Santorum’s million-dollar moment

posted at 10:35 am on January 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Rick Santorum headed to New Hampshire with a new lease on his political life, having come within eight votes of a seemingly impossible win in Iowa’s caucuses on Tuesday.  His sudden rise to the top tier has also given Santorum more confidence — and a new bounty of resources:

Campaign Manager Mike Biundo, in attendance at the town hall held at a senior center, said the campaign has collected about $1 million since falling to Romney in Iowa by just 8 votes in the opening round of the Republican presidential primaries.

Santorum told the crowd that they should not believe that another candidate — a clear reference to Romney — is more electable than he.

“What would give you that impression?” he asked. “When has that candidate ever run as a conservative and gotten any votes? Never. So why would you assume he’s the most electable? Because he raises the most money?…Don’t buy the media hype. Don’t buy the line that you have to be a moderate to be able to win the election.”

He said Americans are looking for “bold colors, not pale pastels.”

“Lead and be bold, because this is not a time for us to shrink,” he said.

But can Santorum win the nomination?  Romney has worked New Hampshire for months, in the same way that Santorum worked Iowa, and with a lot more organization on the ground.  Santorum plans to work hard in the Granite State this week, while Rick Perry skips it and proceeds to South Carolina for a last-ditch effort to become the social conservative rallying point.  Santorum will need South Carolina to make the case that he can go the distance against Romney, but a good showing in New Hampshire might build his stock more in the Palmetto State than a few extra rallies would.

George Will is cautiously, and perhaps uncharacteristically, optimistic about Santorum’s chances, and argues that Santorum injects a quality that has been missing in the race so far:

Rick Santorum has become central because Iowa Republicans ignored an axiom that is as familiar as it is false: Democrats fall in love, and Republicans fall in line. Republicans, supposedly hierarchical, actually are — let us say the worst — human. They crave fun. Supporting Mitt Romney still seems to many like a duty, the responsible thing to do. Suddenly, supporting Santorum seems like a lark, partly because a week or so ago he could quit complaining about media neglect and start having fun, which is infectious. …

Santorum exemplifies a conservative aspiration born about the time he was born in 1958. Frank Meyer, a founding editor of William F. Buckley’s National Review in 1955, postulated the possibility, and necessity, of “fusionism,” a union of social conservatives and those of a more libertarian, free-market bent.

If the Republicans’ binary choice has arrived, and if new technologies of communication and fundraising are repealing some traditional impediments to fluidity in political competition, Santorum can hope to win the nomination. Yes, in 2006, a ghastly year for Republicans (who lost 30 seats and control of the House, and six Senate seats), Santorum lost by 17 points in his bid for a third term. But, then, Richard Nixon was defeated for governor of California six years before being elected president, carrying California.

Even if Santorum is not nominated, he might galvanize a constituency that makes him a vice presidential choice. For Obama, getting to 270 electoral votes without Pennsylvania’s 20 is problematic. But so, just now, are Republican prospects of getting to 270 with their narrowing choice of candidates.

But can he get to the nomination in time to keep Romney from wrapping it up early?  That really depends on the rest of the field, as I write in my column today at The Fiscal Times:

Consolidation will happen eventually, of course, through the brute force of attrition as campaigns fail.  Will it happen quickly enough to put Romney at a disadvantage?  Romney has a solid polling lead in the 40s in New Hampshire, and should sail through that test unscathed, making him the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire in decades.  Newt Gingrich leads in South Carolina polling, but the latest numbers are from three weeks ago, before his fall to fourth place in Iowa.  If Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum split the conservative vote in South Carolina, Romney could find victory in the 25 percent range – and then make an appeal to Florida voters for the intervening ten days to end the nomination race in January and focus money and effort on beating Barack Obama instead.

