Santorum: If I finish “dead last” in Iowa, I’ll drop out

posted at 2:40 pm on December 27, 2011 by Tina Korbe

In a sign that he actually feels quite confident that he’ll finish well in Iowa (remember, he still intends to win the state), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said he’ll drop out of the GOP presidential race if he finishes “dead last” in the Hawkeye State.

“If I finish dead last in the mix I’ll go home but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said Tuesday on the Des Moines radio station WHO.

The former senator has been focusing his resources in Iowa and won endorsements from a number of the state’s top conservatives, including its Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R) and Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the social conservative group The Family Leader.

Unfortunately for Santorum, not even those endorsements have upped his standing significantly in the polls. According to RealClearPolitics, he has averaged just 7.7 percent support in the state, ahead only of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has averaged about 4 percent but doesn’t plan to compete in the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Perhaps even more significantly, he has tried but hasn’t been able to bag the endorsement of Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has said he wants a “full-spectrum conservative” as president. Santorum certainly fits that bill — but King has expressed doubt and reservation about whether Santorum (or Michele Bachmann, who King also considers adequately conservative) would be able to acquire enough support after Iowa to actually secure the nomination. Perhaps King’s endorsement is a tad overrated — this late in the game, it might not affect the race much — but his unwillingness to endorse even the candidates who most closely align with his views has nevertheless been a striking feature of the race in Iowa. Then again, King’s indecision might say less about Santorum’s ability to capture a larger share of support than he has in polls than it says about the indecision of Iowans, in general. Undecided voters could go to Santorum no less than to others.

For what it’s worth, The Washington Post’s lefty blogger Greg Sargent thinks Santorum has a slim chance not only to do well in Iowa — but to actually win the nomination:

[S]uppose that Santorum manages to rally to third place in Iowa, something that isn’t impossible to imagine. What then? It’s possible that conservatives who aren’t excited about Romney might look to him. And if he surged, then his main drawback – that there’s solid evidence that voters don’t like him very much – would suddenly look a lot less important.

Put it another way: We’ve seen what happens when the rest of the field surges (or, in some cases, simply shows up in the race). Large numbers of party actors have turned on Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, and have opposed Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman. Their problems, whether policy (in the cases of Paul and Huntsman) or trust (Gingrich and Bachmann), cannot be resolved by popularity among the rank and file. But Santorum’s, to some extent, perhaps can.

So while I think the candidate most likely to benefit from an unexpected strong finish in Iowa remains Perry — the only candidate who actually showed some strength among party actors during his surge — I’m fairly convinced that Santorum is the next most likely to benefit if he should get the Iowa bump. Basically, if Romney has to match up against Paul, Gingrich, Bachmann or Huntsman one on one after the early states, I think Romney is as close to a lock as you can get in politics. Against Perry? I have no idea. I guess I’d say that Romney would be the favorite against Santorum, but I’m not at all sure that he’d be an overwhelming favorite. Or, to put it one more way: If there’s a 5 percent chance that someone other than Romney or Perry gets the nomination, I’m increasingly inclined to think that most of that 5 percent belongs to Santorum.

That doesn’t seem wholly implausible to me.


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Better Santorum than RP.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM

“Dead Last”,……the New First!
(sarc)

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM

How about 2nd to “dead last”? That mean the “big MO”?

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

What about second to last? Cut off your finger?

haner on December 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Well, then I hope he does not come in last.

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Here’s to hoping Santorum does better than dead last. (I’d be overjoyed if he came in the top 3)

Stoic Patriot on December 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Dream on

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM

“… and now for sports, here is Rick Santorum.

What’s going on today Rick?”

Seven Percent Solution on December 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Does this include Huntsman?

If he loses to Huntsman, he should do more than quit. He should punch himself in the groin and lock himself in his own basement for a good decade.

swamp_yankee on December 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Hope Bachmann and Huntsman and Perry are the bottom three.

CoolChange80 on December 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

If Santorum gets an ad from Manhattan Mini Storage, then we’ll know he’s toast.

Urban Infidel on December 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

In a sign that he actually feels quite confident that he’ll finish well in Iowa

Not finishing last, especially with Stan Hunstman not competing, isn’t what I would call finishing well.

Dead Hand Control on December 27, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Sargent – along w/ everyone on the Left – is still fervently hoping that the GOP self-immolates by nominating someone other than Romney. Santorum would get destroyed in a national election. The same statement is true of every Republican candidate other than (a) Romney and (b) Huntsman. Just change out the name and the value of the sentence is identical and true.

I’m not a big personal fan of either Romney or Huntsman – but no other Republican candidate stands a chance in a national election.

Santorum got seal-clubbed into an 18 pt loss in his home state. Effective political leaders should never lose an election that badly.

His shrillness and hardline conservative orthodoxy add up to guaranteed losses in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, NJ, Nevada and Colorado – all states that will be in play with either Romney or Huntsman.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Dead last, huh? Seems like a pretty low bar.

MeatHeadinCA on December 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM

“… and now for sports, here is Rick Santorum.

