February 20, 2012

Is Senator Rick Santorum Just a Social Conservative?

It appears to be common knowledge that Senator Rick Santorum is a strong social conservative. Many seem to think he is too far right on those issues and not strong enough on the other issues. Are they correct?

Quote from Was Santorum a Senate Spendthrift? (Emphasis mine)

For each session of Congress, NTU scores each member on an A-to-F scale. NTU weights members’ votes based on those votes’ perceived effect on both the immediate and future size of the federal budget. Those who get A’s are among “the strongest supporters of responsible tax and spending policies”; they receive NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.” B’s are “good” scores, C’s are “minimally acceptable” scores, D’s are “poor” scores, and F’s earn their recipients membership in the “Big Spender” category. There is no grade inflation whatsoever, as we shall see.

NTU’s scoring paints a radically different picture of Santorum’s 12-year tenure in the Senate (1995 through 2006) than one would glean from the rhetoric of the Romney campaign. Fifty senators served throughout Santorum’s two terms: 25 Republicans, 24 Democrats, and 1 Republican/Independent. On a 4-point scale (awarding 4 for an A, 3.3 for a B+, 3 for a B, 2.7 for a B-, etc.), those 50 senators’ collective grade point average (GPA) across the 12 years was 1.69 — which amounts to a C-. Meanwhile, Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-. Santorum’s GPA placed him in the top 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50.

Across the 12 years in question, only 6 of the 50 senators got A’s in more than half the years. Santorum was one of them. He was also one of only 7 senators who never got less than a B. (Jim Talent served only during Santorum’s final four years, but he always got less than a B, earning a B- every year and a GPA of 2.7.) Moreover, while much of the Republican party lost its fiscal footing after George W. Bush took office — although it would be erroneous to say that the Republicans were nearly as profligate as the Democrats — Santorum was the only senator who got A’s in every year of Bush’s first term. None of the other 49 senators could match Santorum’s 4.0 GPA over that span.

This much alone would paint an impressive portrait of fiscal conservatism on Santorum’s part. Yet it doesn’t even take into account a crucial point: Santorum was representing Pennsylvania.

Let’s use the Club for Growth’s information available by clicking on the individual presidential candidates’ pictures at the CFG website.

Santorum:

Rick Santorum spent sixteen years in Congress – four years in the House followed by 12 years in the Senate – before losing to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006. In the last two years of his Senate career, he had an average Club for Growth rating of 77%, compared to an average of 73% for all Senate Republicans over that same time period. In the previous thirteen years before the Club had a scorecard, Santorum accumulated an average score of 76% on the National Taxpayers Union scorecard. This compares to a 71% average among all Republicans. NTU is a non-partisan group that advocates for limited government.

Romney:

The Club for Growth wrote a white paper on Governor Mitt Romney back in 2007. Most of the information below is from that report, but since Romney has been outspoken on several issues since then, we’ve updated his record to reflect those positions. The Cato Institute, a free market think tank rates the country’s governors on a biennial basis. In both their 2004 and 2006 reports, they gave then-Governor Romney a “C” on tax and spending issues.

Gingrich:

The Club for Growth did not have its own scorecard for members of Congress during Gingrich’s tenure from 1979-98, but the non-partisan and pro-free market National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has been issuing a congressional scorecard for decades and Gingrich’s record on economic issues, as provided by NTU, is worth analyzing. From 1979-98, Gingrich had an average score of 61% (with 100% being a perfect score on supporting lower taxes and limited government). The average Republican score over this time period was slightly lower at 56%.

Summary from the information in the presidential candidates’ introductions at CFG:

Sen. Santorum received a rating of 4 points above the Republicans’ average during his “last two years” in the Senate and 5 points above average during his previous 13 years in the House and Senate.

Gov. Romney earned a “C” during his years as Governor. I don’t know if that “C” is among only Republican governors or if it is among governors from both parties.

Rep. Gingrich received a rating of 5 points above the Republican’s average.

It is really hard to compare their records using this. IMO Santorum’s fiscal conservative record doesn’t look all that bad.

________________________________________________________________________________

-Please visit Donna’s personal site

by @ 6:13 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum
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135 Responses to “Is Senator Rick Santorum Just a Social Conservative?”

  1. Granny T Says:

    Kavon,
    Thank you for posting my blog article.

  2. Irish Right Says:

    Interesting, Granny T, that you are more than willing to give Santarum the benefit of the doubt because, as you say, he was representing Pennsylvania. Of course, you and many others are unwilling to change two words in that sentence. Care to guess which two words show the hypocrisy I’m referring to?

  3. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Granny, good to have you posting here.

    However, Santorum’s own proclamation that he’s “not a deficit hawk” and believes in earmarks tells us all we need to know.

    He was a lapdog, a rubber stamp, for the Bush Administration’s big government and big spending policies. We don’t need another Bush, we need someone who actually has a record of cutting spending, which Romney does. CATO can give him as many “C’s” as they want, but they did so because he ended tax loopholes for big businesses and raised fees on driver’s licenses. Not exactly a big tax-and-spend kind of guy.

  4. Brett H. Says:

    Why do you leave out Paul?

  5. Keith Price Says:

    Was this C grade for Romney based on his efforts or was it based on what the legislature pushed through by overturning many of his 800+ vetoes?

  6. Granny T Says:

    as you say, he was representing Pennsylvania

    I didn’t say that, the author of the article I quoted did.

    Why do you leave out Paul?

    Because, Paul is the only Republican in the race I absolutely refuse to vote for. He has a strong following of liberal Democrats for a reason. He himself said that Obama was closer to him on views than McCain.

  7. Brian Says:

    Ron Paul lifetime 87% Club for Growth rating

    http://www.clubforgrowth.org/whitepapers/?subsec=137&id=921

  8. Granny T Says:

    Keith,
    I honestly don’t know. Both Romney & Huckabee governed hugely Democrat controlled states. Neither of them were rated very highly by NTU.

  9. Granny T Says:

    However, Santorum’s own proclamation that he’s “not a deficit hawk” and believes in earmarks tells us all we need to know.

    HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF MITT’S FEDERAL BAILOUT!

    Romney Had His Mitt Out For “Funds From The Fed,” But Now Attacks Santorum For Supporting Pennsylvania?

    Romney supporter Sen. John McCain on the earmarks: “an incredible pork-barrel project for Salt Lake City and its environs”…

    Read about some of Romney’s other earmarks and lobbying efforts by clicking on the above link.

  10. BD1 Says:

    Does Santorum have any executive experience? Shouldn’t this be a requirement for the chief executive of this country

  11. Bloodshy Says:

    The reason Sant/Newt look OK in this analysis is because you’re comparing them to other GOP insiders that had no problem spending away our children’s future. Most of Congress (GOP & Dem) have been huge spenders over the last 30 years. Santorum has been on board w/the vast majority of pork that got pushed through during his tenure.

  12. Killjoy Says:

    #9 even Ron Paul believes in and uses earmarks, is Ron Paul a big spender too?

  13. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    9

    Don’t go there, Granny. The Olympics needed money for post-9/11 security. There is no moral equivalent between funding for polar bears at the Pittsburgh zoo and post-9/11 security at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    Mitt’s leadership at the games was a source of national pride and the comparison between rescuing the Olympic games and Santorum’s corrupt pet projects is a joke.

  14. Keith Says:

    Interesting white papers on the Club for Growth website, not a ringing endorsement for any of our candidates, but their conclusion on Romney speaks volumes:

    “Because of his long tenure in public life, especially his presidential run in 2008, Mitt Romney is considered a well-vetted candidate by now. Perhaps to his consternation, he has developed an unshakeable reputation as a flip-flopper. He has changed his position on several economic issues, including taxes, education, political free speech, and climate change. And yet the one issue that he doesn’t flip on – RomneyCare – is the one that is causing him the most problems with conservative voters. Nevertheless, he labels himself as a pro-growth fiscal conservative, and we have no doubt that Romney would move the country in a pro-growth direction. He would promote the unwinding of Obama’s bad economic policies, but we also think that Romney is somewhat of a technocrat. After a career in business, quickly finding a “solution” seems to be his goal, even if it means more government intrusion as a means to an end. To this day, Romney supports big government solutions to health care and opposes pro-growth tax code reform – positions that are simply opposite to those supported by true economic conservatives. How much Romney’s philosophy of governance will affect his policy goals if elected, we leave for the voters to decide.”