Gingrich understands this game plan.  Yesterday, he told conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham that he would team up with Santorum to defeat Romney, if Santorum wanted to build a no-Mitt alliance.  It’s unclear whether Gingrich sees himself or Santorum as the lead candidate in that alliance, but given Gingrich’s legendary ambition, Santorum can reasonably assume that the lead candidate won’t be named Rick.  Between the two of them, though, they will still be at an organizational disadvantage to Romney and Paul, both of whom have spent the last five years pursuing this opportunity.

A three-way race will make it tough for Romney to win with a 25 percent ceiling.  Having four or five candidates changes that calculation, even if it’s just for the next few weeks.  If conservatives don’t find a way to consolidate behind a single candidate, Romney may not need to transcend that ceiling to build enough momentum to win the nomination early.

Part of the problem is Ron Paul, and the increased draw he has in this cycle.  After his third-place finish in Iowa, he’s unlikely to threaten as the nominee, but his presence splits the field.  Neither Romney nor Santorum would get Paul voters, but Romney has been careful not to antagonize the Paul contingent.  That’s playing long ball, of course, as Romney wants to keep Paul from leaving the GOP this year and taking those voters with him.  If it was just Paul, Santorum, and Romney, though, the rest of the conservative movement could consolidate behind Santorum and perhaps beat Romney, although that’s really an untested hypothesis.  We don’t know that the rest of the conservatives from other candidates would line up behind any of the other options, or if they would look at electability first and go to Romney; we’re just assuming that.

But as long as the other options remain in the race, they will split the vote, and that makes it possible to sweep the first three events and go to Florida with the inevitability argument, as well as the big organization to deliver that message.  If that happens, one can easily see Jeb Bush jumping into the fray with an endorsement that settles the race in the Sunshine State and wraps up the primaries before February.  So far, no one except Michele Bachmann has been willing to exit, and that makes a Romney victory more likely, not less.


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Just a reminder on the electability issue: If Mitt Romney hadn’t waved the white flag of surrender in 06, he likely would have lost reelection as governor in a big way.

At least Santorum fought to the end.

vegconservative on January 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Moment is right. His 15 minutes started yesterday and are going to wind down faster than that guy who parasailed into that Mike Tyson fight.

Red Cloud on January 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Santorum is in for a world of hurt from Perry and Paul.

rubberneck on January 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Just note that the topics of abortion, contraception, and gay marriage are what the press thinks is most important when talking to Santorum. They’re not the issues at the top of his list. Naturally, the economy is. Just for a change, the press could ask him about that.

RBMN on January 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The debate Saturday is going to be interesting to say the least.

gophergirl on January 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

vegconservative on January 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Lies. He did not run, cause he wanted to run for president. Romney haters just lie these days.

rubberneck on January 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

If I were kos I’d be mobilizing every liberal to the polls to vote this clown.

Marcus on January 5, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Some have complained about Romney’s role in layoffs at companies in order to make them (and himself) more profitable. I’d like to see him use that big time against bloated government departments. We could use some downsizing there couldn’t we?

robm on January 5, 2012 at 10:47 AM

…but Romney has been careful not to antagonize the Paul contingent. That’s playing long ball, of course, as Romney wants to keep Paul from leaving the GOP this year and taking those voters with him.

If Romney had the chops to be President, he would publicly and repeatedly disavow Ron Paul and his wretched neo-Bircher movement. Any losses suffered by a Ron Paul third-party split would be made up by independent voters in the general, who are (or will be) repulsed by the conspiratorial and bigoted fringe that has adopted the Republican label to give its thoroughly repugnant ideas the veneer of mainstream respectability.

So I say antagonize the daylights out of the Paul contingent. Do not give these Prison Planet and Stormfront refugees a warm, cozy, happy home in the Republican Party. Make their stay here as brief and as unpleasant as possible.

troyriser_gopftw on January 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

gee, how come Mittens never gets a 15 minute countdown??? oh well, i’m going to the store to get all the snacks i can today for Saturday nights debate. i hope Newt cleans Mittens clock. AND THERE BETTER NOT BE ONE HAIR OUT OF PLACE ON CALLISTA’S HELMET HEAD OF BLOND LUCIOUSNESS!!!!