What’s going on today Rick?”
Seven Percent Solution on December 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Seven Percent Solution:Well,my son just bagged a………..
============================================================

Hunter Rick Santorum Gushes To Fox News About His Son’s First Kill
10:44 pm, December 26th, 2011
******************************

Rick Santorum probably got the shortest holiday vacation of any 2012 Republican candidate– and he proved it by showing up live tonight to On the Record (for tonight, with Shannon Bream). Bream opened up the conversation by pointing out precisely this– that Santorum didn’t seem to get much of a break, but he denied it by pointing out the lovely time he had with his children hunting pheasant.

The natural question, then, to Bream, was “How’d you do?” and Santorum had some good news on this from. “I did great! Anytime you’re out hunting, it’s a great time,” he responded, adding that he personally got about four of them. He couldn’t help feeling a bit of pride as well, as “my son got his first bird!” a sentence that would probably mean something a little less wholesome from a British dad.

Santorum in full dad mode via Fox News below:
(More….)
==============

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hunter-rick-santorum-gushes-to-fox-news-about-his-sons-first-kill/

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:58 PM

If Santorum gets an ad from Manhattan Mini Storage, then we’ll know he’s toast.

Urban Infidel on December 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Interesting link. Liberalism really is a mental disorder.

Kataklysmic on December 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM

What about second to last? Cut off your finger?

haner on December 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Noooooooooo!…then we get to pull, his finger!

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

If he finishes dead last nobody will buy his debt. “Please pay me to get out of the race, how about a cabinet position?”

LevStrauss on December 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Interesting link. Liberalism really is a mental disorder.

Kataklysmic

It truly is. They also went after Rick Perry. Buncha morons! Sometimes I wish I lived in a red state.

Urban Infidel on December 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Lol.

Santorum and Bachmann have no chance at this point. I don’t think Iowa will help either of them. If either of them see a surge after Iowa good for them but if they don’t they need to drop out and give Gingrich or Perry a chance to pick up their support.

Gingrich and Perry are conservatives who have a chance and the establishment Republicans along with the liberals want Romney as the Republican nominee because they already have a playbook for dealing with Romney, class warfare. Also, they know that Romney is a moderate, east coast Republican who can be rolled. Romney is a good hedge for left of center governance is Obama loses.

Bill C on December 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

He should have already dropped out. He’s never polled above 7 or 8% since getting in the race.

wodiej on December 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

O/T……Breaking!
===================

SEC seeks emergency halt to Citigroup fraud case – ReutersStory metadata:
Submitted 25 mins ago from http://www.reuters.com by editor

http://www.breakingnews.com/
============================

SEC seeks emergency halt to Citigroup fraud case
Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:18pm EST
****************************

(Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency request to put its securities fraud lawsuit against Citigroup Inc on hold, saying a failure to delay the case would derail its proposed settlement with the bank and threaten “irreparable” harm.

Tuesday’s filing with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York seeks an expedited appeal of a November 28 decision by District Judge Jed Rakoff that harshly rejected the SEC’s $285 million accord with Citigroup.

Rakoff said that because the SEC did not require the New York-based bank to admit or deny its charges, he had no way to know whether the settlement was adequate.

But the SEC said the ruling was “legal error,” at odds with decades of court decisions allowing such settlements and letting investors get faster recoveries, and could affect its ability to reach similar accords with other companies.
(More…..)
==============

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/27/us-citigroup-sec-idUSTRE7BQ0XI20111227

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Sargent – along w/ everyone on the Left – is still fervently hoping that the GOP self-immolates by nominating someone other than Romney. Santorum would get destroyed in a national election. The same statement is true of every Republican candidate other than (a) Romney and (b) Huntsman. Just change out the name and the value of the sentence is identical and true.

I’m not a big personal fan of either Romney or Huntsman – but no other Republican candidate stands a chance in a national election…

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I think Rick Perry has a shot at beating Obama in the general election and I’d certainly give him better odds than Huntsman, who seems to me the most strategically inept campaigner since Walter Mondale. Huntsman has a knack for alienating the daylights out of primary voting groups he should at least try–if not cultivating–then not insulting.

troyriser_gopftw on December 27, 2011 at 3:14 PM

The goal of conservatives needs to be first nominating a conservative. Right now there are too many in the field.

Also, Romney is going to be a disaster as a candidate. The Dems know this and have already tipped their hand on how they plan on attacking him.

Bill C on December 27, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Frothy should just drop out now and return to whatever the hell he was doing before he came back. He’s embarrassed the Republicans long enough with his disconcertingly overzealous obsession with gay sex.

Frothy: out by FL
Bachmann: out by SC
Flopney: in to March, at least
Noot: in to March, at least
Perry: out by March
Ron Paul: in to March, at least
Huntsman: most likely out by March

Daikokuco on December 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I hope he doesn’t finish last then because he and Bachmann are the only ones that don’t make me throw up.

Taco Bob on December 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I certainly hope Santorum stays in the race.
I am leaning his way for my NH primary vote, believing that he cannot secure the nomination, but hoping the nominee will tap him for VP.
Rick is solidly conservative, not crazy like RP, and will balance the ticket for either Romney or Gingrich.
He would also decimate Slow Joe Biden in a debate.

HammerNH on December 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Does this include Huntsman?

If he loses to Huntsman, he should do more than quit. He should punch himself in the groin and lock himself in his own basement for a good decade.

swamp_yankee on December 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

What’s wrong with you? Seriously?

