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“Mitt Romney, you are no Gerald Ford” says Rick Santorum endorsement email to defeat Obama

I knew Gerald Ford, or as much as any hard core Reaganite could in 1976.  And Mitt Romney, you are no Gerald Ford.  At least, that’s the word from Rick Santorum (if I may paraphrase him), who like the Ronald Reagan of 1976 has been defeated in a GOP Presidential primary by the establishment candidate.

Rick Santorum wrote to me and other Santorum supporters late last night and made very clear his belief that Mitt Romney is not going to be any Gerald Ford.  Mitt Romney went to the home base of Rick Santorum and met with him for over an hour to listen to his concerns and answer his questions.  Rick’s endorsement immediately followed.

And so it appears that the answer to the question I raised in my April 11 column has arrived, which will no doubt deeply disappoint the GOP “regulars,” liberals and secular leftists who always “advise” Republican primary voters to stay away from conservatives and values voters and nominate “centrist” candidate who should run “right in the primary and to the center in the general election.”

Rick Santorum, like Ronald Reagan before him, has this idea that you should run as the advocate of conservative values in both the primary AND ALSO in the general election.

The liberal left and their GOP allies had hoped GOP primary winner Mitt Romney would banish Santorum and the “values voter right” aka the “Christian right” to the nether regions of the campaign, while accepting their donations, their votes and their work, but not their ideas or views or values.

I wrote an entire column in April (see Should Romney appeal to Santorum Voters or Copy Ford Strategy vs Reagan?) based on the idea that it really does not matter what Mitt Romney does because just as with Ronald Reagan, just as he said at the 1976 GOP convention, our cause goes on, and the fight continues, either way.

That column generated the equivalent of the “standing booing ovation” that former Vice President Dick Cheney got at a CPAC two years ago – with the most popular speaker in CPAC history 2nd only to Ronald Reagan, getting a standing ovation from CPAC regulars and booing and loud jeering from the anti-conservative, Ron Paul attendees who got in on the $99 student special (donated – so they paid nothing – and there were about 1000 of them in the room).

That April column earned 133 “comments” – mainly from about 4 people attacking and criticizing (with hardly any such comment indicating that they’d actually read the article – they were reciting many of the anti-Christian/conservative “talking points” you can find at Daily Kos, Media Matters and other leftwing hate sites) and my constant and repeat rebuttals.

That “apparently” controversial column also generated a positive response – 110 people who clicked “like” or who “tweeted” the link to the column, or who did a Red State “recommend.”

In other words, as I wrote there to rebut one who claimed that at Red State having so many “comments” indicates a badly written article: I think that 110 in favor and 4 against, except for the math challenged, indicates strong support.

And, the 4 people writing many dozens of repetitive attacks didn’t prove their point but proved their strong feelings AND that they hadn’t actually read the article but were rebutting what I’d never written.

In 10 weeks and over 50 articles at RED STATE that April column remains the largest outpouring of support for anything that I have written, and I am grateful.  It also is a column that splendily presages the late night email from Rick Santorum last night.

In that article back on April 11, I asked,

“Will Romney copy the losing strategy being suggested to him by those who hate conservatives and either don’t want him to win or simply overlook reality and history’s lessons?”

“In any event, and no matter what Mitt Romney decides, I do believe we will see and hear a lot more about Rick Santorum in the future, who is much younger at this stage of his career than Ronald Reagan was when he lost in 1976 and who just like Reagan, gives voice to people who will otherwise have none.”

“America is exceptional, the values voters are still here, and we still look for leadership on the national level.  Thank you Rick Santorum, we are grateful for your giving voice to our views, hope you will take a brief rest and then pick up that sword once again, hold up the light, to banish the dark.”

There was dissent which was downright bitter at times, to any comparison of Rick Santorum to Ronald Reagan, even though I began the column, as I did today with a “not” comment – ie. Rick Santorum is not Ronald Reagan, and today’s similar comment, Mitt Romney appears to be no Gerald Ford.

Nonetheless, any reference to Rick Santorum in the same sentence as Ronald Reagan seemed to drive some folks very crazy, who very much use the language of the radical left, while shouting hysterically if you point that out (as I kept doing).

Ronald Reagan gave voice to conservatives in the 1976 GOP presidential primary so that win, lose or draw, he helped build the conservative cause.  Rick Santorum has done the same thing this year.

