away from the rest of the field. He’s also managed to pick up some endorsements from conservatives, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a Tea Party favorite, and Al Cardenas, president of the American Conservative Union.

But the biggest endorsement Romney has received came on Wednesday from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is a big name in today’s conservative movement and often thought of as possible presidential candidate in 2016:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican superstar expected to top the vice presidential shortlist, on Wednesday said Mitt Romney has “earned’’ the Republican nomination for president and called a potential floor fight at the convention a “recipe for disaster.’‘

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Rubio didn’t name Romney rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich but said it was clear to him they would not be able to win enough delegates to lock down the nomination before the Republican convention.

“I think we’re at a stage now where at least two of the candidates have openly admitted that the only way they’re going to be able to win the nomination is to have a floor fight in Tampa in August. I don’t think there’s anything good about that,’’ he said. He added, “It’s increasingly clear that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.’‘

Pressed by Hannity whether he was in fact offering his endorsement, Rubio said yes. But he offered something even better: The rising figure in the conservative and tea party movements vouched for Romney’s conservative credentials.

Romney leads Santorum in Wisconsin

With all of the excitement over this week’s arguments in the Supreme Court, the on-going race for the Republican nomination for president has largely fell off the radar. However, there is still plenty of news to share, but not all of it is good, depending on which candidate you’re backing.

Republicans in Wisconsin will head to the polls next Tuesday, April 3rd, to cast their votes in the race. And while Rick Santorum had been doing well there recently, it looks like Mitt Romney has surged to the front in the latest poll:

The GOP race for president has flipped in Wisconsin since last month, with Mitt Romney overtaking Rick Santorum in the latest poll by Marquette Law School.

Romney leads Santorum 39% to 31% in a survey of GOP primary voters taken last Thursday through Sunday.

Ron Paul is running third in the poll with 11%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 5%.

The new numbers represent a major shift from Marquette’s February poll, which showed Santorum leading Romney in the state 34% to 18%, followed by Paul at 17% and Gingrich at 12%.

They are also roughly consistent with a poll done almost one week ago on March 21 by Rasmussen Reports, which showed Romney leading Santorum 46% to 33%.

If Santorum loses in Wisconsin, the pressure will only increase on him to drop out of the race. Many are saying that if he wants to be a player in 2016, assuming Romney doesn’t beat Barack Obama, than he needs to bow out very soon. But people close to Santorum say that a exit from the race is unlikely.

New Ron Paul ad slams out-of-touch Gingrich, Santorum

While Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are poking at Mitt Romney over his advisors “Etch-A-Sketch” remarks, Ron Paul is running a new ad that notes how this gimmick is taking away from the real issues facing the country:

Rick Santorum: Romney no better than Obama

At a time when many conservatives are realizing that Mitt Romney is on a near-certain path to become the Republican nominee, Rick Santorum seems to be doing his best to help out President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election.

Like Newt Gingrich did back in May of last year when he slammed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and re-emphasized that he supports the concept of an individual mandate (of course, Romney has his own problems there), Santorum said yesterday during a campaign stop in Texas that Obama might as well be re-elected if the GOP nominates Romney:

“You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there,” Santorum told supporters in San Antonio. “If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future.”

Santorum was referring to Romney, whose campaign strategist said recently that they would be able to “reset” the campaign when they transition to the general election “like an Etch A Sketch.”

The Santorum camp later clarified the candidate’s remark, saying he didn’t mean to insinuate that voters would be better off re-electing Obama than choosing Romney.

Is the end of the GOP race in sight?

They’re not happy about, and understandably so, but based on the reaction around the conservative blogosphere yesterday, it seems that many are giving up the fight against Mitt Romney and accepting that he will be the Republican Party’s nominee for president this year.

This came the same day that FreedomWorks seemed to acknowledge that the race was all but over. To be fair, FreedomWorks has long been rallying grassroots to get behind House and Senate candidates, paying less attention to the presidential race. Another blow to conservatives came when Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a frequently mentioned dark-horse candidate in a brokered convention, endorsed Romney.

The delegate race is clearly in Romney’s favor at this point, not to mention that Rick Santorum hasn’t met Rule 40 requirements, which is a threshold for a candidate to be nominated at the convention.

Erick Erickson sums up the the general feeling in the conservative movement:

 


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