GhoulAid on January 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Moment is right. His 15 minutes started yesterday and are going to wind down faster than that guy who parasailed into that Mike Tyson fight.

Red Cloud on January 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Very true. He didn’t win Iowa and I don’t think that he will win any states, including SC. I think that Romney will take NH by a wide margin, and either Perry or Romney or Gingrich will win SC. Romney will win both FL and NV.

Iowa does not have a history of picking winners

ConservativePartyNow on January 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Ed,

I thought PA Republicans passed a bill allocating their electors based on congressional districts won. Pennsylvania is not winner take all in Fall 2012.

WhatNot on January 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Can we at least get a few delegates selected before we succumb to Ed’s inevitability of Romney crap.

swinia sutki on January 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

social conservatives; the bane of the republican party!!

svs22422 on January 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Just a reminder on the electability issue: If Mitt Romney hadn’t waved the white flag of surrender in 06, he likely would have lost reelection as governor in a big way.

At least Santorum fought to the end.

vegconservative on January 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

If you think about it, getting re-elected in MA by a bunch of Dems would have hurt his credibility more then getting kicked out for being “too conservative”, which is what they didn’t like about him.

hanzblinx on January 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Newt, Mitt and Santorum all support ethanol subsidies. Perry doesn’t. That tells you a lot right there.

juliesa on January 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Ed,

I thought PA Republicans passed a bill allocating their electors based on congressional districts won. Pennsylvania is not winner take all in Fall 2012.

WhatNot on January 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I thought so too… even if it was winner take all, I’m notsure believe Santorum could deliver the state anyway.

Dr. Shatterhand on January 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I can’t vote for Santorum, he remembers to wear pants every day.

Ron Paul 2012

Bishop on January 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM

social conservatives; the bane of the republican party!!

svs22422 on January 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

i agree. for the life of me i just cannot understand why those social conservatives are so against teaching 1st graders that molly has two mommies!!!!!

GhoulAid on January 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM

A million wasted dollars. The real money is betting on how quick Santorum will hold the press conference to withdraw.

salem on January 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Some have complained about Romney’s role in layoffs at companies in order to make them (and himself) more profitable. I’d like to see him use that big time against bloated government departments. We could use some downsizing there couldn’t we?

robm on January 5, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Romney was at Bain Capital from 1984 to 1999. It’s hard to find a period in history when the American economy was healthier. So if he was influencing the economy, he should do it again. Romney has nothing to apologize for there.

RBMN on January 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Wait til voters find out that Santorum advocates outlawing birth control.

As he said back in October, “One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea … Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay … contraception’s okay. It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

So apparently Santorum’s goal is to turn us all into the Duggar family. I’m sure most voters will be thrilled about that.

JA on January 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Part of the problem is Ron Paul, and the increased draw he has in this cycle. After his third-place finish in Iowa, he’s unlikely to threaten as the nominee, but his presence splits the field.

This is really only a problem if you’re in the anyone-but-Romney camp. For my part, I think that Santorum more closely reflects my values, but I don’t think he has the gravitas to beat Obama. Romney does. And he’s good enough.

Problem solved.

rogaineguy on January 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

I like the underdog. Santorum is proving himself a fighter and a keep-the-nose-to-the-grindstone guy. I admire that. He canvassed Iowa over several weeks, but he doesn’t have as much time and may have a harder sell in NH–I don’t know, I just assume that. Either way, keep after it Rick. I’d rather vote for Santorum than Romney.

ted c on January 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Santorum is right.

Romney has NEVER won as a Conservative because Romney is not a Conservative. Romney is whatever it takes to grab power! He is a fraud.

So, Americans are going to elect him because he has the most money, because he is a Wall Street insider, a Washington elite, has the most vacay homes, and because the media and pundits like HA say he will win!

How can American voters be so wrong to elect Obama and then do it all over again and elect Obama-Lite.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

I completely disagree with Ed.