Why do you attack a good conservative in Santorum while supporting a Progressive in Rommey??

Haven’t you seen what the Progressives in both parties have done to this country??

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Santorum’s setting a pretty low bar for himself. So long as he beats Huntsman – “Mr. 1%” – he stays in. That’s a courageous stand.

BCrago66 on December 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Confident he’ll come in somewhere between Mickey Mouse and Popeye the Sailor Man.

Sgt Steve on December 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I don’t think Rick will finish dead last, but I would be shocked if he is the top four. I think those will be:
1. Paul
2. Romney
3. Gingrich
4. Perry

Unless Palin decides to jump in, then all bets are off.

ConservativePartyNow on December 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Sargent – along w/ everyone on the Left – is still fervently hoping that the GOP self-immolates by nominating someone other than Romney. Santorum would get destroyed in a national election. The same statement is true of every Republican candidate other than (a) Romney and (b) Huntsman. Just change out the name and the value of the sentence is identical and true.

I’m not a big personal fan of either Romney or Huntsman – but no other Republican candidate stands a chance in a national election.

Santorum got seal-clubbed into an 18 pt loss in his home state. Effective political leaders should never lose an election that badly.

His shrillness and hardline conservative orthodoxy add up to guaranteed losses in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, NJ, Nevada and Colorado – all states that will be in play with either Romney or Huntsman.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

You’re falling for some of the biggest misconceptions out there. This faulty line of thinking that only a moderate squish can win. We’ve tried this before. Remember 2008? When McCain refused to go after Obama? He even threatened to sue the NC GOP for running ads about Rev. Wright! Now out of the same mold, Mittens won’t even call Obama a socialist. He even gets rattled from an interview with Bret Baier! Face it: Mittens has been treat with kid gloves from the lamestream media and even through most of the debates. The media and the Dems want him b/c he is the weakest candidate. During the General they’d rip him apart just like they did to McCain.

Mittens is Romney 2.0.

We also saw this same act with Dole, Ford, and Bush Sr.

If we nominated a real conservative like Bachmann or Santorum, they would win. The only way to lose to Obama is to nominate another weak moderate. Both MB and Santorum can articulate conservative values. The American people will vote for capitalism and to end Obamacare.

Enough of this having to compromise our values nonsense.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Gingrich and Perry are conservatives who have a chance and the establishment Republicans along with the liberals want Romney as the Republican nominee because they already have a playbook for dealing with Romney, class warfare. Also, they know that Romney is a moderate, east coast Republican who can be rolled. Romney is a good hedge for left of center governance is Obama loses.

Bill C on December 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

This is hilarious on so many levels.

First – I think you actually just suggested that liberals “want” Romney over Gingrich? You must not know any liberals. Or at least any that are involved in strategizing 2012. 86% of Democratic insiders polled by Nat Journal prefer Gingrich to Romney. I can confirm this anecdotally from two friends of mine who are in the Obama admin, one at a high level – he is clearly giddy at the prospect of a Gingrich win – he is clearly tempered and cautious abt the challenges of running against Romney. They have twice the firepower on hand to obliterate Gingrich than they do Romney.

As for Perry – please. No one takes him seriously outside of a small following. He is not a serious national politician and would get curb-stomped by the Obama machine.

Also – funny that you think Romney is an “east coast Republican” who can get rolled – isn’t Newt the one whining about the Romney campaign playing hardball and asking everyone to play nice?

Final point – you cannot seriously want me to believe that Newt is a “conservative.” Steyn and Coulter are absolutely right – he’s a statist from the word go, he’s the least conservative candidate in this race. FDR is his favorite president. He wants government to “solve” climate change. He was a key architect in the largest entitlement expansion in American history. He’s in favor of a national individual mandate (not even Romney is that far over on health care). He wants the state – not the markets – to engineer new energy solutions. He’s an advocate and defender of the Fannie/Freddie public/private model.

In short – there is nothing truly or reliably conservative about Newt. He dupes unsuspecting voters into thinking he is because of his grandiose, verbose posturing – but any look at his record reveals that Steyn, Coulter, Goldberg and others are right – the dude isn’t conservative at all. He’s a populist and a statist.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM

I’m sorry, but Rick Santorum is not a full spectrum conservative. He’s like Huck, but without the executive experience. He’s a big government statist who appeals to social conservatives by frequently waving a bible at them. The only thing worse than nominating Santorum and losing big, would be to nominate him and have him win, then have to defend him for 4 years.

Look Polish on December 27, 2011 at 3:28 PM

There sure are a lot of positive Santorum articles lately…

rndmusrnm on December 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM

(a) Romney and (b) Huntsman.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Interesting choice…

… very revealing.

Seven Percent Solution on December 27, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I certainly hope Santorum stays in the race.
I am leaning his way for my NH primary vote, believing that he cannot secure the nomination, but hoping the nominee will tap him for VP.
Rick is solidly conservative, not crazy like RP, and will balance the ticket for either Romney or Gingrich.
He would also decimate Slow Joe Biden in a debate.

HammerNH on December 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I’m supporting Bachmann but Santorum would be good as well.

It’s a shame that they aren’t the frontrunners as they’re the 2 best conservatives in the race.

Instead we have a couple of RINO”s and a Hate America kook.