  15. Reginald from texas Says:

    Did Santorum not vote to raise the debt limit and not push for eamarks?

  16. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    14

    Their conclusion on Romney DOES speak volumes. It speaks volumes to how they are a bunch of politically-driven hacks who supported him strongly 4 years ago and are now lying about his politics when it’s politically advantageous for them to do so.

    For instance, they didn’t complain about his “flip flops” 4 years ago, and for his run this time, they decided to totally alter their assessment of him before any words even left his mouth in this race.

    They also lied about his positions on taxes, education, political free speech, and climate change. He has not changed his position on any of those issues, ever. And I have yet to be presented with evidence that proves anything other than the accuser’s lack of common sense and honesty.

  17. vb Says:

    I read that Santurom also voted to help with the Olympics, so at least once in a while he got things right with appropriate spending.

  18. Granny T Says:

    Does Santorum have any executive experience? Shouldn’t this be a requirement for the chief executive of this country

    What did our founders say about that?

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    If you find where the Constitution says executive experience is a requirement – be sure to let me know.

    Don’t go there, Granny. The Olympics needed money for post-9/11 security.

    You must not have read the article about Romney’s lobbying effort.

    Though Romney claims this money was necessary as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the fact is that he began his lobbying months before that terrible Fall morning.

    … “Other participants said they remember Romney’s involvement vividly. In February 2001, half a dozen congressional staff members flew to Utah to review proposals for federal money from the organizing committee.” (Rosalind Helderman, “Romney’s Work On Olympics, Mass. Projects Reveals Complex History With Earmarks,” The Washington Post, February 16, 2012)

  19. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    18

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t care, frankly. There is no moral equivalence between pet projects for Washington insiders, and money to save a flailing enterprise on which America’s national pride was partially dependent. Sorry.

  20. SixMom Says:

    Sorry Granny.

    Even your awesome effort here will not disguise Santorum nor re-paint Romney. However. I really like this. So much better knowing what you see in Santorum and why you like him. I have respect for that,

  21. Granny T Says:

    Did Santorum not vote to raise the debt limit and not push for eamarks?

    I worked up a doc for our Santorum team about his votes on raising the debt limit. I deleted all of the links I had in the document because I didn’t want this site to think I was spamming.

    From what I’ve found it looks like Santorum voted with the majority of the Republican Party on all five of his yes votes.

    The first time Santorum voted to increase the deficit was in 1997 when the vote for 105-H.R.2015 passed in the Senate 80 to 18 (among Senate Republicans 50 to 4) and in the House 270 to 162 (among House Republicans 218 to 8 with 2 not voting) for 105-H.R.2015

    “107-S.2578 – Debt limit bill (2002)” passed the Senate 68 to 29 with 31 Republicans voting in favor of it, 15 Republicans against it, and 3 Republicans not voting. It passed the House 215 to 214 with 211 Republicans voting for it, 6 against it, 1 voting present, and 3 not voting

    “108-H.J.Res.51 – Debt limit increase resolution (2003)” passed 53 to 44 with 50 Republicans voting in favor of it and only 1 Republican voting against it: Sen. John Ensign NV. The House did not vote

    “108-S.2986 – A bill to Amend Title 31 of U.S. Code to increase the public debt limit (2004)” passed the Senate 52 to 44 with 50 Republicans voting for it and only 1 Republican voting against it: Sen. John Ensign NV. It passed the House 208 to 204 with 206 Republicans voting for it, 10 voting against it, and 9 not voting

    “109-H.J.Res.47 – Debt limit increase resolution (2006)” passed 52 to 47 with 51 Republicans voting for it and 3 Republicans voting against it: Sen. John Ensign NV, Sen. Thomas Coburn OK, Sen. Conrad Burns MT. On “Apr 28, 2005: This resolution passed in the House of Representatives by special rule. A record of each representative’s position was not kept.”

    The first time Santorum voted to raise the debt ceiling was in 1997 with the Balanced Budget Amendment.

    Does anyone really think that Romney would have voted any different if he wouldn’t have lost that race against Teddy? I doubt it since a lot of the reason the majority of Republicans voted for them were to support our troops and fight the War on Terrorism.

  22. Reginald from texas Says:

    Don’t we already have a president without executive experience?

  23. BD1 Says:

    18. Yes the consitution is the foundation and Santorum meets this requirement. But this is a job responsible for the largest economy and most powerful military in the world. And here is a guy who has never managed anything. Just like the Obama. This is a problem. And in some ways a moot point. If the GOP is so foolish to nominate Santorum then Obama get’s for more years. At least with Mitt we have a fighting chance to beat Obama. Many women and independents are not going to vote for Santorum

  24. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    The end of Roe? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/20/alabama-courts-wrongful-death-ruling-used-to-recommend-abandoning-viability/

    ====

    As for the SLC olympics…it was SIX MONTHS AFTER 9/11! And we were committed to hosting them.

    I’m sorry, but money spent on National Security is NOT in the same category of frivolous pork as the 1001 other things they get pushed through.

  25. BD1 Says:

    four more years. not ‘for’

  26. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    21

    Oh, goody! Someone who didn’t have the guts to stand up to his party and vote on principle. Nice.

    As for this:

    Does anyone really think that Romney would have voted any different if he wouldn’t have lost that race against Teddy?

    Is that even relevant? Santorum has to vouch for his own record, and Mitt has to vouch for his own record, not some phony scenario you concocted. But frankly, yes I do think Romney would have voted differently. He said as much in his Senate race in 1994, saying that we needed to balance the budget. Video of the whole debate is available on C-SPAN’s website if you wish to see it.

  27. Matt Y. Says:

    In answer to the question, no he’s not. Obviously.

    Good article. Organizations that have kept track over the years know what Santorum’s record is really like.

    As the Weekly Standard has noted, the Romney campaign’s narrative that Santorum is not a fiscal conservative relies on “isolated votes or anecdotal notions.” National Review notes that “his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)” Scott Johnson of Powerlineblog says, in connection with Mitt’s attacks on Santorum, “Mitt must think we’re really, really stupid.”

  28. Granny T Says:

    SixMom,
    Thank you. I’ve been quite clear that I support all three legs of the Republican conservative stool. I differ from a lot on this site in my order of support.

    1. Social issues
    2. Defense issues
    3. Fiscal issues

    IMHO Santorum is the strongest on the social issues. I found the FRC’s voter guide after coming to my decision. But, it actually helped seal the deal.

    I don’t think any of the GOP presidential nominees can top Santorum on the defense issues.

    He served eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee where he led the fight before the attacks of September 11th, 2001 to transform our military from a Cold War force to meet today’s threats. He was a leader on US-Israeli relations, authoring both the “Syria Accountability Act” and the “Iran Freedom and Support Act” which he successfully fought to pass in spite of initial opposition by President Bush.

    -from the “Why Rick” tab on his website

  29. Irish Right Says:

    There is a difference between a requirement and a requisite. You are correct that there is no Constitutional requirement that our President have executive experience. It’s simply (or should be) a requisite.

  30. Dave Says:

    Using Club For Growth to gauge Romney as a financial manager is extremely unwise. Forbes did a thorough analysis of the economic plans of the 2008 candidates and gave Romney the highest score of near perfect. Giuliani came in second, and way behind were Huckabee and McCain and Thompson.

    No other candidate in this years race has reduced the size of a government in real terms. No other candidate has a plan to balance the budget in a single term. The only other candidate who appears to even understand what’s going on and what the threat is is Ron Paul.

    And all of this is irrelevant, since all of the manifest reasons Santorum and Gingrich are unelectable have been laid out time and again.

  31. NC Conservative Says:

    Granny T:

    I’m very strong on social issues. They are very important to me. But I think the difference between you and me, is that I believe the VAST MAJORITY of what the President has to do with fiscal issues. national defense is after that and followed by social issues in a distant third.

    The most important act a President can do for us socons is appoint justices to the Supreme Court that will not try to overrule the will of the people. I think Romney will do that.

    But I don’t believe Santorum has near the experience or qualifications to effectively turn this country back around.

  32. Jeff fuller Says:

    Boortz HAMMERS Santorum

    http://www.boortz.com/weblogs/nealz-nuze/2012/feb/20/problem-santorum/

    Makes a great point that by Santorum crowing that he “is not a libertarian” in combination with his intrusive social tendencies that he’s lost the 23% of the electorate that call themselves libertarians.