I think that the fragmented field is just delaying Romney’s nomination.

If the non-Romney vote consolidates, Romney gets 60% of the vote.

I have no idea how can one read the polls and believe otherwise.

joana on January 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Newt/Santorum 2012
“Et in saecula saeculorum”

spiritof61 on January 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Wait til voters find out that Santorum advocates outlawing birth control.

As he said back in October, “One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea … Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay … contraception’s okay. It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

So apparently Santorum’s goal is to turn us all into the Duggar family. I’m sure most voters will be thrilled about that.

JA on January 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Yeah, and he’s going to force you to call your mother once a week, and donate money to the Red Cross, and say a bedtime prayer every night too.

RBMN on January 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

It really is all about political strategy right now, and the anti-Romney candidates know this. Paul is not going to drop out. Perry needs to, and I’m guessing the Establishment got to him somehow to stay in. It’s possible New Hampshire or South Carolina might determine who stays in between Santorum and Gingrich, and it will probably be whoever runs out of money first. The debates bring a big unknown to this whole scenario. However, it is ultimately up to the voters to unite in each of these contests. I don’t believe Romney’s electability against Obama argument has a leg to stand on.

lea on January 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Unlike the majority of states, Iowa RNC delegates are free to vote for any candidate for president or vice president.

So the real question is not who “won” the Iowa Republican caucuses… the real question is who will be the delegates at the Republican national convention, and how will THEY vote?

Pay attention to what happened here… it’s quite possible that the true delegate winner coming out of Iowa is not Santorum nor Romney, but rather Ron Paul.

Ron Paul may have come in 3rd place in the Iowa Republican caucuses, but he could very well have “won” if he ends up with the most Republican national convention delegates intending to nominate him…

And I say this as someone who is currently favoring Santorum or Perry.

ITguy on January 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

How can American voters be so wrong to elect Obama and then do it all over again and elect Obama-Lite.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

I guess three degrees of separation is enough for them.

swinia sutki on January 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

joana,

Your math is wrong. Romney has only 25-30% of the votes. That means at least 65% of Conservatives will not vote for him.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

If the non-Romney vote consolidates, Romney gets 60% of the vote.

So many ifs that need to happen.

lea on January 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Santorum is a joke. He is another big gov’t, big spender, big earmark corrupt politician.

Let see, Santorum didn’t even try to get on the Va ballot; at least Perry and Newt dio try and now we find out Santorum didn’t make the DC ballot either;
Santorum doesn’t file for D.C. ballot
http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/01/santorum-doesnt-file-for-dc-ballot-109647.html

We have Santorum’s ethic issues too;
Santorum Surge Brings Ethics Questions
http://news.yahoo.com/santorum-surge-brings-ethics-questions-152702229.html

The only true proven consistent conservative with reforming gov’t, shrinking gov’t, promoting job growth is Rick Perry

Go Perry 2012

bzip on January 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Your math is wrong. Romney has only 25-30% of the votes. That means at least 65% of Conservatives will not vote for him.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

What does that say about the other candidates?

rogaineguy on January 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Part of the problem is Ron Paul, and the increased draw he has in this cycle. After his third-place finish in Iowa, he’s unlikely to threaten as the nominee, but his presence splits the field.

Captain Ed

DingDingDingDingDingDing!!!

What would Santorum’s chances be if Ron Paul wasn’t in? Here is a guy (Paul) who is not a Republican for any reason other than to be able to run and be noticed. If he is too embarrassed to run to get the Libertarian nomination, why are libertarians so excited about him?

Say what you will about Santorum. But there isn’t any question that he has at least been associated with and shares some or most of the ideals, with the party he is running for the nomination in. Romney and Paul share just as much, if not more political ideals with the Demorat(ic) Party as they do the Republican party.

oldroy on January 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM

JA on January 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Quotes like that just scare me.

gophergirl on January 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Romney has been careful not to antagonize the Paul contingent. That’s playing long ball, of course, as Romney wants to keep Paul from leaving the GOP this year and taking those voters with him.

