Archive for the ‘Rick Santorum’ Category
Perhaps the most glaring weakness in Rick Santorum’s case that he can win the presidency is his 18-point loss when he sought a third term as senator from Pennsylvania in 2006. Santorum explains that ’06 was a terrible year for Republicans, and indeed the GOP, in the sixth year of George W. Bush’s time in the White House, did lose control of both House and Senate. But why, specifically, did Santorum lose, and why did he lose by such a large margin?
Surprisingly, given the intensity of the campaign, the reasons are seldom explored at any length. That might be because they cut both ways. Santorum lost in part for embracing policies that rival Mitt Romney also embraced at the time; citing those reasons today wouldn’t help Romney attack Santorum. But Santorum also lost in part for entirely personal reasons, alienating many Pennsylvania voters with his temperament and approach to governing; citing those reasons wouldn’t help Santorum defend himself. So the question has gone largely unanswered. (more…)
|Hour of Newt
South Carolina Republicans delivered what former president George W. Bush once called a “thumpin’” to Mitt Romney. Republicans have too many misgivings about Romney — misgivings we share — to give him a shortcut to the nomination. He will have to earn it, if he can. So far he has been content to deliver lifeless platitudes, apparently under the impression that saying he “believes in America” is the way to clinch an argument rather than begin or summarize one. Instead of projecting strength, he has wilted under challenge. For a while there, his position on releasing tax returns was starting to look as convoluted as the tax code itself. He has done little to persuade conservative voters that he will fight for our priorities.
But attention must now turn to South Carolina’s big winner, Newt Gingrich. If the question before South Carolinians was whether to declare the nomination contest over by choosing Romney, the question before Floridians is whether to make Gingrich the front-runner. Romney is now running a sharply negative campaign in order to capitalize on this distinction. Since neither Gingrich nor Romney can make the case that he is a purebred conservative or a world-beating political talent, both are now essentially relying on a negative argument: The other guy is unreliable and unelectable. There is enough truth in both indictments to explain the continued appeal of other candidates’ joining the race.
Among the present candidates, we continue to prefer Romney and Rick Santorum over Gingrich and Ron Paul. Our opposition to Paul is based on our disagreement with a foreign policy based on what we consider a dangerously naïve and narrow conception of U.S. interests. Our opposition to Gingrich, by contrast, is not based on any philosophical disagreement. Among Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum, we find only minor ideological differences. None has been a consistent small-government conservative in office; all are running on conservative, and similar, platforms this year. (more…)
- JANUARY 14, 2012
‘Supply-Sider’ for the Working Man
Mitt Romney’s conservative rival Rick Santorum wants to grow the economy with tax breaks for manufacturing—and babies.
‘I’m someone who believes that making things creates wealth,” says Rick Santorum. It is primary day in New Hampshire, and the former Pennsylvania senator and current presidential candidate is describing his plan to slash corporate tax rates. To encourage companies to make things, he would completely eliminate the federal income tax on manufacturers. For all other businesses, the rate would be cut in half, to 17.5% from 35%.
Mr. Santorum also believes that making babies creates wealth. It’s very difficult to grow an economy with a shrinking population, he says, pointing to the “demographic winter in Europe” as a cause of that region’s troubles. To help avoid that fate in the U.S., he wants to triple the per-child tax credit and also cut individual tax rates.
In a still-crowded field of non-Romneys trying to compete for the Republican nomination, Mr. Santorum could emerge in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary as the man who can bring together the old Reagan coalition. A champion of cultural conservatives with a blue-collar background, he is also making the case for deep cuts in federal spending. His credibility on this last issue derives from the political price he paid for being an early promoter of entitlement reform.
At Mastricola Elementary School in Merrimack, a wise voter suggests that Mr. Santorum should push even harder for growth with a flatter tax system that applies equally to everyone. Mr. Santorum is cheerful but gives no indication he’ll take the advice.
With little money in his campaign account, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has used a socially conservative message is still working to show he can capitalize on his early success. Danny Yadron has details on Campaign Journal. (more…)
Rick Santorum has become central because Iowa Republicans ignored an axiom that is as familiar as it is false: Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line. Republicans, supposedly hierarchical, actually are – let us say the worst – human. They crave fun. Supporting Romney still seems to many like a duty, the responsible thing to do. Suddenly, supporting Santorum seems like a lark, partly because a week or so ago he could quit complaining about media neglect and start having fun, which is infectious.
He can, of course, be tenaciously serious. On Sept. 26, 1996, the Senate was debating whether to ban partial-birth abortion, the procedure whereby the baby to be killed is almost delivered, feet first, until only a few inches of its skull remain in the birth canal, and then the skull is punctured, emptied and collapsed. Santorum asked two pro-choice senators opposed to the ban, Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., this: Suppose the baby slips out of the birth canal before it can be killed. Should killing it even then be a permissible choice? Neither senator would say no.
On Oct. 20, 1999, during another such debate, Santorum had a colloquy with pro-choice Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:
Santorum: “You agree that, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed. Do you agree with that?”
Boxer: “I think that when you bring your baby home …” (more…)
Published on The Weekly Standard (www.weeklystandard.com)
Stephen F. Hayes
November 12, 2011 11:38 PM
Spartanburg, South Carolina
After a series of debates in which foreign policy and national security issues received little attention, Republicans spent Saturday evening here debating everything from the Arab Spring and Pakistan to foreign aid and China currency manipulation. The candidates largely agreed on the big issues – Obama is bad, terrorists are dangerous, Pakistan is a conundrum – but some interesting differences among the leading candidates surfaced over the course of the 90 minutes on stage and in the spin room afterwards.
Herman Cain had a difficult night, his halting and hesitant answers seemed to reflect a lack of depth on foreign policy issues. That might be understandable for someone who has spent his life in business, but it matters. In the first question of the night, Cain was asked about the recent IAEA report on Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program. The question conveyed a sense of urgency but Cain answered with policy prescriptions more appropriate for addressing a long-term problem – changing U.S. energy policy, aiding the Iranian opposition and tightening sanctions. Cain effectively ruled out military action. “The only way to stop them is through economic means,” he said.
Mitt Romney provided a dramatic contrast – on that answer and over the course of the night. If he came into this debate wanting to look strong and resolute – a good bet – he succeeded. On Iran, Romney, like Cain, mentioned sanctions and the Iranian opposition when asked about steps he would take to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But he made clear that those were merely first steps. “If all else fails, of course you take military action,” he said, lamenting the diminished meaning of “unacceptable” in U.S. threats against Iran. “If we elect Barack Obama, Iran will have nuclear weapons. If you elect Mitt Romney, if you elect me, they will not.” (more…)