    Ouchers!!

  33. Keith Price Says:

    9

    Romney Had His Mitt Out For “Funds From The Fed,” But Now Attacks Santorum For Supporting Pennsylvania?

    Granny, two different jobs. Two different responsibilities.

    As a governor, it’s Mitt’s JOB to get as much federal funds as possible for his state. But Mitt didn’t VOTE for or create the funds. He successfully managed to get them to his state vs a different one.

    A SENATOR, however, DOES vote for and create the funds. So, Rick it’s worse for Rick to have voted for earmarks than for Mitt to have accepted them.

    No hypocricy on Mitt’s part.

    But, let’s go further. What earmarks did Rick vote for? I recall something about a polar bear and for a bridge to nowhere. What else?

    Can you name one frivolous thing Mitt used federal funds for?

  34. Keith Price Says:

    10

    Does Santorum have any executive experience? Shouldn’t this be a requirement for the chief executive of this country

    Certainly not a REQUIREMENT, but if you don’t want to gamble, then you should select the guy who has an actual record of governing over the guy who simple tells you how he’ll govern.

  35. SteveT Says:

    Sorry anyone who voted for 8% + annual federal increases in spending during the Bush years, plus votes for No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, massive increases in the transportation budget, turning airline screeners into federal employees and numerous pro-union votes will have a lot of difficulty passing themselves off as a fiscal conservative.

    These organizations deliberately ignore the spending of the Bush years. Santorum voted many times in opposition to Tom Coburn’s attempts to rain in the Bush budgets during his last two years in office (when Coburn was there).

  36. Keith Price Says:

    14. Keith, that article by CFG is fraught with inaccurate “facts” and faulty conclusions.

  37. MarqueG Says:

    As the Weekly Standard has noted, the Romney campaign’s narrative that Santorum is not a fiscal conservative relies on “isolated votes or anecdotal notions.” National Review notes that “his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)”

    There’s the rub. On full display for all to see is Mitt’s deconstructionist campaign of negation. The thrust is that Mitt will tell you what’s wrong with other folks, but he won’t bother getting specific of what’s right about Mitt. Mitt wouldn’t have such difficulties trying and failing to explain away his own past words and actions if he had a coherent message asserting what he aims to do and what his means are to those aims.

  38. SteveT Says:

    Orginal Club For Growth Analysis in 2007 (before Pat Toomey left and Chris Chocola decided to rewrite the Club’s Opinion of Romney) -

    As Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney’s record on economic issues was generally good. He demonstrated a willingness to take on his Legislature and deserves credit for the many pro-growth measures he advocated and the modest reforms he was able to achieve. While his record on taxes, spending and entitlement reform is flawed, it is, on balance, encouraging, especially given the liberal Massachusetts Legislature. His record on trade, school choice, regulations, and tort reform all indicate a strong respect for the power of market solutions.

    At the same time, Governor Romney’s history is marked by statements at odds with his gubernatorial record and his campaign rhetoric. His strident opposition to the flat tax; his refusal to endorse the Bush tax cuts in 2003; his support for various minor tax hikes; and
    his once-radically bad views on campaign finance reform all cast some doubts on the extent and durability of his commitment to limited-government, pro-growth policies. His landmark steps in the healthcare arena also exhibit a mixture of desirable pro-free market
    efforts combined with a regrettable willingness to accept, if not embrace, a massive new regulatory regime.

    Nevertheless, given his outstanding private sector entrepreneurial
    experience; the strong pro-growth positions he has taken on the campaign trail; his overall record as governor; and the fact that the U.S. Congress will not be as liberal as the Massachusetts Legislature, we are reasonably optimistic that, as President, Mitt Romney would generally advocate a pro-growth agenda.

    Link: http://dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/2007-club-for-growth-romney-white-paper.pdf

  39. MarqueG Says:

    32. Boortz hates the pro-life position with a passion. Santorum’s views there are poison for Boortz. He even hammered his old buddy Herman Cain for a while for being pro-life during Cain’s surge.

  40. K.G. Says:

    #9 Granny: It’s interesting to note that Mitt and Ann donated one million dollars of their own money to the success of the Olympics in addition to working for $1, essentially for free.

    Mitt took $1 a year as governor and would plan on doing the same if elected POTUS.

  41. Dave Says:

    The hallmark of Santorum’s plan to fix the economy is his zero tax on manufacturing. This is economically illiterate….e.g.,

    1. How much of a company has to be manufacturing before it doesn’t get taxed?
    2. Is assembling manufacturing?
    3. If a company ships manufactured goods, is that manufacturing?
    4. What if there’s doubt about whether something is a manufactured product or not?

    And, if there are economic activities demonstrably more important than manufacturing widgets….that DON’T get any tax breaks at all, and the society has no earthly NEED for widgets?

  42. SteveT Says:

    Club Growth Report on Romney Spending –

    Governor Romney’s record on spending must be considered within the liberal political context in which he governed. The Massachusetts Legislature was (and continues to be) dominated by Democrats more interested in raising taxes than cutting government programs.

    Throughout his tenure, Romney’s proposed cuts were met with opposition while the vast majority of his vetoes were relegated to the graveyard of overrides.

    On balance, his record comes out more positive than negative, especially when one considers that average spending increased only 2.22% over his four years, well below the population plus inflation benchmark of nearly 3%.

    Governor Romney receives credit for actual spending in FY 2003, even though he entered office halfway into the fiscal year, because of the tremendous spending cuts he forced down the Legislature’s throat in January of 2003. Facing a $650 million deficit he inherited from the previous administration, Romney convinced the unfriendly State
    Legislature to grant him unilateral power to make budget cuts and unveiled $343 million in cuts to cities, healthcare, and state agencies.

    This fiscal discipline continued in 2004,in which Romney continued to slash “nearly every part of state government” to close a $3
    billion deficit.

  43. Keith Price Says:

    41. Dave, that’s absolutely correct. This is just another example of a government idea that sounds good but becomes a MESS when you start trying to “define” all the variations.

  44. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    I have an interesting thought that is unlikely, but please bear with me:

    I’ve been wondering, how is it that Mitt and his folks have thought keeping Mitt off TV, off the radio, low on campaign stops, and low on new and interesting talking points?

    Could it be that they actually DO want a longer process?

    I mean… maybe they are just “playing along” with the RNC, who they are aware wanted the process to be long in the first place when they set up the primary calendar?

    I donno. Sounds pretty ridiculous, but could it be? I see no other explanation. Mitt’s campaign is acting like it did last summer when people called it the “Mittness Protection Program.” Could it be by design?

  45. SteveT Says:

    This election is certainly about choices – 8% + annual growth in government versus 2.22% (in the most liberal place in the country).

    You choose…

  46. Andrew Ryan Says:

    Santorum is a pro-life liberal. He has no qualms using the federal government to force people into practicing his SoCon ideology.

    Back in 2003 The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Lawrence v. Texas, sodomy laws that were used to imprison gays and lesbians. Santorum was deeply apposed to its overturning and was one of its most vocal advocates.

    He worked with Hillary Clinton to ban “inappropriate material” in video games. Should the artist fear the censor? Santorum believes so.

    Big government and reckless spending is a running theme in Santorums career. Santorum is just a liberal with a conscience, and he wants the federal government in every aspect of your life.

  47. Andrew Ryan Says:

    46. Spelling check. opposed not apposed.

  48. Boomer Says:

    There’s a just a tad of a difference between a Senator and a Governor in a deep blue state. The tad being they aren’t remotely comparable.

    Santorum could vote anyway he wanted to. Romney had to deal with an 85% Democrat legislature.

    Not comparable at all.

  49. Keith Price Says:

    44. MassCon, I do think Mitt is purposely limiting his TV exposure.

    I think Mitt is trying to keep from having people get burned out on him too early. Last round, he was on TV all the time. He was so pervasive that when he held a press conference, it wasn’t news. Sometimes only 2 or 3 reporters would show up to it.

    Also, if he is shown to be the prohibitive front-runner this early, he’d have a hard time getting attention in the later states.

    It’s hard for us, but Mitt is a genius numbers guy and I honestly believe he has a workable plan for winning.