Ron Paul voters are leftists who have adopted (some) conservative economics. There is no way his voters would ever commit to Romney. More likely he is avoiding antagonizing them so they will attack his opponents (ironically, they spend more time attacking not-Romneys than Romney).

Doomberg on January 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Rick S- a nice guy – great values- but cannot win general. Do we really want to headline months of Abortion and Gay social BS distraction ?? DO NOT GIVE the liberals a reason to detract and distract from the real mission !! Get Rid of Maobama !!!!!!

FlaMurph on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

If it was just Paul, Santorum, and Romney, though, the rest of the conservative movement could consolidate behind Santorum and perhaps beat Romney, although that’s really an untested hypothesis.

I can tell you this as a Paul supporter (who is not part of the “Ron or Gone” posse)… if Paul were to drop tomorrow, and it was Romney or Santorum, I’d go with Romney.

And it wouldn’t even be close.

JohnGalt23 on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Just note that the topics of abortion, contraception, and gay marriage are what the press thinks is most important when talking to Santorum. They’re not the issues at the top of his list. Naturally, the economy is. Just for a change, the press could ask him about that.

RBMN on January 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Oh, I think these topics are the most important to Santorum, he just doesn’t want to talk about them because he knows they will kill his chances.

bopbottle on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Some have complained about Romney’s role in layoffs at companies in order to make them (and himself) more profitable. I’d like to see him use that big time against bloated government departments. We could use some downsizing there couldn’t we?
robm on January 5, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Great point. If there is anything we need in a chief executive of the federal gov’t, it’s someone who knows how to trim headcount and make an organization more efficient.

FogDog on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

So the real question is not who “won” the Iowa Republican caucuses… the real question is who will be the delegates at the Republican national convention, and how will THEY vote?

You are correct. The possibility of a brokered convention is very possible and not something many bloggers are discussing.

lea on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

The next contests are in the south. The big push by the RNC elites, the pundits and media was to have Romney declared the winner early in the game.

The southern US is a whole new ballgame, mainly because Romney is Mormon and I doubt that many Evangelicals will vote for him for that reason.

Santorum and Gingrich need to press on because I think they will only gain ground in the next few primaries.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Rick S- a nice guy –

FlaMurph on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Except he’s not a nice guy. Rick Perry strikes me as being a nice guy. Mitt Romney, nice guy. J. T. Huntsman, nice guy.

Rick Santorum is a jerk.

JohnGalt23 on January 5, 2012 at 11:13 AM

The same people that said Palin was going to be President, now say Santorum is going to President.

The hilarity.

All I see is desperation by media to keep a race going by propping up person after person that doesn’t have a chance at getting the nomination, let alone actually beating Obama.

The media were so happy Tuesday night, they were giddy.

Moesart on January 5, 2012 at 11:13 AM

JA on January 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

TOTALLY UNTRUE. He stated in no uncertain terms on the Today Show on December 29 that although he is personally against contraception (Catholic), he does not support making contraception illegal. He is a practicing Catholic. That does not mean he wants to legislate his views on the rest of the country. As I said on another thread, I know southern baptists who are against girls wearing 2-piece bathing suits and teach that Harry Potter glorifies evil. Does that mean because I like 2-piece bathing suits and Harry Potter that I should not vote for them? Of course not. There is no candidate running for national office that is going to try and force their personal religious views on the rest of the country. That is just a BS argument meant to tear the guy down.

KickandSwimMom on January 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Quotes like that just scare me.

gophergirl on January 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Yep. There are lots more of them too. Like Bono said, Santorum has a sort of Tourette’s-like penchant for saying the most unpopular things at inopportune times. His heart is in the right place, but his mouth usually isn’t.

