Rick Santorum had an excellent debate tonight. He left Romney curled up in the fetal position sucking his thumb after his take-down of Romneycare and while Romney and Gingrich were scratching each others eyes out, Santorum stepped in and reminded them that there were actual, real, important issues in the campaign. He was the adult in the room with the squabbling brats.
But there was one moment near the end of the debate where Santorum clearly defined the differences between what we, as conservatives, believe and what Obama believes. Wolf had asked the candidates how their faith would affect their decisions as president. Santorum pointed to our founding documents:
"Faith is a very important part of my life and it's an important part of this country. The foundational documents of our country-everyone talks about the Constitution, very important-but the Constitution is the 'how' of America. It's the operator's manual. The 'why' of America, who we are as a people, is in the Declaration of Independence. 'We hold these trust to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.' The Constitution is there to do one thing, to protect God given rights. That's what makes America different than every other country in the world. No other country in the world has its rights based in God-given rights, not government-given rights. And so you say, well, faith has nothing to do with it. Faith has everything to do with it [applause]. If our President believes that rights come to us from the state, then everything government gives you, it can take away. The role of the government is to protect rights that cannot be taken away. And so the answer to that question, I believe in faith, in reason in approaching the problems of this country. But understand where those rights come from, who we are as Americans, and the foundational principals by which we have changed the world." [bold emphasis added]
Can we just stop for a minute and imagine what Obama's pathetic rebuttal to that might be? Because that's at the heart of the debate we need to have in this country.
I think declarations that Newt is the one and only candidate who can take it to Obama in a debate have been both premature and misguided. Santorum has turned in several strong debate performances; the more time he's given, the stronger he gets. And he's able to articulate conservatism without apology. I've said in previous diaries that Newt is an unstable and untrustworthy candidate. I think we saw tonight that he's beginning to crumble under the pressure. I would like to see Santorum given a shot at the title now, before it's too late and we're stuck with one of these other two poseurs.
Cross-posted Bold Colors