rick santorum caricature flickr cc
Last week I posted on Rick Santorum sulking over the Iowa evangelical community endorsing Ted Cruz instead of him. In 2012, Santorum eked out a small victory over Mitt Romney that made him not look ridiculous. His current standing in the Iowa polls shows him with zero percent of the vote. We can all understand why this stings. In 2012, people in Iowa returned his calls. In 2016, they can't pick him out of a two-man line-up. The reason is simple. In 2012, he was the only candidate reasonably close to being an evangelical (but he's Catholic, so he wasn't all that close). In 2016, there are other candidates in the race, candidates who can actually win, who are much more in touch with the evangelical community and they cast their lot with those candidates.

Now Santorum is running ads in Iowa attacking Ted Cruz for doing nothing in the Senate. Before you nod your head, stop and think for a second of what the Senate has done since 2012 that you would wish to be associated with?

I've watched the ad below a couple of times and while I'm sure it makes Santorum feel good about the ass-whipping he's going to take in three weeks, I don't see it as convincing anyone to change their vote from Cruz to Santorum.

FairyTales from Santorum for President 2016 on Vimeo.

And the "Green Eggs and Ham" vignette that Santorum highlights points to why they two men have had a different operating style.

Santorum has some accomplishments and was on the right side of most issues. I don't think he was quite as important in modernizing the Army as he fantasizes but he did recognize the danger posed by Iran. Santorum served in a GOP controlled Senate for his entire tenure. For the last half of his time in the Senate he had a Republican president also. In that environment, Santorum was never faced with being a member of a minority party in the Senate and trying to stop the egregious power grab by an unrepentant Alinskyite in the White House.

The "Green Eggs and Ham" incident occurred when Ted Cruz engaged in some Senatorial theater to speak out against ObamaCare. Did he defeat ObamaCare? No. But he knew he wouldn't. What was important was that he was one of the few members of the Senate, then or now, to actually try to slow ObamaCare down.

And to be fair, Santorum has been critical of Cruz for a while. Ever since in became obvious that Cruz intended to run for president and was working hard in Iowa and he was popular there. For instance, this in the New York Times.

Rick Santorum sharply criticized a group of potential rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in an interview that indicated he intends to reclaim conservative primary voters ahead of another White House bid in 2016.

...

“Do we really want someone with this little experience?” Mr. Santorum asked, referring to Mr. Paul, Mr. Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is also in his first term. “And the only experience they have basically — not Rubio, but Cruz and Paul because I don’t think Rubio is going to go — is bomb throwing? Do we really want somebody who’s a bomb thrower, with no track record of any accomplishments?”

Back in October 2013, he said the government shutdown was counterproductive:

Former senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) criticized Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for the partial government shutdown, admitting Cruz "did more harm" than good with his attempt to defund President Barack Obama's health care law.

"I would say that in the end he did more harm," Santorum said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "I think it was not his objective. I think his objective was a laudable one."

We now know that was untrue. The shutdown led directly to the GOP regaining the Senate.

What is interesting, is that before Santorum became concerned about Ted Cruz's shutdown strategy he was pretty much for it.

If you tune in at 0:45 you will here Santorum say that the shutdown strategy is appropriate and he thinks it is a good thing. He says, "I would be with Ted Cruz." This, of course, calls into question Santorum's own credibility as the "straight shooter" he claims to be.

Image credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

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