Depending on how things go in Iowa, if MB and Santorum don’t do well, I could vote for Newt at the last minute to try to stop Mittens (I’m in NH too).

I want to go with my heart in MB, but my head tells me to vote for Newt.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:37 PM

You’re falling for some of the biggest misconceptions out there. This faulty line of thinking that only a moderate squish can win. We’ve tried this before. Remember 2008? When McCain refused to go after Obama? He even threatened to sue the NC GOP for running ads about Rev. Wright! Now out of the same mold, Mittens won’t even call Obama a socialist. He even gets rattled from an interview with Bret Baier! Face it: Mittens has been treat with kid gloves from the lamestream media and even through most of the debates. The media and the Dems want him b/c he is the weakest candidate. During the General they’d rip him apart just like they did to McCain.

Mittens is Romney 2.0.

We also saw this same act with Dole, Ford, and Bush Sr.

If we nominated a real conservative like Bachmann or Santorum, they would win. The only way to lose to Obama is to nominate another weak moderate. Both MB and Santorum can articulate conservative values. The American people will vote for capitalism and to end Obamacare.

Enough of this having to compromise our values nonsense.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM

LF – it’s actually you that’s rolling around in the fallacies – the attempted equivalence between McCain and Romney fails on several levels. It’s a very easy, not to say simpleminded, thing to say “they’re both moderates” therefore…. but come on, you are smarter than this, right?

First off – there are the externals – 2008 was an electoral tidal wave that no Republican was going to withstand, at least not any that was running in 2008. The loss had NOTHING to do w/ McCain being a moderate. Let’s confirm that you understand this so you can stop wasting people’s time making the claim in the future.

Second – there are the internals – unlike John McCain in 2008, Romney is a man who is suited to the national moment – it is a national moment of economic distress, Romney is the most fully prepared econ/business candidate for the office of the POTUS in memory – not just in this election but in any election this century. Romney wld be the first President in decades who can speak with economic advisers on their level and not have to have it dumbed down for him by advisers.

Unlike McCain, Romney has a well-organized national campaign with an advance presence in key swing states. There’s plenty more but suffice it to say – Romney is nothing like McCain, nothing like Dole and nothing even like Bush II in most substantive respects.

But I do find it funny that you bring up Dole since – as is well known to the politically educated – Bill Clinton ran against Newt Gingrich in 1996 as much as he ran against Bob Dole. The Republican defeat of 96 is as much Newt’s as it is anyone’s.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I’m sorry, but Rick Santorum is not a full spectrum conservative. He’s like Huck, but without the executive experience. He’s a big government statist who appeals to social conservatives by frequently waving a bible at them. The only thing worse than nominating Santorum and losing big, would be to nominate him and have him win, then have to defend him for 4 years.

Look Polish on December 27, 2011 at 3:28 PM

The two things I don’t like about Rick are his votes for Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind.

Still, he hasn’t compromised on his core conservative values nearly has much as Mittens and Newt.

Bachmann has the best record of sticking to her conservative principles.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I actually like Santorum’s message on family values and its importance in staving off poverty. Problem is the guy can’t sell it. He lost by 18 points in his home state as an incumbent.

haner on December 27, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Open comment to Rep. King and all other spineless ‘conservatives’…

Maybe if you all would grow a spine, actually stick your neck out and just fight for the man, instead of whining that you’re afraid he can’t win, he’d have a fighting chance!!!! Sheesh!!!! Cowards all…

I’ve just finished re-reading the Lord of the Rings and the people who say what a great conservative Santorum is, but he might not be able to win so I’m afraid to support him, all remind me of the majority of the Shire folk, cowering from the ruffians because they’re afraid to get behind the few brave folk, like farmer Cotton, willing to actually fight. So yeah, lets all just cower behind a squishy moderate so old Sharkey can stay in power! /

pannw on December 27, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Hey, at least he’s putting on the happy face for hot Shannon Bream on Fox News.

See: ‘Santorum Surging in Iowa?’

Donald Douglas on December 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM

his unwillingness to endorse even the candidates who most closely align with his views has nevertheless been a striking feature of the race in Iowa.

I don’t care how much the triator news media pushes their candidate onto us, I’m loyal to the values I came up with

apocalypse on December 27, 2011 at 3:51 PM

LF – it’s actually you that’s rolling around in the fallacies – the attempted equivalence between McCain and Romney fails on several levels. It’s a very easy, not to say simpleminded, thing to say “they’re both moderates” therefore…. but come on, you are smarter than this, right?

First off – there are the externals – 2008 was an electoral tidal wave that no Republican was going to withstand, at least not any that was running in 2008. The loss had NOTHING to do w/ McCain being a moderate. Let’s confirm that you understand this so you can stop wasting people’s time making the claim in the future.

You are 100% wrong on this. Yes the backlash against Bush was a factor, but not the only factor. First, many conservatives like myself were upset with Bush over his moderate policies over his last 4 years such as Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, pushing for amnesty, and spending more than any other president in history at the time.

Secondly, many grassroots conservatives like myself were not motivated to support the squishy moderate McCain. The worst thing you can do is to nominate a RINO, the base will not support them. It wasn’t until he picked Sarah as VP that the base got motivated and McCain went in the lead in the polls for the first time. The reason he lost was due to the financial meltdown and McCain’s reaction to it by suspending his campaign to once again compromise with Democrats on TARP.

