From the diaries. . .
Rick Santorum makes an excellent point that “past performance really does indicate future results.” I completely agree—but not just “in Mitt Romney’s case.” Rick Santorum became the third-highest ranking Republican in the Senate in 2001 at a time when Republicans inherited balanced budgets, surpluses, and conservative, pro-life majorities. Senator Santorum and his big spending GOP allies proceeded to squander this inheritance.
The leadership of the Rick Santorum Republicans proved disastrous:
- The Rick Santorum Republicans never passed a single balanced budget, after inheriting balanced budgets and record surpluses. They racked up $1.7 trillion in deficits and increased the average number of earmarks by almost 500 percent. The Senator even voted for the Bridge to Nowhere.
- The Rick Santorum Republicans increased the national debt by 12 percent and voted to raise the debt ceiling five times to accommodate it—even while dealing with a president of their own party.
- The Senator voted with Democrats and Big Labor to defeat the National Right to Work Act of 1995. He justifies this vote saying he was representing Pennsylvania where forced unionization is the law but today, PA Senator Toomey is cosponsoring nearly identical legislation.
- The Senator voted with Democrats and Big Labor — repeatedly — to protect Davis-Bacon legislation, an old law on the books that requires the federal government to pay more to its contractors. He was so wedded to big labor that he even voted against waiving Davis-Bacon in times of emergency. By voting to protect Davis-Bacon, the Senator cost taxpayers many millions in higher taxes, deficits, and national debt.
- The Senator sponsored the “Santorum Amendment” to raise the Minimum Wage 21.4%. He supported Ted Kennedy’s proposed hike in the Minimum Wage. And, in a 2006 campaign commercial, he bragged about his support for a higher Minimum Wage.
- The Rick Santorum Republicans abandoned their principles, resulting in the worst electoral defeat for Republicans since Watergate and the loss of GOP Congressional majorities in both the House and Senate. This left Congress in the hands of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And in destroying the Republican brand of balanced budgets and spending control, the Rick Santorum Republican failure gave us Barack Obama in 2008.
This is not a record of leadership to be proud of, and in 2006 it resulted in a catastrophic 18-point defeat. I fear it would do so again in the fall of 2012 if he were the nominee.
Unlike Senator Santorum, I did not go to Washington seeing politics as a “team sport.” Instead, I set out to change the game, and was willing to fight the forces of the establishment within the Republican Party to do so. The result was the first GOP majority in 40 years and the largest increase in pro-life votes in House of Representatives history. When I was Speaker, we balanced the budget for the first time since the 1920s — and it stayed balanced for four straight years. We reformed welfare, lifting millions of Americans from poverty. We passed the biggest capital gains tax cut in history, helping create 11 million jobs. And we did it all while paying down the national debt by $400 billion.
If you agree with Senator Santorum that “past performance really does indicate future results,” it means there’s only one candidate in this race who can offer the change our country desperately needs.