  50. Adam Graham Says:

    The point about Romney and the Olympics is this: not all earmark requests are bad. If the Romney campaign were alleging that a specific earmark requested by Santorum was specifically wrong, they’d have point. Instead they’re running out the word earmark as a buzzword.

  51. K.G. Says:

    #44 – #49 In the meantime Mitt’s only real opponent is running around running his mouth and getting a lot of negative attention on his extreme moral views and strange comments. We’ve seen Mitt do this before; lay low waiting for the undisciplined motor-mouths to implode on their own.

    What’s caused the implosion of the other ABRs? Not their fickle supporters. Those stuck with their FOTM until the national polls turned on their latest candidate because of their gaffes, temper tantrums and in Cain’s case bizarre allegations.

    It’s interesting that if Mitt is strong in the primary, there is no cry for a new face at the convention. However, if Santorum comes out the strongest, then yes, the GOP HAS to find a new face. I wonder how you feel if you’re Santorum.

    No way you’re going to be the nom, no matter what.

  52. Boomer Says:

    50.

    Well clearly Santorum thought the earmark for additional security at the Olympics was a good one. He voted for it.

  53. Dave Says:

    Keith Price:

    Is selling goods to manufacturers manufacturing? This is a regulatory nightmare.

    But the bigger problem is that 89% of the economy is NOT manufacturing. Romney wants to improve the entire economy, and through a wide variety of ways. Santorum grew up in Pennsylvania and saw a lot of smoke stacks, and that is what he thinks the economy is.

    It’s only 11% of it.

  54. Smack1968 Says:

    Now its being reported Romeny only has 6 million more than Santorum when it comes to CASH ON HAND.

    Team Romney spent 3 times more money in January than they took in.

    Although Team Romney still has the money advantage..and will continue to do so….it becomes less and less of an advantage as this race continues.

  55. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    54

    Smack, don’t be so selective with your fundraising news. Mitt raised $6.5 million in January, Ron Paul raised $4.5 million, and the others lagged behind. Mitt is raising PLENTY of money. At that rate, he raises $19.5 million this quarter, which is a LOT.

    The same cannot be said of Santorum.

  56. eric Says:

    Smack, Mitt will regain big money after he get AZ and MI.

    Samck, I remember you said Romney who is your second choice. Is it change?

  57. Smack1968 Says:

    Massachusetts Conservative,

    Dude…..they spent three times that much when they raised 6.5 million, and look where they are at.

    There is no way to spin that…..

    HOLY SMOKE!!

    Congrats on the 6.5 Million, but you spent that, and double more.

    Romney has 7+ millione on hand.
    Santorum has 1+ million on hand.

    When has it ever been that close?….Never.

    This is not good news for Team Mitt..this is great news for Santorum.

    HOLY SMOKE!!

    I don’t know how you can read it any different.

  58. Andrew Ryan Says:

    53. Also nobody wakes up in the morning and goes, “Aw gee, if only I could go to work in a steel mill today…”

    Santorum has a weird romanticism when it comes to American manufacturing. This idea that we Americans just want to pack our lunch pales and work 60 backbreaking hours a week for little to no pay is absurd.

    It stems from a man who has never worked a day in his life and made his wealth through his experiences in government.

  59. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    57

    This isn’t good news for either of them. But let’s not give the impression that Mitt isn’t raising any money. That’s the impression you gave.

    Yes, Mitt’s camp spent a lot this quarter. But they had the money to spend. They had $20 million cash on hand at the end of last year.

    So will they slow the rate of spending? Of course.

    Is that a good thing for Mitt’s campaign?

    YES!

    It will force him to go on TV for free media. This is what he needs. That is, if his campaign has a clue.

  60. Right Wingnut Says:

    57, Since the latest report only goes through January, it doesn’t include his massive haul since “hat trick” Tuesday. The cash on hand numbers are likely even closer now.

  61. Boomer Says:

    Smack you’re a funny guy. Everything, and I do mean everything, has been doom and gloom for Romney as far as you’re concerned since the beginning of the race.

    The dynamic of this race hasn’t changed from day 1. There has always been the anti-everything, say something outrageous, we don’t care who you are as long as you’re not Romney voters, the Sharon Angle voters, who have jumped between every candidate not named Romney from day 1. This isn’t news to anyone who has been remotely paying attention. The vast majority don’t give a hoot about records or actually beating Obama, they just want someone to channel their anger.

    In a sane time a Rick Santorum candidacy would be a joke and not a good one. He barely qualified for a number of debates and not just the first couple. He had almost no support. It it hadn’t been for the evangelicals picking him as their not Romney savior, and if you don’t think there was a huge anti-Mormon piece to that you aren’t being honest, Santorum would have been done in Iowa. The only reason he picked back up after FL was because Newt tanked so badly.

    Of course Romney has had to spend more money, Santorum has been living off the free press he gets by being the candidate from Fox. Read Murdoch’s tweets and look at how many spots he gets on Fox.

    You not Romney may indeed get your pyrrhic victory and get a Santorum candidacy only to see him get obliterated in November. Just today his staff came out with yet another doozy saying that Obama wanted to inflict his Islamic values on America.

    Yes, lets nominate a Senator who got rejected in a historic landslide in his own swing state and who runs almost exclusively on far right social issues. That sounds like a perfect recipe for winning back the White House and putting someone in office with an actual record of economic reform. The Stupid Party strikes again.

  62. Maryanne Says:

    Sorry Granny T. I’m with SixMom at #20. Romney is still the best man to beat Obama and take this country to a better place on economy and jobs with his experience and qualifications. Santorum can’t do it. Gingrich can’t do it.

  63. Matt Y. Says:

    46 – False narratives are a running theme in your post. Your narrative doesn’t match the facts.

    Also, the Lawrence decision went against sound constitutional interpretation. Santorum was making a legal, constitutional argument; in fact, he doesn’t support anti-sodomy laws:

    “I said I wouldn’t have voted for that law,” said Santorum. “I thought that law was an improper law, I wouldn’t have voted for the Texas sodomy law. But that doesn’t mean the state doesn’t have the right to do that–I just didn’t think they should do it.”

    He continued: “You shouldn’t create constitutional rights when states do dumb things. Let the people decide if the states are doing dumb things get rid of the legislature and replace them as opposed to creating constitutional laws that have consequences beyond the specific case that was before them.”

    The dissenting justices (Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist) followed similar lines of thought. Scalia argued that the majority’s reasoning called into question laws on bigamy, bestiality, obscenity, adult incest, etc. Thomas called the law “uncommonly silly” but voted to uphold it because he couldn’t find a Constitutional basis to strike it down. Thomas and Scalia are no “liberals.”

  64. teledude Says:

    The bigger news is, of course, that most of Mitt’s money has come from big donors who have maxed out their legal limit…he does not bring in much in small donations.

    His money could actually dry up if this goes on much longer.

    And how would he do without his blowtorch.

    This should be your concern, dudes.

  65. Matt Y. Says:

    Oops – forgot the link in the above post: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/santorum-court-ruled-wrongly-griswold-v-connecticut-pre-roe-right-privacy-decision

  66. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    64

    More parroting of things you read elsewhere but never really thought about.

    If what you’re saying is true, Mitt’s fundraising would be showing signs of drying up.

    But here’s the thing: it isn’t. He raised $6.5 million in ONE MONTH, which is along the same pace as what he raised in Q4 last year.

    So stop parroting anti-Romney media hack talking points and actually think for yourself.

  67. Arizona Says:

    Oh he is more then just a social conservative when you read stuff like below.
    I think you can figure out what he is. The Dutch are furious.

    Santorum claims that euthanasia makes up “10 percent of all deaths”
    in the Netherlands,” and that many of those people were essentially
    murdered by the state.

    “Half of those people are euthanized involuntarily, because they are
    old or sick,” Santorum told social conservative leader James Dobson
    earlier this month in an American Heartland Forum.
    “And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to a hospital,
    they go to another country,” he continued. “Because they are afraid,
    because of budget purposes, that they will not come out of that hospital.”

    Rick Santorum also asserted that elderly Dutch citizens, in an effort
    to stop themselves from being killed, have taken to wearing bracelets
    that read “Don’t Euthanize Me,”

  68. Matt Y. Says:

    46 – “Big government and reckless spending is a running theme in Santorums career”

    That is just false, as proven by this post by Donna, and in this article by Quin Hilyer. Santorum fought against big government spending in Congress, voted for the Freedom to Farm Act and against floor amendments to add appropriations to bills. He fought for a balanced budget amendment and made a persuasive case against federal largesse with a prop called the “Spendometer” on the Senate floor.