ALso, as I’ve already pointed out, McCain was too afraid to attack Obama. It’s the responsibility of anyone running against Obama to expose the truth about him. Just like it’s Romney’s responsibility to inform the American people that Obama is indeed a socialist.

Second – there are the internals – unlike John McCain in 2008, Romney is a man who is suited to the national moment – it is a national moment of economic distress, Romney is the most fully prepared econ/business candidate for the office of the POTUS in memory – not just in this election but in any election this century. Romney wld be the first President in decades who can speak with economic advisers on their level and not have to have it dumbed down for him by advisers.

This is BS. If Mittens is so great economically, then why was Taxachussetts ranked 49th in job creation? And don’t try to spin this like you did yesterday. The stats are the stats. Also, Mittens raised a ton of fees on businesses as governor.

Unlike McCain, Romney has a well-organized national campaign with an advance presence in key swing states. There’s plenty more but suffice it to say – Romney is nothing like McCain, nothing like Dole and nothing even like Bush II in most substantive respects.

Again, Romney is very similar to McCain in that he won’t hesitate to hide behind a SuperPac to attack other GOP candidates, but is gutless when it comes to attacking Obama. Also as I already pointed out (I’m get sick of repeating myself) Romney has been treated with kid gloves by the lamestream media during the primary just like McCain was. Then during the General he would be attacked and wouldn’t be able to handle it just like McCain. Again, Mittens can’t handle a Bret Baier interview, how is how going to handle the LSM attacks?

But I do find it funny that you bring up Dole since – as is well known to the politically educated – Bill Clinton ran against Newt Gingrich in 1996 as much as he ran against Bob Dole. The Republican defeat of 96 is as much Newt’s as it is anyone’s.

Like Dole, Mittens is a squishy moderate that does not inspire conservatives. I’m no fan of Newt. He’d be a bad President, but at least he’s done some conservative things unlike Mittens. Newt forced Clinton to sign welfare reform (after vetoing it twice) and was the last one in DC to actually cut gov’t.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Be honest, do you consider yourself a conservative or a moderate?

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I actually like Santorum’s message on family values and its importance in staving off poverty. Problem is the guy can’t sell it. He lost by 18 points in his home state as an incumbent.

haner on December 27, 2011 at 3:41 PM

You could also argue that this was the Bush backlash election year. That it was hard for many in the GOP, which lost Congress. Santorum lost to Casey who was very well known and liked in PA.

Plus many were upset with Rick supporting Specter, which is somewhat understandable given that he was trying to keep the Supreme court nominations right of center.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:59 PM

The Rick who is going to finish strong has the last name, Perry.

PatrickHenry599 on December 27, 2011 at 4:00 PM

First – I think you actually just suggested that liberals “want” Romney over Gingrich? You must not know any liberals. Or at least any that are involved in strategizing 2012. 86% of Democratic insiders polled by Nat Journal prefer Gingrich to Romney. I can confirm this anecdotally from two friends of mine who are in the Obama admin, one at a high level – he is clearly giddy at the prospect of a Gingrich win – he is clearly tempered and cautious abt the challenges of running against Romney. They have twice the firepower on hand to obliterate Gingrich than they do Romney.

Liberals think they are in the majority. That is not surprising. That is why they think that liberalism wins elections. But it doesn’t. A liberal has not won a presidential election without extraordinary help for more than 40 years. BHO had the financial crisis and a weak, moderate opponent. Clinton had Ross Perot and two weak, moderate opponents. Jimmy Carter had the aftermath of Watergate and a weak, moderate opponent. Jimmy Carter’s campaign wanted Reagan because they thought conservatism was to extreme. Obama believes the same thing as do progressive Republicans like Romney. But they are wrong and so are you. Conservatism wins every time it is tried.

As for Perry – please. No one takes him seriously outside of a small following. He is not a serious national politician and would get curb-stomped by the Obama machine.

Perry, Gingrich, and Romney all will beat Obama. Romney is the weakest candidate because he has a real chance of losing the base. A candidate who can’t poll over 25% of Republicans is a weak candidate.

Also – funny that you think Romney is an “east coast Republican” who can get rolled – isn’t Newt the one whining about the Romney campaign playing hardball and asking everyone to play nice?

Romney, like many progressive Republicans like GHW Bush play extremely rough against conservatives but then they roll over like puppies when they get in office. Romney has already done this in Mass.

Final point – you cannot seriously want me to believe that Newt is a “conservative.” Steyn and Coulter are absolutely right – he’s a statist from the word go, he’s the least conservative candidate in this race. FDR is his favorite president. He wants government to “solve” climate change. He was a key architect in the largest entitlement expansion in American history. He’s in favor of a national individual mandate (not even Romney is that far over on health care). He wants the state – not the markets – to engineer new energy solutions. He’s an advocate and defender of the Fannie/Freddie public/private model.

