Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum knocks Goldwater view of limited government

We’ve constantly pointed out that Rick Santorum isn’t a friend to Tea Party voters and advocates of limited government. Unfortunately, the dislike for Mitt Romney has led many conservatives to vote for the former Pennsylvania Senator.

Santorum’s record doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny. As we’ve noted before, he’s voted to expand entitlements, backed earmarks, and cast votes for bloated budgets. Despite this, he still claims to be a fiscal conservative and worthy of Tea Party support. If you’re not going to believe those of us that has been calling Santorum out for what he really is, another big government Republican, just listen to him in his own words.

In an interview in 2008, Santorum said, “Republicans, to our credit, have morphed away form the Goldwater idea that government just needs to be small”:

Gallup: Gingrich’s supporters evenly split between Romney, Santorum

Conventional wisdom has been that if Newt Gingrich drops out of the race for the Republican nomination, most of his support would go to Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney. It seems only logical given the sizable anti-Romney faction in the GOP. But a new poll from Gallup shatters that thought, showing that Romney is actually the second-choice of Gingrich voters:

So while Santorum is talking about the likelihood of a brokered convention, the math still doesn’t add up. Not that it did anyway.

Romney shows that Republicans still don’t get young voters

Yesterday while campaigning at the University of Chicago ahead today’s primary, Mitt Romney made a profound remark about young Americans voting for Democrats; one that needs to be addressed:

GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said Monday he doesn’t understand how young people could vote for Democrats.

“I don’t see how a young American can vote for, well, can vote for a Democrat,” Romney said in a speech at the University of Chicago.

The former Massachusetts governor said Democrats were saddling young people with debt while Republicans are committed to reducing spending and balancing the budget.
[…]
“My party is consumed with the idea of getting federal spending down and creating economic growth and opportunity so we can balance our budget and stop putting these debts on you,” he said.

Given that Democrats seem to want to spend endlessly on government programs that will only add to the river of red ink flowing from Washington, Romney has a really good point here. But it’s not that difficult to understand why young Americans tend to vote for Democrats instead of Republicans.

Most of the young voters that I encounter are, loosely defined, libertarian. They consider themselves fiscal conservatives, but socially liberal. But when it comes down to it, in my experience talking with younger voters, that they care more about social issues. They’re tired of endless crusades by social conservatives against gays. They are also exceedingly weary of more wars, though that seems to be a lesser concern.

Santorum could lose in Pennsylvania even if he wins

Despite the delegate math looking very favorably to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are continuing to hope that they can peel enough support away to prevent him from winning the nomination outright. And while a brokered convention may be a slight possibility, Romney’s rivals will need to improve their numbers if they hope to catch up, as Tim Carney noted last week at the Washington Examiner.

For Santorum, a lack of campaign organizaton may lead to an embarassing situtation in his home state of Pennsylvania. According to The Daily, Santorum could win the state and still not take home any delegates:

As Rick Santorum desperately tries to make a dent in Mitt Romney’s formidable delegate lead, he faces an unlikely obstacle on the primary calendar: his home state of Pennsylvania.

Yes, Santorum is currently favored — though hardly a lock — to win the popular vote in the state he represented in Congress for 16 years.

But Pennsylvania’s non-binding primary rules for distributing delegates raise the prospect that Santorum, who has said he’ll win the vast majority of the state’s delegates, could actually come away from next month’s primary empty-handed at a time when he can ill-afford it.

Which means the April 24 primary could represent yet another chance for Romney — who kicked off his Pennsylvania campaign this week by trotting out supportive Republican leaders — to finally deal Santorum a knockout blow.

The Problem(s) with Rick Santorum

I’m not a fan of Rick Santorum, and my very direct opposition to the liberal Republican from Pennsylvania (see, there I go again) has brought several of my Christian friends to the surface to ask why I could oppose such a God-fearing, wholesome, family-oriented man like Rick Santorum. After all, isn’t that the exact type of person we need in the White House?

And, yes, the man Rick Santorum wants us to believe he is – that is the type of man we need in the White House. I want a President with a backbone, who knows when to put his foot down and stand strong against an issue, who has the moral character to stand against what is wrong, and who has the courage to stand for smaller government. That man, however, is not Rick Santorum.

Erick Erickson, who I don’t always agree with, but who is certainly right on Santorum, explains in great detail Santorum’s record as a liberal Republican. You can’t look at that record and still make the argument that Santorum is a conservative. It’s impossible.