The thing that really killed him in Pennsylvania was the Terri Schiavo case. Most people have forgotten about that, but the folks here in Bucks County haven’t.

rockmom on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

It seems to me a no-brainer that Santorum has to go to New Hampshire due to his Iowa results, otherwise he would have either folded up shop before Bachmann did or he’d run to South Carolina like Perry.

I don’t think Santorum has to even come in third in New Hampshire, though it’d no doubt help him.

My guess is that New Hampshire’s results will look something like: Romney, Huntsman, Paul or Romney, Paul, Huntsman with Gingrich in fourth and Santorum fifth.

Mr. Santorum needs more than just a million dollars. He needs a rapid expansion of staff with eager and capable volunteers that will work. He needs to not only go to South Carolina, but send some feelers out to Nevada in case he continues to keep in the top three.

If Rick Santorum can continue to stay in the top three outside of New Hampshire and continue to bring in funding, maybe he’ll stick it out until Super Tuesday, even if he’s not in first or second place.

As for Ron Paul, I seriously doubt many of his supporters will vote Republican if he’s not the nominee, so for the most part I think catering to them is pretty much a worthless cause.

Logus on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

bopbottle on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

sadly, you are right, and that’s how they will try to take him down. beacuse America will not tolerate hurting gay people’s precious FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELINDS!!!!!!

GhoulAid on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

The Romney shilling by Ed & Allah continues.

Santorum has a decent chance. Romney has already shown in Iowa that he has difficulty in improving on his 2008 performance. The expectation is that he will win NH by 20+ points, but I think he will fail to meet that expectation. He will bomb in SC like he did last time around.

Besides, the primary process has changed. Noone will secure enough delegates until April at the earliest, and conservatives will NEVER settle for a RINO like Romney.

Norwegian on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

If Romney had the chops to be President, he would publicly and repeatedly disavow Ron Paul and his wretched neo-Bircher movement. Any losses suffered by a Ron Paul third-party split would be made up by independent voters in the general, who are (or will be) repulsed by the conspiratorial and bigoted fringe that has adopted the Republican label to give its thoroughly repugnant ideas the veneer of mainstream respectability.

So I say antagonize the daylights out of the Paul contingent. Do not give these Prison Planet and Stormfront refugees a warm, cozy, happy home in the Republican Party. Make their stay here as brief and as unpleasant as possible.

troyriser_gopftw on January 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

You don’t settle for being an idiot, you’re an ignorant idiot.

cartooner on January 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Great point. If there is anything we need in a chief executive of the federal gov’t, it’s someone who knows how to trim headcount and make an organization more efficient.

FogDog on January 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Yes. Romney is the most credible delivering that message. If the U.S. doesn’t get it’s fiscal house in order it will end up like Greece in a few years. Four more years of Obama will push us further in that direction.

OptionsTrader on January 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

something is terribly wrong in this series of photos http://thehayride.com/2012/01/we-might-need-to-toughen-up-some-of-our-readers-a-little/

His daughter looks wayyy to old to require a security doll. Are there problems going on behind closed doors in their home.

Kermit on January 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

You don’t settle for being an idiot, you’re an ignorant idiot.

cartooner on January 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

why is he ignorant? is your desire to smoke legal joints and lick the @$$ of other countries that important to you, you paul zombie???

GhoulAid on January 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

joana,

Your math is wrong. Romney has only 25-30% of the votes. That means at least 65% of Conservatives will not vote for him.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Sorry, but that’s not how things work.

Once you include 2nd choice votes, Romney jumps to over 40% of the vote. Once you include 3rd choice, he gets over 50% easily. And he easily leads the field when it comes to likability.

Romney has only 25% of the vote because there are still too many people running – but polls show that the idea that Romney is the last option for every Gingrich, Perry, Santorum, Bachmann voter is completely bogus. More often than not, he’s their second choice.

I guess four years ago people like you were saying “McCain has only 15% of the votes. That means at least 90% o conservatives won’t vote for him”.

joana on January 5, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Romney doesn’t need to run out the clock, the race is over. There are no candidates but him. Santorum has no chance, get a clue.

echosyst on January 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Need I remind all of these “inevitability” bloggers that there is proportional delegate distribution until 4/1?