In short – there is nothing truly or reliably conservative about Newt. He dupes unsuspecting voters into thinking he is because of his grandiose, verbose posturing – but any look at his record reveals that Steyn, Coulter, Goldberg and others are right – the dude isn’t conservative at all. He’s a populist and a statist.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Gingrich has a 90 out of a 100 conservative voting record for his 20 years in office. Is Newt more conservative than Romney? Is there any doubt? If the top four is Gingrich, Romney, Paul, and Perry I feel comfortable voting for Gingrich and Perry because they are the more conservative of the bunch. I prefer Perry but he isn’t gaining traction.

It is obvious you come from the moderate wing of the Republican party. I am sorry but conservatives have given you guys plenty of chances to run for president and your record is dismal. You can lie and pretend that Romney is a conservative but we aren’t falling for it.

Bill C on December 27, 2011 at 4:05 PM

*sigh*

I keep hoping that Republicans will learn their lessons, but it seems they never do. The comments in this thread drive home the point that, apparently, it’s still felt that someone who is a true, principled, outspoken conservative has no chance of winning and our only hope of beating Obama is to nominate a combination of a moderate and a slick politician.

News flash: Moderates lose. The only exception in recent history has been George W. Bush who actually lost the popular vote his first time around, then managed re-election based on post-9/11 national security fears.

If we want to beat Obama, the answer is to nominate a conservative, not a moderate. Now, I don’t know which conservative that is. Could be Santorum. Could be Bachmann. Could be Perry. But it’s certainly not Romney or Gingrich, neither of whom is a conservative.

Shump on December 27, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Santorum: If I finish “dead last” in Iowa, I’ll drop out

Makes sense to me. He’s got his hopes pinned on Iowa. If he can’t do well there, it’s time to get out.

Much like Fred Thompson did well in Iowa, then pinned his hopes on South Carolina. Once he lost South Carolina pretty big, there wasn’t much point in going on.

tom on December 27, 2011 at 4:14 PM

I have a question?

What if the primaries drag on with no clear winner?

The California primary is in June. It is an open primary and I’m not quite sure what that means.
Can Democrats and Independents vote in the Republican primary?

Running in the California primary would be enormously expensive, coming only five months before the general election.

Who would the Republicans in California support? Since no one has had to pay attention to California Republican voters for the past twenty years, who knows what’s on their minds….

MichaelGabriel on December 27, 2011 at 4:16 PM

His shrillness and hardline conservative orthodoxy add up to guaranteed losses in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, NJ, Nevada and Colorado – all states that will be in play with either Romney or Huntsman.

InVinoVeritas on December 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Yeah! Because the people want a good squishy moderate!

That’s why we have such fond memories of President Dole, and why President Ford won his re-election by such a large margin.

/Why yes, I might be just a little sarcastic.

tom on December 27, 2011 at 4:21 PM

If he loses to Huntsman, he should do more than quit. He should punch himself in the groin and lock himself in his own basement for a good decade.

swamp_yankee on December 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Explain this. He’s running a campaign. This is not an empirically sound process. It’s more like a homecoming ball. People vote for the guy their clique-leader.

Santorum has nothing to be ashamed of. You on the other hand…

Capitalist Hog on December 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Santorum knows 1. he’s not likely to finish last…he knows something. 2. he’s indirectly putting pressure on Perry and Bachmann to make the same statement, because he desperately needs them out so the anti-Mitt vote’s not split. (Once Iowa’s in the rear view window, he stands to pick up those percentages, and move up to be the number one alternative to Newt and Mitt. Newt’s falling off, and could tailspin if the opposition keeps hammering him.)

bill glass on December 27, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Santorum is defintely a full spectrum conservative….he’s no Mike Huckabee.

He’s the man on taxes.

The only reason some Republicans don’t like this guy is he is pro life and anti-gay marriage. But his views on gay marriage are the same as Obama’s, or at least what Obama says his views on gay marriage are.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM

The two things I don’t like about Rick are his votes for Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind.

Still, he hasn’t compromised on his core conservative values nearly has much as Mittens and Newt.

Bachmann has the best record of sticking to her conservative principles.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I agree. Even though Michelle Bachmann is way more socially conservative than my ideal candidate, I do trust her more to stay true to conservative fiscal principles. Neither has any significant executive experience though.

Look Polish on December 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM

He’s the man on taxes.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Has he released a tax plan? I haven’t heard anything about it if he has. For all the abuse Herman Cain takes from commenters at HA, he drove the tax discussion while he was in the race. I’m not hearing much since he dropped out.

Look Polish on December 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

What did Romney do with his executive experience in Mass?

He has no record of accomplishment as governor. What’s he going to point to, RomneyCare?

Conservatives needs to get pass this executive experience thing as a must have criteria for a candidate.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

I agree. Even though Michelle Bachmann is way more socially conservative than my ideal candidate, I do trust her more to stay true to conservative fiscal principles. Neither has any significant executive experience though.

Look Polish on December 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Hey buddy,

I’m in the same boat as you. I’m actually ok with gay marriage yet I’m supporting Bachmann!!

I’m more libertarian on domestic issues but am very strong on national security. Also the social cons have a very good record of sticking to their core principles such as not waffling on health care mandates, global warming, and illegal immigration.

That’s why I end up supporting alot of social conservatives.

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Look Polish,

He was a Senator…he has a voting record.

How do you make a decision on candidates if you are too lazy to look at their voting records?

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Rick and Michelle are the only conservatives in the race. Hopefully the extra media coverage is enough for him to bypass Huntsman.