But beyond his liberal record in Washington is his violent opposition to the concept of freedom. In this interview with Jennifer Rubin, David Boaz (Cato Executive VP) talked about why he opposes Santorum:

Listen to Rick Santorum: “Vote for Ron Paul”

There isn’t much Rick Santorum says that I agree with. As we’ve noted here before, Santorum’s record is terrible from a perspective of limited government. However, he’s still managed to peel away a lot of voters that identify themselves with the Tea Party. But when recently asked for an explanation for his votes in favor of Medicare expansion, No Child Left Behind, and raising the debt ceiling, Santorum replied, “Vote for Ron Paul, that’s what you should do.”

Santorum is obviously being dismissive about the points being made. But those inconvenient facts (his support for more government) are hard to justify for anyone claiming to be a constitutionalist, Tea Party-minded voters, or some that otherwise believes in limited government.

When it call comes down to it, the “big three” candidates don’t really have much to offer as far as shrinking government. Maybe Santorum is, for once, right about something. Maybe voters that haven’t yet case their ballots should consider Ron Paul since he believes in, you know, actually restraining government, not enabling it.

Recapping last night’s primaries in the South

There is no mincing words about it, last night was a bad night for Mitt Romney and an even worse one for Newt Gingrich, who really needed to win the two Southern states headed to the polls to show that he is still a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts Governor.

On the other hand, Rick Santorum was able to sneak out a win in Mississippi, where it was indeed a close race between himself, Gingrich, and Romney. He also did well in Alabama, finishing six points ahead of Gingrich and Romney.

The good news for Romney is that he won the Hawaii caucus, but that was expected. Ron Paul, who didn’t compete in Alabama and Mississippi, finished a distant third. Romney also added to his total delegate, despite losing in the South.

Here are the results from last night with delegate estimates provided by The Green Papers. You can see the full delegate breakdown from each state here.

Alabama

  • Santorum: 35% (16)
  • Gingrich: 29% (12)
  • Romney: 29% (10)
  • Paul: 5% (0)

Mississippi

  • Santorum: 33% (13)
  • Gingrich: 31% (12)
  • Romney: 30% (12)
  • Paul: 4% (0)

Hawaii

It’s going to be a close one tonight in Alabama and Mississippi

Coming off of a good Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney hopes to further entrench himself at the frontrunner for the Republican nomination tonight as Alabama and Mississippi voters head to the polls to cast their ballots. But various surveys in these two Southern states show that it’ll be a close race, one that has Romney running right along Rick Santorum in Newt Gingrich.

Santorum had a good weekend, picking up an overwhelming win in Kansas, while Romney won Wyoming and some United States territories. For Gingrich, however, tonight’s primaries are a “must win” if he hopes to avoid more calls to drop out of the race. And the latest polls out of Alabama and Mississippi certainly do show the former Speaker hanging with the rest of the field.

Here are the final numbers out of the two states, provided by Public Policy Polling. As noted above, it’s going to go down to the wire in Alabama:

  • Mitt Romney: 31%
  • Newt Gingrich: 30%
  • Rick Santotrum: 29%
  • Ron Paul: 8%

And Gingrich holds a small lead in Mississippi, though within the margin of error, over Romney with Santorum six back:

Delegate math clearly in Romney’s favor

The dust from Super Tuesday is still settling. Some conservatives are trying to downplay Mitt Romney’s wins and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are arguing about who should drop out of the race. But there is one common theme — observers are sensing that the writing is on the wall for anti-Romney candidates.

Despite being the conservative alternative to John McCain just four years ago, Romney has been their boogeyman in 2012. Some of the criticism is justified and understandable, specifically that dealing with RomneyCare and ObamaCare. But in the face of the criticism, Romney now holds a 1.2+ million vote lead in the primary and the delegate math says that he should coast to the nomination.

Of course, Romney path to the nomination may still have a bump in the road. As noted above, Santorum’s “super PAC” has called on Gingrich to drop out. He declined, and there is certainly a case to be made to backup his decision. But that doesn’t mean that Gingrich would deal with reality if he performs poorly next week and if Santorum does well.

Super Tuesday Live Blog

Welcome to United Liberty’s Super Tuesday Live Blog. We’ll be getting started around 6:30pm or so. But before you join in on the conversation, here are some links to read on things to look for this evening.

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver lays out the various scenarios that could unfold tonight, including delegate projections for all four candidates. Politico has a list of 10 things to watch for tonight, including Ohio, where a win could help Romney put the race to bed much quicker. CNN only gives three things for us to watch, but one of them (voter turnout) could obviously be a game-changer.

Watch returns come in:

 


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