We have THREE MONTHS before winner takes all states begin to vote.

karenhasfreedom on January 5, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Please take a good look at Santorum’s votes on spending. He wasn’t, while a senator, someone who showed any inclination to cut spending, but was a big time porker.

He’s someone who would fail to follow the basic fiscal principles of the tea party.

Alferd Packer on January 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Kermit on January 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The photo is six years old and her father had just lost a re-election bid. Further, some small children don’t do well being placed front and center among a large group of people they don’t know. As for the doll, I still had stuffed animals on my bed when I was ten. My son is 5 1/2, looks a bit older and keeps his teddy bear in his backpack when he goes to kindergarten. So, I don’t really find anything wrong with the picture or the little girl’s doll.

The daughter in question is probably Sarah who was born in 1998, making her around age 8 when the photo was taken.

Logus on January 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Please take a good look at Santorum’s votes on spending. He wasn’t, while a senator, someone who showed any inclination to cut spending, but was a big time porker.

He’s someone who would fail to follow the basic fiscal principles of the tea party.

Alferd Packer on January 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Where was the Tea Party? It wasn’t there either. New conditions create new priorities. That’s how history works.

RBMN on January 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

There is no candidate running for national office that is going to try and force their personal religious views on the rest of the country. That is just a BS argument meant to tear the guy down.

KickandSwimMom on January 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

They all will, to some degree. They just won’t do it if it is seen as forcing the population to submit to it.

So the views matter, just not as much as detractors and supporters of the views tend to ventilate about.

One of the reasons Paul cannot possibly win is because when he talks his crazy talk about the world’s problems all coming from American meddling, we all know he really will act on it if he becomes President. The President has the power, and we trust Paul to do what he says he will do.

Santorum ban contraception? Couldn’t do it if he wanted. Paul withdraw precipitously from South Korea? Could and would.

fadetogray on January 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I am happy for Rick. The socialist rags in the People’s Republic of Philadelphia are now attacking him, which means they fear him (a good thing). If he is on the primary ballot in PA, he has my vote. I have my considerable doubts, though, that he can win the presidency.

I am curious to see polling in SC since Santorum’s ascent. Is he peeling support from other candidates still in the hunt? Mitt will win NH, but what’s going on in other upcoming primary polling?

Philly on January 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM

What has become increasingly apparent is that the Republican elite wants the status quo and their pig trough untouched.

The Republican elites have decided that Romney is the man who will best manage the Washington rot and keep crony capitalism intact.

The Tea Party was useful in the 2010 midterms to secure Congress. Now the Tea Party must be “managed” and forced into submission.

Even the media talking heads and some well-known bloggers have now decided that Romney is the winner, and the only “electable” Republican. Hogwash!

In her more lucid days, Ann Coulter pleaded that the grassroots NEVER elect the candidate the media and the Left chooses.

This is simple “herding” behavior, and I do hope the American voter is too smart to fall for this tactic.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

rockmom on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Rick Perry’s comment “I want to make Washington DC as inconsequential in your lives as possible” is one of the main reasons I support him. That is the mindset I want from a President.

I don’t think anybody in DC is qualified to tell people how to live their personal lives- conservative or liberal.

gophergirl on January 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM

TOTALLY UNTRUE. He stated in no uncertain terms on the Today Show on December 29 that although he is personally against contraception (Catholic), he does not support making contraception illegal. He is a practicing Catholic. That does not mean he wants to legislate his views on the rest of the country. As I said on another thread, I know southern baptists who are against girls wearing 2-piece bathing suits and teach that Harry Potter glorifies evil. Does that mean because I like 2-piece bathing suits and Harry Potter that I should not vote for them? Of course not. There is no candidate running for national office that is going to try and force their personal religious views on the rest of the country. That is just a BS argument meant to tear the guy down.