KingOfTheRoad on December 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Cain’s tax plan was pretty flawed, and I believe he supported VAT.

He has no experience in government so he could say anything about taxes.

I’d rather vote for somebody who’s been in government before and has a voting record that backs up rhetoric.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Rick and Michelle are the only conservatives in the race. Hopefully the extra media coverage is enough for him to bypass Huntsman.

KingOfTheRoad on December 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Michele Bachmann spells her name with one “l.” I love her tenacity and ability to stay on message. She is unmatched in sticking to the pitch-script.

Capitalist Hog on December 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Has he released a tax plan? I haven’t heard anything about it if he has. For all the abuse Herman Cain takes from commenters at HA, he drove the tax discussion while he was in the race. I’m not hearing much since he dropped out.

Look Polish on December 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Looks pretty good actually:

http://www.ricksantorum.com/made-america

LevinFan on December 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM

I think Perry is conservative enough…he’s clean on healthcare.

Immigration is a problem area for him but he’s no worse there than Romney and Gingrich.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM

What’s amazing is Perry has the jobs record plus over twice as much executive experience as Obama but Republican voters have completely thrown him under the bus.

I don’t care that much about debates but hard to believe we are discarding what is our best candidate on paper because of some bad debate performances.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:55 PM

O/T a tad,Ugh!
===============

Virginia GOP Changed Rules 2 Months Ago in the Middle of the Campaign
**********
Virginia GOP Changed Rules 2 Months Ago in the Middle of the CampaignHome – by BigFurHat – December 27, 2011 – 07:00 America/New_York

From Doug Ross

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/
**********************************

Based upon several reliable reports at RedState, it would appear that Virginia’s GOP establishment changed the rules of ballot access just last month. Front-runner Newt Gingrich, for one, saw his campaign hurt badly by reports that it bungled the Virginia ballot process which saw he and Rick Perry excluded despite each turning in over 10,000 signatures. But if the new reports are true, the state GOP has a hell of a lot to account for.

Moe Lane provides the introduction:

…the very short version is that the VA GOP only certified Mitt Romney and Ron Paul for its primary ballot. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich both had too many signatures tossed; Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann didn’t even try. Of the seven candidates, one (Romney) had more than enough signatures (15K) to bypass the verification process entirely. All of this has caused a lot of agitation among Republicans following the primary process, of course; and not just from people who disapprove of what the VA GOP has done…

…There has been a good deal of defending of the outcome; and one argument heavily used in this defense has been that the campaigns all knew the rules and that previous Republican campaigns were able to get on the ballot, so clearly a competent current Republican campaign should have done so.

One small problem with that: as Winger argues, the rules were allegedly drastically changed. In November of this year.

So what changed?

…prior to the 2012 elections it was Republican party policy in Virginia to simply deem any candidate that brought in ten thousand raw signatures as having met the primary ballot requirements under Virginian state election law.

Under these rules, of course, both Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry would have qualified easily.

And why did the rules change?

…On October 24th independent state delegate candidate Michael Osborne filed suit against the Republican party of Virginia [challenging the signature review process and who performs it] … according to Winger the VA GOP decided in response to bump up from 10K to 15K the threshold for simply deeming the requirements as being met.

…I think that John Fund’s general comment is correct: this is going to go to the courts. John was not discussing this specific wrinkle, but his larger point that Virginia’s ballot access policies have systemic problems gets a big boost when it turns out that the state party can effectively increase by fifty percent the practical threshold for ballot access – in a day, and in the middle of an existing campaign.

…If it is true that the Republican party of Virginia decided in November of 2011 to increase the threshold for automatic certification from 10K to 15K, then it is reasonable to suggest that this was a change that unfairly rewarded candidates who had previously run for President in Virginia.

Lane asserts that the state GOP has ultimate control of the ballot and could, if pressed, decide to certify Gingrich and Perry.

Either way, the issue is going to the courts.

And, either way, the Virginia GOP looks incompetent… or ill-intentioned against conservative candidates.

Action Alert: I urge you to contact the Virginia GOP and demand that they include Gingrich and Perry on the ballot. Be polite, but firm. There’s no excuse for issuing new rules at the last minute that just happen to exclude the leading candidates. In fact, it’s an outrage.

• Email: Contact Form
• Phone: 804-780-0111
• Fax: 804-343-1060
• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VirginiaGOP
• Twitter: @va_gop

Added: 7 hours ago Occurred On: Dec-27-2011
===========================================

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=00c_1324993847

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM

What’s amazing is Perry has the jobs record plus over twice as much executive experience as Obama but Republican voters have completely thrown him under the bus.

I don’t care that much about debates but hard to believe we are discarding what is our best candidate on paper because of some bad debate performances.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:55 PM

I tend to agree with you that his debate performance should not be sinking his candidacy like it has. But, you have to remember that he is going up against Obama, who managed to be elected president based purely on personality. If Perry comes out flubbing his lines and incoherent like he has in debates, then Obama will make him look like a bumbling, redneck idiot. He’ll basically dress him up like Bush and run against Bush.

It’s unfortunate, but voters want someone can beat Obama. Perry did not instill that confidence in voters out of the gate.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Better Santorum than RP.