  69. reasonable Says:

    Romney requested funding from the federal government to defray the cost of security and other infrastructure expenses associated with the Olympics. Said decision was key to an an extemely successful games benefiting the entire country. It’s not his fault that funding came in the form of an “earmark” as opposed to a stand-alone specific piece of legislation appropriating funds for a legitimate purpose. It was not his responsibility to define for Congress the method of funding, but darn smart and a great executive decision to pursue federal help no matter the funding mechanism.

  70. Granny T Says:

    #31 I’m very strong on social issues. They are very important to me. But I think the difference between you and me, is that I believe the VAST MAJORITY of what the President has to do with fiscal issues. national defense is after that and followed by social issues in a distant third.

    I have never denied that I am a Christian that believes the Bible. I know enough of the Bible that I understand that America has been blessed because of following God and His laws and for our standing with Israel. Psalms 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

    Those verses are among the many reasons I put SoCon issues first and DefCon issues second. I’ll trust God to take care of my pocketbook as long as I vote His principles.

  71. Andrew Ryan Says:

    63. No state has a right to prosecute someone over homosexual behavior, just as no state has a right to racial segregation.

    Santorum was an opposing voice to the overturning of Lawrence v. Texas. You can argue Santorum was simply making a philosophical argument, but Santorum has a long and disturbing history of attacking alternative lifestyles.

    Such as when Santorum said, “I do not believe that sexual orientation should be added to hate crimes”

    http://www.americanindependent.com/200959/rick-santorum-talks-sodomy-laws-on-bradlee-deans-radio-show

    Is this the hill we wnat to die on Republicans?

  72. Ryan60657 Says:

    67.

    So does Santy believe that we ought to spend as much as possible to keep elderly people alive as long as possible?

  73. Matt Y. Says:

    Expanding hate-crimes laws? Is that your position? That’s also not conservative.

  74. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    70

    If we lose to Obama, the nation ain’t gonna be blessed, and your pocketbook ain’t gonna be taken care of. So even under your voting style, we still need to carefully select the candidate who could beat Obama. And IMO, that’s Mitt.

  75. Andrew Ryan Says:

    68. A prop does not justify him raising the debt ceiling 5 times, or voting to bailout the airline industry back in 2001, or voting to expand prescription drug entitlements with his support of Medicare Part D, which is now a $7 Trillion unfunded liability.

    As a fiscal conservative Santorum has given me no reason to trust him.

    “I came to the House as a real deficit hawk, but I am no longer a deficit hawk. I’ll tell you why. I had to spend the surpluses. Deficits make it easier to say no.” – Rick Santorum, 2/5/2003

  76. Andrew Ryan Says:

    73. well at least we know where you stand on gay rights.

  77. Tennessean for Mitt Says:

    Hannity had Santorum on for about the first 20 minutes of his show tonight with Hannity practically gushing the whole time – but then Dick Morris came on and said Romney will probably win Arizona and Michigan and is the one to most likely beat Obama but Obama would love to make the election about social issues and he can’t do that with Romney.

  78. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    77

    Rupert Murdoch marching orders.

  79. Granny T Says:

    If we lose to Obama, the nation ain’t gonna be blessed, and your pocketbook ain’t gonna be taken care of. So even under your voting style, we still need to carefully select the candidate who could beat Obama. And IMO, that’s Mitt.

    “And IMO, that’s” Rick.

  80. K.G. Says:

    #78: Even the even-handed O’Reilly and Krauthammer are basing Mitt now. Dennis Miller did talk back to O’R saying: Mitt is a good man and would make a good president.”

    Can’t believe Murdock didn’t edit it out and fire Miller.

  81. Smack1968 Says:

    Dick Morris said Mitt is going to win MI?

    Oh Ohhhh….

    RUM just won Michigan.

  82. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    80

    I knew something was up when Krauthammer suddenly began uncomfortably bashing Romney. Something just didn’t seem right about it.

  83. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    81

    LOL, so true.

  84. Arizona Says:

    72 No i guess were supposed to invade the Netherlands as Santorum
    claims they are killing old people,young people, anyone the Dutch
    government don’t like. The Netherlands is furious right now at Rick.

  85. NC Conservative Says:

    79-

    The fact that the MSM, the Obama Machine, Fox News, and Talk Radio have all ganged up on Mitt is telling; he’s still standing despite the onslaught of attacks from all sides.

    And no, he’s not being attacked by both sides because he’s a terrible candidate. It’s because the liberal media and Obama fear him the most and the “Palinites” want red meat thrown at them.

  86. haner Says:

    Murdoch endorsed Santorun right? so why’s anyone surprised.

  87. Tennessean for Mitt Says:

    Fox loses more viewers if Romney is elected. What will they talk about? I can hardly stand Fox and Friends anymore because they make me so mad.

  88. Matt Y. Says:

    ICYMI, Santorum outlines his economic plan in a Detroit News op-ed.

  89. Matt Y. Says:

    Does Romney ever go on Fox News?

  90. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    89

    About twice a month, maximum.

  91. K.G. Says:

    #79: I have a different take on how to win the social issues war. The left won them, but they’re not about to sit back and allow the right to take their hard-won “rights” back. To every action there is a reaction and the more the right scares the left, the more hyper the left gets.

    Obama has been able to do a lot of things by keeping things under the radar. It seems to me that a president like Romney would be a greater friend to social causes by staying focused on the economy, appointing conservative judges who would overturn Roe and send abortion law back to the states. Just don’t make a “big noise” about it like someone here on Race said they wanted.

    Right now it’s social issues all day every day with Santorum. However, it seems to me his “big noise” (1) Compromises his general election chances (2) And gets the left all riled up and on the emotional war path over social issues.

    Most are now saying that the GOP will never allow Santorum to our nominee; his outspoken remarks make him seem like a religious kook and he cannot be elected. If Mitt wins the primaries, he’s our nom. If Santorum comes out the strongest, we can could see a new face at the convention–who may or may not be able to compete with Obama at the last minute.

    It seems to me Santorum is hurting the social issues fight in two primary ways. (1) Making them sound radical and ridiculous and (2) Assuring an Obama win and more judges like Soto, Kagan and Ginsberg, assuring Roe until the Second Coming.

  92. K.G. Says:

    Britt Hume just now calling Santorum’s motor-mouth on social issues “political poison” in the general. The MSM has “trapped” him.

  93. WA_Independent Says:

    Great post. I am not a supporter of Santorum but the Romney campaign’s attack on him as a “big spender” is clearly ridiculous.

    This after all is a guy who pushed welfare reform, Social Security reform, and as you pointed out is rated highly by organizations like Club for Growth.

    Is there really anyone here who can really make a serious argument that earmarking, and voting to raise the debt ceiling are credible criticisms?

    The fact is that every single Congressman, including Jim Demint and even Ron Paul, has secured earmarks for their district. No doubt Romney, who requested earmarks as Governor, would have done the same had he been elected to the Senate. More to the point, earmarks are a red herring – they are not the thing driving our debt, entitlements (which Santorum has a good record on) are.

    Voting to raise the debt ceiling? All this does is pay for the spending that Congress has already allotted. Voting against raising the ceiling, once spending has been voted on, is a wacky fringe position held by the likes of Michelle Bachmann.

    The fact that Romney chooses to demagogue Santorum on these non-issues should be disturbing to anyone who thought Mitt was running an honest campaign based on serious discussion of fiscal issues. Because it is clearly all rhetoric, and I’m sure behind the scenes Romney would agree with the points I made above.

  94. K.G. Says:

    #90 Newt and Santorum are on about every 25 minutes. My car radio had Hannity with Newt yet again for the millionth time. I just flipped to Medved as fast as I could.

    Wednesday’s debates will be HUGE–yet again.

    Britt Hume is confident Mitt will step up when he has to–”like he has in the past.” I guess we’ll see.

    #93: I hear ya’. But Mitt’s put all his “serious discussion of fiscal issues” out there. The Teavangelicals are flocking to Santorum. The Tea Party hates the debt limit rising and earmarks. Buzz words to be sure; but hey, what you are going to do? It’s politics and people are sheeple.

