I’m hearing several campaigns and external pollsters have a surge for Rick Santorum. With the National Review folks fawning over him again, it probably means a surge is real and any surge by Rick Santorum is another factor ensuring Mitt Romney wins the nomination. (To be fair, this doesn’t look like real momentum)
Santorum has no money or organization outside of Iowa and cannot win the nomination, but Iowans love a guy who sucks up to them and makes sure they know he loves the babies.
As a pro-lifer myself, I have to throw up a bit in my mouth that Iowa conservatives are seriously considering Rick Santorum, which will only help Mitt Romney, a guy who even after his supposedly heartfelt conversion to life put some seriously pro-abortion judges on the Massachusetts bench hiding behind the “Well it was Massachusetts for Pete’s sake” defense.
Let’s remember Rick Santorum could not even win re-election in his home state of Pennsylvania.
Rick Santorum also supported Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate back in 2004.
But most damning to me is Rick Santorum’s actual record in the Senate and House of Representatives. I keep hearing him say he was such a paragon of fiscal conservative virtue, when he was anything but that. He was as go along to get along as all the other Republicans who led to our downfall.
Making Santorum worse, he was always the guy saying, “I had to do this, but wait till I get to leadership. I’ll be there for you in leadership.” It’s what he is saying now. Only it isn’t true and never was.
He supported steel tariffs in Pennsylvania, which did him little good in his own re-election effort.
He supported No Child Left Behind.
He supported the prescription drug benefit.
He supported the Bridge to Nowhere. In fact, according to Club for Growth, “Santorum had the audacity to vote to continue funding the Bridge to Nowhere rather than send the money to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.”
Santorum decided, after leaving Congress, to oppose earmarks, but he sure did love them while he was there. He voted against the Farm Bill in 2002, but he voted to extend milk subsidies to save the poor Pennsylvania farmer.
In the House, Santorum opposed NAFTA and offered legislation to impose steel tariffs. He wanted to tax imported honey and Chinese imports.
Throughout his career, Santorum has tried to have it both ways. For example, as the Club For Growth documents
He voted NO on raising the minimum wage in 1995 and 2005. But on the same day he voted NO in 2005, he sponsored an amendment that would increase the minimum wage, which he later boasted about to skeptical voters in a 2006 campaign brochure he released called “50 Things You Didn’t Know About Rick Santorum.”
In other words, the Santorum I have observed for a decade is the Rick Santorum on the campaign trail now — a guy trying to have it both ways through too clever by half stunts like voting against the minimum wage while authoring a bill to raise the minimum wage so no one can pin him down on his record.
Rick Santorum is more conservative than Mitt Romney. He is a strong social conservative and has taken a lot of bullets from the left because of his stand. But he is not as strong a fiscal conservative as he claims and the real issue here is social conservatives in Iowa risk Mitt Romney’s election by supporting a guy who cannot get traction or money outside of Iowa.
Rick Santorum will not be the nominee. That’s the reality. But his rise hurts Bachmann, Gingrich, and Perry in Iowa — all of whom have better organizations and better shots beyond Iowa.