Ronald Reagan went on to use his 170,000 name donor list to help build the conservative cause after the campaign by signing fund appeals such as the one that launched the National Conservative Political Action Committee – one of the first conservative PAC’s in America – and the forerunner in teaching political organizing technology to the Leadership Institute and American Majority of today.

And his list was used to build many dozens of conservative groups and two years later to use those employed from those funds to staff and organize U.S. Senate and House races which the list also helped fund.

I wrote in April, that Rick Santorum can also do this with his contributor list of 160,000 names – nearly the same size as Ronald Reagan’s 1976 list.

I said I hoped he would do this – and that his supporters would BUILD on what has been done this past year, regardless of whatever Mitt Romney chose to do.

And I raised the question: will Mitt Romney choose to marginalize and ignore Rick Santorum after his primary win, or enlist the candidate he defeated to help him win the general election?

Gerald Ford and his campaign marginalized Ronald Reagan and I believe that helped them lose the election that year.  How about Mitt Romney this year?

Mitt Romney’s decision to honor Rick Santorum by traveling to Pittsburgh to meet him was a major step in the right direction, and I am one of the many Rick Santorum supporters who appreciates it.

And I deeply appreciate the email report that I got from Rick Santorum telling me about his meeting with Mitt Romney.

If you are a Mitt Romney supporter this is exactly the correct way to enlist those you defeated and their supporters like the undersigned.  And if you are the candidate who was defeated, this is the correct way to carry on the battle.

I’d made the point that regardless of what Mitt Romney does, the values voters and Rick Santorum are here to stay and will build on the work done in this campaign.

Mitt Romney can either harness their support, or go ahead without them and risk losing to Barack Obama.

Romney can either appeal to the values voters who enabled Rick Santorum to win 11 states and over 3 million votes, or ignore them.  Romney’s decision will have no effect on what Santorum can and should do, and on what those who supported him can, should and I hope will do.  Stay active, build it bigger, carry on.

I don’t mean it will have NO effect – Romney’s decision might help reelect Barack Obama, or might help defeat him, of course.  I mean: Romney’s decision won’t stop or eliminate those who were motivated to work for, donate to and vote for Rick Santorum.

Clearly, Mitt Romney has decided to appeal to those of us who supported Santorum.  While no doubt this will disappoint or even anger those who want to push all the “Christian crazies” off a cliff and march on to defeat without owing them any favors, we have cause to be delighted, and I very much am.

Rick Santorum told me in his email, “I was impressed with the Governor’s deep understanding of… and commitment to economic policies that preserve and strength families.  He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved.”

While there are a number of issues where Mitt Romney simply listened respectfully to Rick Santorum while not agreeing (nor disagreeing) – such as being urged to appoint more movement conservatives to his campaign and his future administration – the point is that the GOP nominee-apparent is listening, not shutting out the man he defeated.

All bad news for liberals, leftists and secular-left anti-Christian, anti-”value voter” activists.

And the end of the Santorum email came to the punch line – the areas where Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney see things the same way:

“…the need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending. We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. And while I had concerns about Governor Romney making a case as a candidate about fighting against Obamacare, I have no doubt if elected he will work with a Republican Congress to repeal it and replace it with a bottom up, patient, not government, driven system.”

From Mitt Romney’s point of view – and the view of those who are worried that any split or division will enable Barack Obama to be reelected in November – the most powerful sentences from Rick Santorum’s email to me and his supporters at the end, is this:

Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.

My favorite part of this wonderful email message from Rick Santorum was his signoff – “to protect family, freedom and opportunity in America.”  No wonder leftists of all stripes hate this guy.  As I had hoped when I penned my April 11 column, we will be hearing from Rick Santorum in the future.  And it appears he will be frustrating leftists everywhere by helping defeat Barack Obama by electing Mitt Romney this year.

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HanoverHenry of RED STATE is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there. You can also communicate via private mail at Facebook, and I welcome new sources for my articles focusing on the conservative-Christian viewpoint in Pennsylvania.  I appreciate your sharing this article elsewhere and only ask that you include this “disclaimer” in any reprints or sharing you do (if this is reprinted on any other website, that is).  And I thank those whose information have helped me with some of my reports, including those who do not wish to be quoted by name.

Links to articles I wrote at RED STATE at my Facebook Notes section. 

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