  95. Patrick Henry Says:

    #91 – Well said.

    Look, I think I am the perfect candidate. I would toss the tax code, repeal Obamacare, do all the things that the SoCons want, many of the things the libertarians want… I can articulate the positions in a ” Reaganesque” kind of way.

    Except I have very limited executive experience. I’d love the job, but I’m not ready for it.

    And thus is exactly the problem with Santorum. He’s a great guy, but still does his own taxes. Is he nuts? Running a state is a big deal. Running the executive branch of the frederal government is a HUGE deal. Santorum is not ready… Romney is.

    Romney has governed the way he campaigned. I would worry if he governed differently than he campaigned, but he didn’t. I trust him to do what he says and govern as he’s campaigned.

  96. Dave Says:

    The media has the same incentive, whether Left Wing or Right Wing. The Left wants an easy kill for Obama, and they have been daily attacking Mitt for several months now. Only in the last 2 or 3 days have they started to go after Santorum, but it’s on social issues….calculated to shore up his base.

    The Right Wing Media wants a candidate who can lose on the true religion, so they can rant and rave about America going down the tubes for another 4 years. They want to reflect the fringe, which is a locked in audience. It’s good for ratings.

    Mitt’s been contending with this from the beginning, and he’s been wading through the insanity with patience and resolve. The process seems like it’s been taking forever, but in fact, it’s still early. Mitt has almost 3 times as many delegates as anyone else, but less than 10% of the delegates have actually been chosen so far.

    In the next couple of weeks, a lot more progress will have been made.

  97. Matt Y. Says:

    WA_Independent,

    Voting to raise the debt ceiling? All this does is pay for the spending that Congress has already allotted. Voting against raising the ceiling, once spending has been voted on, is a wacky fringe position held by the likes of Michelle Bachmann.

    Exactly.

    I completely agree with your comment. This is why people said it would be harder to take down Santorum than Gingrich. This is also why National Review called his attacks “lame,” and writers at both the Weekly Standard and Powerline have said Romney must think we’re stupid. (If Romney doesn’t think so, then his advisors do).

  98. Tennessean for Mitt Says:

    #91 I totally agree with your line of thinking. I am basically very socially conservative but the way Santorum is presenting these issues is making me cringe. He thinks he is helping his cause but he is actually doing damage. It may get him applause at some events but will further polarize the general electorate.

  99. Patrick Henry Says:

    #93 – Santorum and Gingrich don’t do their own demagoging? This whole campaign, on all sides, has been about distorting minor issues into major ones to distract. Not to mention the digs at Romney’s religion that persist as an undercurrent.

    Nobody is clean in this campaign.

  100. WA_Independent Says:

    99 – Well Gingrich certainly will say or do anything to attack his opponents. I don’t think you can say the same about Santorum. Love him or hate him, he’s refreshingly honest and straightforward.

    I’m just fascinated to see the polls a few days from now. Santorum has been making some pretty strong statements on social issues, and I honestly don’t know whether this will help him shore up his base, or hurt him even in the primary.

  101. Matt Y. Says:

    40:

    #9 Granny: It’s interesting to note that Mitt and Ann donated one million dollars of their own money to the success of the Olympics in addition to working for $1, essentially for free.

    Mitt took $1 a year as governor and would plan on doing the same if elected POTUS.

    Good for him. Look, he’s a good man and I’d be happy to have him as President if he wins the nomination.

  102. Jerald Says:

    Sorry I’m not posting or visiting much anymore.

    I’ve lost faith in the GOP to be able to nominate, let alone elect, practical, qualified people for high office.

    We’ll see what happens in 2016 but I’m not holding my breath.

    The Far Right is losing it’s mind, so I’ve no choice but to assume America keeps heading down its current path and follows Europe right over the cliff.

    That’s not what I hope, but my main job is the survival of my family.

    Some of you say the Party will straighten itself out by the convention and point to the Dem 2008 primary, but I don’t remember the Dems engaging in purity cleansing and trying to demonize a huge section of their own party.

    But anyway, good luck winning the general election on SoCon issues with your good SoCon candidate.

    Or in the event Romney somehow wins the nomination, thanks in advance for making sure he will lose to Obama….Nothing quite so sweet as self-fulfilled prophesy.

    But at least we won’t be nominating Gingrich….I think…

  103. K.G. Says:

    #102 The way I’m reading the tea leaves is this: If Mitt is strongest in the primary, he will be the nominee. The GOP leaders have seen that neither Newt nor Santorum are electable in the general and neither will EVER be our nominee. If Mitt can’t pull it off with the Teavangelicals et al, the GOP will go after a new face.

    What actual human who could pull it off at that late date is anybody’s guess. None are as qualified as Mitt. None have been vetted. None have been in a debate. And most are unknown to all by political junkies.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall behind the scenes with the GOP. They must be slitting their wrists about now. IMO they have a choice to make: (1) Figure out a way to get people on board with Mitt: (Endorsements from beloved conservatives like Rubio or Ryan (who have nearly but way too subtly endorsed him–and I don’t believe Ryan is actually allow to endorse in the primary because of some office he holds in the election committee or something). Or Mitt announces a big, beloved conservative for VP: Rubio, Jindal or Ryan, right now.

    (2) Find a fresh face with big name recognition that people will get totally excited about in a hurry. I say the only one is Rubio, although he’s so new in the senate, not tested or vetted. But he is great at articlulating conservative principles and seems to have his wits about him. He’s the only one with real star power IMO.

    These are all long shots: So…….God, guns, gold and gardens for your family. Things are looking a little dicey.

  104. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    “It will force him to go on TV for free media. This is what he needs.”

    Once again MassCon, I think you’re guilty of trying to turn Romney into the candidate you WANT, rather than the candidate he NEEDS. You WANT him to talk about substance, you WANT him to go on news programs, you WANT him to talk about his record.

    Of course, he has been forced into doing some of those things, but that hardly makes it desirable.

    Look what happened last time Romney went on a news program – his statements got taken completely out of context, and turned into a week of bad media. And talking about policy and substance, for better or worse, has as many pitfalls as benefits. Platitudes are hard to criticize, policies aren’t.

    Romney needs to knock off Santorum…partly by boosting himself, but just as much by what he WASN’T doing for most of last week – tearing down Rick. Between lack of experience, hypocrisy, earmarks, there is much to attack with Santorum. Now, the SuperPAC is finally hitting him on that, but Romney also needs to step up.

    To win the nomination, Romney doesn’t need to be the most loved – he just needs to win the most votes. If that is done by dragging everyone into the mud pit, so be it.

    ====

    “Santorum is a pro-life liberal. He has no qualms using the federal government to force people into practicing his SoCon ideology.”

    Once again, people attacking Santorum for the wrong reasons. If we turn this country over to the libertarians, we’re sunk. Just look what decades of libertarian, laize-fraire social policy have brought us: abortion, divorce, promiscuity, illegitimacy, etc.

    Individuals have had all this time to conduct themselves in a responsible manner, they haven’t. Churches and social organizations have had all this time to try and combat these problems, they’ve failed. America, even an America which prohibits people form deviant or harmful social behaviors, will always be far more free and prosperous and desirable than most other nations on Earth. So, forced to choose between a government which restricts and promotes various social behaviors, and a society in which self-gratification and irresponsibility push us towards chaos…I’ll choose the former.

  105. penny Says:

    Rick Santorum got a C according to these statics… but the author didn’t say that now did she/he?

    What a crock of a hit piece that did not even begin to cover it.

    Rick Santorum was part of the out of control Congress that was booted out in 2006. He is big government and a big big spender and any spinning that tries to say otherwise is a big fat lie.

    Plus, Rick was a part of unions taking over and driving manufactering overseas… he is part and parcle of every bad thing in government that has happen over the last 30 years.

    More of the same… going back to the failed Congrss of 2006 is not what I will vote for.

    The only thing new under the sun is Romney. He did not cause any of this.

    Rick Santorum favors some one man version of Sharia law… his law…. his version.

    The makings of a totalitarian despot is in his speaking… listen… you do life Rick’s way or else.

    Control freak, totalitarian… hypocrite. Those are the words that best describe Rick Santorum.

  106. Ci2Eye Says:

    Erik Erickson regularly rants on Santorum on his radio show. He certianly HATES Mitt Romney but says Santorum is worse on fiscal matters and tonight seems to be saying he is also so far to the right socially as to be unelettable.