Agreed. We can’t be having Rick Perry win this thing.

letoile du nord on December 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Perry has a strong record and I like his proposal for a “part-time” Congress, although, I think odds would be long of that ever happening. Santorum has the right Conservative message and values that should be catching fire within the GOP but for some reason has not. I believe the establishment, the pro-Romney folks, have been working hard to make sure all the strong candidates are thrown under the bus and others, like Santorum, are kept off the bus completely. I surely hope I don’t have to hold my nose and vote for Romney or Gingrich when I cast my ballot in 2012.

HoosierStateofMind on December 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Very interesting. This is the first I am hearing about a November rule change. The whole scenario becomes a horse of a different color if this is correct.

lynncgb on December 27, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Let’s be honest. Candidates and news pundits are putting too much stock in Iowa. Sure, the state has helped give life to some candidates, but the primary process has changed significantly in other states. It’s not winner take all in all the states. It’s going to be a long drawn out battle from here on.

Personally, I think it’s unfair to the rest of the nation that campaigns feel like they have to spend so much time in such a small state that hardly represents the nation as a whole.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I’m not giving up on Perry just yet. The way Newt and Mitt are going after each other, voters (like me) may get sick and tired of the both of them and start looking elsewhere. Perry had some bad debate moments but he does have some good policy ideas and loads of experience. Obama has already spent the better part of a year now repeating the same tired rhetoric, the same talking points he used to get elected. I don’t see people falling so easily for it this time around.

scalleywag on December 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Santorum is the only true conservative, besides Bachmann.
I’m rooting for him and behind him 100%.

Norky on December 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM

You know if the Republican Party were smart they would tell IA and NH that any primary season in which there are five or more candidates that, instead of awarding delegates, they get to vote one candidate out of the race… Republican Primary Survivor!

They could then hold normal Primaries later in the season, but would have the first crack at eliminating someone, which is about what they are good for as these things run, anyway.

ajacksonian on December 27, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Let’s see Santorum get Newts votes, then we can actually have a conservative in the running.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I do think Santorum will have a surge in the Iowa polls and even a bigger surprise in IA after the votes are added up.

I’m shocked that Palin hasn’t come out to support either Perry, Bachmann or Santorum. Her endorsement this month could have unjammed the 3-way conservative tie between these 3 candidates.

Looking at Santorum’s record I can’t find where Palin would have heartburn endorsing this guy unless its that she only wants to pick a winner (which her track record doesn’t support). Either Palin really is going to jump into the race or she’s not endorsing because she’s afraid to pick the wrong horse. She could really stir things up in the next few days if she comes out to endorse with Perry, Bachmann, or Santorum. Truly a game changer.

Deep Timber on December 27, 2011 at 8:18 PM

If you are a conservative and fairly intelligent, why do you need Palin to tell you who to vote for.

She has sort of quasi-endorsed Santorum.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Buh bye!

Old Country Boy on December 27, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 8:38 PM

I don’t think there is anyone on these boards who would need an endorsement to decide their choice, but there are many non-politically obsessed folks who could very well be influenced. Not everyone does the kind of homework that the typical HotAir reader does, and with the virtual blackout of Santorum from the MSM, many of them probably don’t even know he’s running, or at least know almost nothing about him. Those people often trust someone that they trust to do the vetting for them. I like to do my own homework, but I understand how many people just aren’t that into politics, though they still want to vote for someone that shares their values.

pannw on December 27, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Well the main benefit of Iowa is it should knock out at least one of the candidates, hopefully two.

I think Bachman has to win it or she’s done. Perry and Santorum both need to be top 2 at least, and you can say the same about Gingrich. Anybody that finishes lower than Romney in Iowa is probably done.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 9:46 PM

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM
========================================

Very interesting. This is the first I am hearing about a November rule change. The whole scenario becomes a horse of a different color if this is correct.

lynncgb on December 27, 2011 at 5:29 PM

lynncgb:Thats for sure,its going to be interesting in the next
few days,or weeks!!

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM

What’s amazing is Perry has the jobs record plus over twice as much executive experience as Obama but Republican voters have completely thrown him under the bus.

I don’t care that much about debates but hard to believe we are discarding what is our best candidate on paper because of some bad debate performances.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Thank You! Ditto!

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Santorum just got the Harris twins endorsement in IA…huge get with potential to influence 20K voters in IA and reach into all 50 states. Huck’s Army Part II.

If you are a conservative and fairly intelligent, why do you need Palin to tell you who to vote for.

She has sort of quasi-endorsed Santorum.

Dr. Tesla on December 27, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Doc, before you jump to conclusions on my intelligence in 6.9 seconds, I suggest you re-read my post. I’m not awaiting for Palin’s endorsement but merely speculating as to why she hasn’t endorsed so far and how she could still game change this GOP field.

Deep Timber on December 28, 2011 at 1:36 AM

CoolChange80 on December 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Hope all you want, Perryhater, but Perry isnot going to finish in the bottom three. He’s playing to packed houses as we speak on his bus tour whereas Newt has just cut his touted 44-city tour down to a mere 22 and Bachmann can barely even get the media to her gigs six miles away from Perry (she is also perpetually late for her appearances).

Perry is going to surprise a lot of people in IA.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on December 28, 2011 at 6:01 AM