Tag Archives: Rick Santorum

Santorum not up to par, says Coulter

Ann Coulter trashes GOP presidential primary candidate Rick Santorum in her latest column, saying even when he takes the right position, he makes the wrong argument. I couldn’t agree more. It’s insane that Santorum is even in the game at this point. I’ve watched him in interviews from time to time in the last couple years and remember thinking, “This guy seriously wants to run for president?”

He has absolutely no presence, and at times seems slow on his feet. As I discussed in my last post, he also has difficulties communicating with constituencies who don’t reflect his own values. That’s problematic when you’re trying to win over a national electorate.

The former Pennsylvania senator has looked good on the stump a few times during this race, and has played the role of the tortoise admirably. He kept slogging on in Iowa for months on end, even when it looked like he had no chance of winning. And that’s paid off. Whether by luck or strength, he’s the last un-Romney standing. But enough of this, let’s get this thing over. Santorum shouldn’t be left standing, and it’s time to knock him out.

Republican primary voters, do your duty.

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Santorum the wrong choice for GOP

Don’t Pick Rick, says Mona Charen in the National Review Online. His strident socially conservative rhetoric leaves him with too many vulnerabilities as a candidate in race that isn’t fundamentally about social issues at all.

I’ll give an amen to Charen on this one.

While I can respect Sen. Rick Santorum‘s conviction, he absolutely is the wrong presidential candidate for the GOP. The problem may not primarily be his social conservatism – though his views do seem to be a bit formulaic and reactionary at times. It’s that he doesn’t know how to express them in a semi-secular political square and a pluralistic, media-driven age.

His vernacular is out there at times, at least given the context, and he sometimes doesn’t seem to realize that not everybody is coming where he’s coming from when he makes a moral argument on a political topic. That doesn’t mean you have to change your views, Rick, but sometimes it means you have to approach the issue with a certain deft-sensitivity and self-awareness.

The other thing is that Santorum seems too focused on religious issues at times. In fact, the whole contraception flap is a perfect example. Now, he’s not the only Republican to be guilty of this (way too many have been), but why on earth has nobody pointed out that this is not only a matter of conscience (that Catholic organizations not be forced to provide contraception to employees, directly or indirectly through insurance), but a basic matter of economic and personal freedom? Santorum, et al, hit relentlessly on the religious angle.

But that was quickly diffused by Team Obama (“Don’t have the church do it, just make their insurance companies pay for it”). Had Republicans argued not only the right of conscience issue but also the basic personal liberty issue, the subject might not so easily have been swept off the table. Is Santorum okay with other government health insurance mandates, or just those that happen to rustle the feathers of the Roman Catholic church?

In fact, now that we’re on that topic, let’s ask this: Why should Santorum, who voted for the massive 2003 expansion of Medicare (the largest entitlement expansion of an entitlement program until Obamacare, if I’m not mistaken), be surprised and upset at all that government is involving itself in health care?

Make no mistake. This is the Republicans’ year. 2008 was made for Obama, and 2012 is made for the GOP standard-bearer, whoever that person be. Do we have a perfect candidate? No, obviously not. That person has not stepped onto the stage just yet. But mark my words: If we nominate Santorum, we will lose this election that should have been ours.

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On the GOP side in 2012…

Chris Cillizza writes in The Washington Post about four potential dark horse candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. It’s early, but of course the official season started in earnest the day after the midterms. His mentions, and my comments:

Rick Santorum – Yes, Santorum might very well run, and surely wants to. I don’t think he would win, however, and he would not be the right nominee. He’s too narrowly focused on social issues, and lacks resonance with voters beyond his natural constituency.

Mike Pence – Pence could decide to run as well, and certainly if not this time then at some point in the future. It could be the year for a guy like Pence, however, if 2012 proves to be another change cycle. He could legitimately run as an outsider, while still presenting the substance and style desired in a presidential candidate by the electorate.

Scott Brown – No way. Fun to think about – if for nothing else but the novelty of the idea – but only for about one second. There’s no way he’d do it, and no way he’d win. He simply doesn’t have the experience, the network, or anything else to make that even a realistic possibility to consider.

Marco Rubio – Again, no way. He’s an attractive figure within the party and his star is rising to be sure, but it’s simply not his time, and he’s smart enough to understand that. The only caveat I’d add is that many potential GOP nominees would certainly take a look at him for the VP slot.

Personally, I still like Mitt Romney, both as my personal choice of those who have all but declared, and as the odds-on favorite to take the nomination. If Pence jumps in the field, I’d be compelled of course to take a very serious look at him. As you know, I’ve long been a fan of the Congressman from Indiana. He starts behind Romney in name ID and money, but projects a personal authenticity and warmth that could compensate for that in a race to attract the attention and support of primary voters.

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Filed under 2012 Presidential Election, Republican Party