    He’s been trying to educate his listeners this evening about why even though they like what he is saying right now, it is making him unpalatable to general election voters in the fall.

    I am no fan of Erickson and certianly haven’t studied Santorum’s record but for what it is worth, one of the pre-eminent Tea Party conservatives that should be lining up behind Santorum thinks he isn’t acceptable.

  107. Watchinitall Says:

    106. Rick seems to have put his mouth in overdrive, totally counter to what I thought he would do with a rise in prominence. I’m really surprised.

  108. Machtyn Says:

    IMO, Hannity is a softball thrower. His interviews, with any Republican, are weak and the challenge, but positive on the promotion of the interviewee. When he interviews someone he doesn’t like, it is just a piss-poor interview with Hannity interrupting and cutting off the interviewee.

    Also, for Smack. I saw a report today that Santorum has paid off *most* of his campaign debt. Not all of it, mind you, most. Granted, I’m sure he has COH, it is necessary. It can’t be denied he’s had some good fundraising. The problem is that the ABR crowd has had to run from Bachmann to Perry (who got a very large amount) to Cain (who also got a very large amount… particularly for his short run at the top) to Gingrich, sort of, to Santorum.

    By the time they got to Santorum, the grass roots middle class ABR voter has no more money to donate. The 1%-ers are called 1% for a reason. And most of them recognize success when they see it – Romney. Others recognize opportunity for influence and cronyism – not Romney. They’ll choose Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, or Obama.

  109. Ci2Eye Says:

    #10 BD1,

    Best question of the night.

    It is almost shocking to me how a nominee is selected in this country today. We pick somebody on the touchy-feeling logic of whom we want to have a beer with and who seems most like us. If any Board of Directors selected the person to lead a company on such irrelevant and trivial factors, they’d be removed from their positions immediately.

    I believe Americans should act like a hiring manager looking for a CEO of the largest, most powerful, and most important enterprise on the face of the earth. We should ask ourselves who has the education, who has the experience, who has the track record, who has the personal characteristics, the intellect, the grace, integrity, and stamina to be our president.

    It matters not what church the candidate goes to or how much their wife spent at Tiffanys last year.

    It strikes me that we’ve been majoring on the minors in this contest. We are desperately seeking a ‘common man’ that we can connect with when we should be seeking an ‘uncommon man’ that can solve the monumental challenges we face.

    Our founders entrusted us with this decision. They believed in our collective wisdom. They believed that ‘We, the people’ could be trusted to self-govern. We owe them nothing less than an honest, sober and serious analysis of our choices. We should be asking “Who has the experience and training to do the job?” rather than “Who reminds me most of myself?”

  110. K.G. Says:

    #107

    Rick seems to have put his mouth in overdrive.

    Rick is a complete motor-mouth. He just talks and talks and talks and talks. He can’t help himself. It’s pathological. And it’s an election-killer.

    Did you hear him brag to Hannity that he’s not scripted. Well, fine and good, but words have consequences and the words of a POTUS have HUGE consequences. A person too lazy or undisciplined to measure their words should not be president IMO.

  111. Keith Says:

    So club for growth is part of the vast, anti-Romney conspiracy, too? Along with the MSM, the evangelicals, the socons, Rush, Palin, and anyone else who criticizes him? This conspiracy is so vast that it encompasses 70% of the electorate! Rombots sound more and more like Paulbots. Its never the candidate’s failings, its hidden dark evil forces conspiring to undermine him. You should stop criticizing Newt’s lunar colonies, sounds like you already live there.

    Listen to the lunatics – “Rick Santorum favors some one man version of Sharia law.” Are you listening to yourselves? And you call everyone else morons??? Santorum is a weak candidate with no cash or organization and a checkered history of fiscal conservatism. Be against him for that. But “totalitarian despot?” And Obama is a muslim who is in league with the terrorists, right? These kinds of rants lose you and your candidate all credibility.

  112. Franklin Says:

    These ratings are not always informative especially for Senators and Congressmen. If you look an McConnell’s ratings you would swear he was a conservative yet he makes deals where Democrats generally get most of what they want.

    Santorum voted for every Bush big spending program including the Medicare Prescription Drug Program which was one of the largest expansions of government in decades. He was earmark happy as he even voted to support the Bridge to Nowhere. DeMint has sworn off earmarks while Santorum defends them. He also suppports ethanol subsidies which even Gore admits is a fraud.

    Gingrich shares some of the same characteristics. Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker was marked by a huge increase in earmarks. The ’95 freshman class that brought Gingrich to power were the tea party of their day. They came to Washington to cut government and found their way blocked by Gingrich.

    http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2011/12/how-speaker-newt-gingrich-betrayed-the-republican-revolution/

    “The first of many battles between Gingrich and the budget-cutters was over the funding for House committees. A bill the Speaker was pushing would have reversed the hard-won cuts of the previous year. In fact, the legislation would have trashed a key element of the Contract with America: in 1995, when the House cut congressional committee funding by a third, House leaders touted it as one of the first Contract promises kept.

    “It should have come as no surprise that some of us were going to say no when they want to hire more Washington bureaucrats,” said budget hawk Mark Neumann of Wisconsin when he declared he would vote against the bill. “When we go out and tell our people we’re going to balance the budget, we can’t start with an increase in our own budget.” With all Democrats opposed to the bill, the swing votes came from eleven GOP budget hawks. It went down to defeat by a narrow margin of three votes.

    Gingrich was furious. A few minutes after the vote, he announced an unusual mandatory meeting of all House Republicans in the caucus room right outside the House chamber. The session was going to begin with a roll-call and the Speaker threatened to send the sergeant-at-arms to round up any absent GOP congressman. Once the meeting started, Gingrich fumed. “The eleven geniuses who thought they knew more than the rest of the Congress are going to come up and explain their votes,” he said. It was an unusual step and one that seemed to be motivated mostly by anger. It even surprised the more senior members of Congress, none of whom had ever heard of anyone being asked to explain their vote in this way to the entire caucus. Gingrich’s goal was to humiliate, and he derisively referring to the dissenting members as “you conservatives,” as if they were a distinctly different and unacceptable breed of Republican. He derided them for not being team players and threatened to delay a two-week recess until each of those members explained himself and until the leadership had enough votes to pass the committee bill.

    Rep. Steve Largent of Oklahoma, former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, pushed back. “The Speaker tonight talked about the eleven of us letting the team down. The more significant question and the question that never gets asked in Washington, D.C., is whose teams are we on?”

    Many in the room began to nod their heads. The mood had turned against Gingrich. When he was done speaking, Largent received enthusiastic applause from most of the Republicans present. Gingrich never tried a stunt like that again.

    Instead, he worked behind the scenes – and not for the last time – to upset the plans of the fiscal conservatives. He struck a deal with the eleven GOP budget-cutters to freeze committee budgets for 30 days so a compromise could eventually be reached. But instead of negotiating in good faith with the conservatives, Gingrich used that delay to cut deals with a handful of Republicans eager to increase spending. In the end, the committee budgets went up by roughly the amount originally proposed.

    The next battle was over the federal budget. The 1997 budget deal that Gingrich helped craft was replete with retreats on budget discipline. The spending caps that were in place in the Contract with America budget were abandoned: the 1997 budget ended up hiking overall discretionary spending by 11.5%. The GOP talking points on the budget compromise reminded reporters that the agreement gave Clinton less than he’d asked for. That’s certainly true. But Republicans voluntarily gave up more of their own territory than Clinton did and much of it was encouraged by Gingrich.

    Then came the highway bill in 1998. It, too, was a bloated and very expensive venture that highlighted the disconnect between the rhetoric of budget cutting and the reality of what was being pushed. When budget committee chairman John Kasich urged Gingrich to help him persuade members of the Congress to shave off some of the spending, Gingrich shut him down. The bill passed, as these things often do, largely as a result of the hundreds of earmarks stuffed into the bill.

    The final straw for many was the 1998 budget. When Kasich presented a budget that harkened back to the Contract with America days and included real budget cuts, Gingrich lambasted the budget-cutters in a closed-door meeting. Gingrich’s pushback against fiscal conservatives was a prelude to Congress, a few weeks before the midterm elections of 1998, passing a budget that hiked non-defense discretionary spending by over 5% that year – twice the 1997 budget deal’s increase – and funded a record amount of pork-barrel projects. It was in every way a rout of the very ideals that won the GOP a majority in Congress in the first place. When presented with an option by then-Rep. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and a number of other conservatives in the House to offset some of these hikes with spending cuts in other parts of the budget, Gingrich nixed the idea outright.”

  113. haner Says:

    Matthew Kilburn:

    Just look what decades of libertarian, laize-fraire social policy have brought us: abortion, divorce, promiscuity, illegitimacy, etc.

    The irony is that the ones with the lowest divorce and lowest illegitimacy rates are also some of those who are more socially moderate.

    Evangelicals have higher divorce and illegitimacy rates than mainline Protestants.

    The problem with you social conservatives is that you don’t practice what you preach.

  114. K.G. Says:

    #113: I believe this is true. The evangelical statistics-gathering Barna Group claims evangelical girls are just to prone to get an abortion as those in the general population. In fact it’s one of the scandals of the so-called “Christians.” Their moral behavior is no different than avowed atheists’.

  115. Teemu Says:

    In 2006, that Romney’s 55 points / C was pretty good, there was only 6 Republican governors with higher CATO grade, Romney had the highest CATO grade of Republican governors who had to put up with Democratic legislature. By the way CATO gave one A in 2006, so they don’t suffer from grade inflation like some other institutes do.

  116. ClassyMitt Says:

    Didn’t the Club for Growth also give Mitt a good grade in 2008 primary?

  117. Jason Says:

    Post #3 Massachusetts Conservative

    Are you ok dude or Gal? You attack Santorum from Granny T? Why According to here post, the Scorded Sntorum with a grade of A, from 1995-2006. Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-. Santorum’s GPA placed him in the top 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50.

    While Romney scored a C from the The Cato Institute. In 2004 and again in CATO’s 2006 reports. Governor Romney received a grade of , Fiscal policy.

    Hmmm even though Granny T says it is not even better because he represented Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Conservative (should call yourself big dishonest liberal) attack her???

    You a total fraud! Last time I checked the Standard a Grade of A was better than a grade of C. Try to set aside your profound bias.

  118. Jason Says:

    Post #3 Massachusetts Conservative

    Are you ok dude or Gal? You attack Granny T’s post, why? According to her post, the N.T.U. or National Taxpayers Union, scored Santorum with a grade of A, from 1995-2006.

    Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-. Santorum’s GPA placed him in the top 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50.

    While Romney scored a (C) from the Cato Institute, in 2004 and again in CATO’s 2006 reports on fiscal policy.

    Earth to Massachusetts Conservative, on post #3, a grade of (A) is better than Romney’s grade of (C)!

    Your name should read this way for Post#3 “Big Dishonest Liberal.”

    So, even though Granny T, says Santorum represented Pennsylvania and this is why he voted the way he did, Massachusetts Conservative THAT IS STILL A HELL OF ALOT MORE FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE, Than Barrack Romney’s “C” from Cato.

    Your a total fraud! The last time I checked, the standard grade of (A) that Santorum received “is higher” than the “grade of (C) Barrack Romney received,” in case you do not have the brains to notice.

    Try to set aside your profound bias.

  119. Teemu Says:

    Comparing grades from different institutes makes no sense, in 2006 CATO gave only one A.

  120. Teemu Says:

    Romney’s 2006 grade 55 point / C was best of Republican governors with Dem legislature, only 6 R governors got better, funnily two of the White Knights, got lower, Jeb Bush got 54 points in 2006 , Mitch Daniels got 48…

  121. Jason Says:

    Point well noted Teemu on post #119 though RomneyCare is what killed him I am guessing according to Cato’s score and even factoring in two different institutions (that are both very conservative on fiscal positions) should not lead to this large of a discrepancy from an (A) grade to a Grade of (C).

    Secondly looking only at Santorum he sure is MUCH MORE CONSERVATIVE than 45 other senators. How do you explain this ?

    Thirdly, perceptions of a grade of (A) look much nicer than a grade of (C) anyday and low information voters that are sitting on the fence in Michigan will see the grade of A) for Santorum on fiscal policy’s issues, and say hmm I guess Romney’s lying again in his ads.

    I think you even would agree but I know you wont admit it. Support Romney I will support the Winner Santorum.

  122. haner Says:

    USA Today/Gallup today: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads the president 50%-46% among registered voters, Romney’s strongest showing against him to date.

  123. Jason Says:

    That poll does not exist stop making up lies Haner. I looked at gallup and usa todays websites and NO WHERE does a polls show any Republican Leading Obama.

  124. haner Says:

    123

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-02-20/GOP-convention-poll/53172644/1?csp=34news

    “Meanwhile, President Obama’s standing against two potential Republican rivals has ebbed a bit. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads the president 50%-46% among registered voters, Romney’s strongest showing against him to date. Obama edges former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum by a single percentage point, 49%-48%.”

    Next time, don’t accuse others of lying when you’re just incompetent.

  125. Teemu Says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-02-20/GOP-convention-poll/53172644/1?csp=34news

    Using google isn’t that hard.

  126. Joe G Says:

    Now even Former George W. Bush’s first Press Secretary from January, 2001 to July, 2003 and Romney sympathizer is predicting a Santorum Nomination win in increasingly likly.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/02/20/fleischer_santorum_has_decent_chance_of_beating_romney.html

  127. Jason Says:

    Well I guess I am wrong sorry. That poll is push poll for Romney as they want him to get beast in the fall.

    No other poll shows such numbers. as this link will reveal http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_santorum_vs_obama-2912.html

  128. Jason Says:

    Well I guess I am wrong sorry. That poll is push poll for Romney as they want him to get beat in the fall.

    No other poll shows such numbers. as this link will reveal http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_santorum_vs_obama-2912.html

  129. Jason Says:

    Same story for a Romney Match up with Obama. Would be nice if you could post more than (1) link at a time per post.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html

  130. Teemu Says:

    This poll is from Feb 16-19 though, every one of those polls that poll both Romney and Santorum, except Rasmussen tracking, everybody of them are Feb 10-13 or older.

    Romney has done better against Santorum in every non-tracking poll except for PPP, he did better in four non-tracking poll. Of post Santorum surge, whether you take average of all Rasmussen tracking polls after that, or just the last 5, Romney does better in those also overall. So Romney doing better than Santorum against Obama is consistent with polling overall.

  131. Jerald Says:

    113.haner Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 12:20 am
    Matthew Kilburn:

    Just look what decades of libertarian, laize-fraire social policy have brought us: abortion, divorce, promiscuity, illegitimacy, etc.

    The irony is that the ones with the lowest divorce and lowest illegitimacy rates are also some of those who are more socially moderate.

    Evangelicals have higher divorce and illegitimacy rates than mainline Protestants.

    The problem with you social conservatives is that you don’t practice what you preach.

    That’s because they believe in easy forgiveness but not so much the “go and sin no more” or don’t sin in the first place part.

    However, the easy forgiveness part only applies if you are one of them.

    Evangelicals that actually LIVE Christian principles are exemplary people to which the above does not apply, of course.

  132. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    104

    Look what happened last time Romney went on a news program – his statements got taken completely out of context, and turned into a week of bad media.

    And what happened after the “gaffe?”

    He went back into hiding.

    Does him going into hiding make the “gaffes” (as the media WISHES they were) go away? No.

    What he should have done with ALL these “gaffes,” is to IMMEDIATELY go back on TV and give his side of the story and give an explanation. Since he did not defend himself, the “gaffes” became “facts” in the minds of the voters. The voters have not been told that Romney really DOES care about the very poor, or that he really WAS talking about consumers being able to fire their insurance companies is a good thing, or that corporations really ARE people. And so forth.

    And THIS is why his unfavorables are up. Something goes wrong with him, the entire media talks about it for 1-2 weeks, and Romney chooses not to defend himself.

  133. My Man Mitt 4 President Says:

    Gallup/USA national presidential poll
    Romney 50 Obama 46 +4
    Obama 49 Santorum 48 -1

  134. David Shedlock Says:

    ” and if you don’t think there was a huge anti-Mormon piece to that you aren’t being honest”

    And let the whining begin…

  135. really Says:

    I absolutely adore this site! The content is priceless. Thanks for all of the articles and making my personal morning. Thank you, really

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