KickandSwimMom on January 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

No surprise that Santorum is trying to back away from his positions now that he’s in the spotlight – but the truth is that he has long been opposed to the Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a CT law banning contraception & has repeatedly said that states should have the right to outlaw birth control.

JA on January 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Joana,

You presume much on little fact. How can you accurately predict human nature and predict where voters will go. Did your math predict Santorum’s huge win in Iowa?

Furthermore, polls are merely a snapshot for that moment in time. They are very unreliable over the long term and that is why polls are done so frequently.

I am guessing you are a Romney supporter trying to convince everyone of the inevitability of his win.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Joana,

You presume much on little fact. How can you accurately predict human nature and predict where voters will go. Did your math predict Santorum’s huge win in Iowa?

1. I don’t presume anything. I’m analyzing polls. It’s a data supported and reality based analysis, not wishful thinking.

2. I believe human nature is so steady one doesn’t really need to predict much about. Where the voters will go, not quite. But one can still try.

3. Santorum came second in Iowa and I predicted something like that, yeah. As polls did – pollsters managed very well to capture Santorum’s momentum with late deciders.

Furthermore, polls are merely a snapshot for that moment in time. They are very unreliable over the long term and that is why polls are done so frequently.

And if the data changes, we’ll change our analysis accordingly. What makes no sense is to ignore the data we have.

I am guessing you are a Romney supporter trying to convince everyone of the inevitability of his win.

As per usual, you guess wrong because, unlike me, you allow your prejudices to cloud your judgement. I’m not a Romney supporter but this nomination process is over. Bookmark this if you will.

joana on January 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Joana,

You presume much on little fact. ………

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Not so much. The people doing irrational presumption on no fact at all are the people thinking Romney won’t get any of the supporters of other candidates who drop out.

fadetogray on January 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Lies. He did not run, cause he wanted to run for president. Romney haters just lie these days.

rubberneck on January 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Right! Romney has lost more elections than won and being at 34% approval ratings at the end of his term, he saw the writing on the wall. He could not possible win re-election so jump to presidential aspirations.

Correcting the history

PuritanD71 on January 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Rick Santy has a lot of work to do…a lot!

KOOLAID2 on January 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The debate Saturday is going to be interesting to say the least.those who actually aren’t watching the football playoff game.

gophergirl on January 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

FIFY

Decoski on January 5, 2012 at 12:19 PM

If Romney is the nominee, Romney will get voter support after the rest drop out.

Ron Paul is the only candidate that will not get my vote if he is on the ballot in the general election.

I held my nose and voted for McCain. I will do it again so Obama gets a one-way trip back to Chicago.

Rasmussen national poll results: Romney up and in the lead (29 percent), Santorum up (16 percent), Gingrich down.

44 percent of those polled believe Romney is most electable; next is Newt at 16 percent.

Ron Paul is the weakest opponent (36 percent) according to those polled.

Philly on January 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Whoa! 65 percent believe Romney most electable; Santorum next; Newt at 6 percent. These are results since the Iowa caucus totals.

Philly on January 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Let’s see what happens with these poll numbers next week.

Philly on January 5, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Wait til voters find out that Santorum advocates outlawing birth control.

As he said back in October, “One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea … Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay … contraception’s okay. It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

So apparently Santorum’s goal is to turn us all into the Duggar family. I’m sure most voters will be thrilled about that.

JA on January 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

My parents didn’t use artificial contraceptives and they ended up having three children. I think a person can choose not to use ABC and point out that it’s led to problems without supporting the ban thereof.

The thing that really killed him in Pennsylvania was the Terri Schiavo case. Most people have forgotten about that, but the folks here in Bucks County haven’t.

rockmom on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Neither have I, but Santorum and others were right to try to intercede on the Schindler family’s behalf. Many members from both political parties as well as apolitical disability groups tried to intervene.

bmmg39 on January 5, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I was wrong. Correction: Romney 29 percent; Santorum, 21 percent.

Philly on January 5, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Ron Paul voters are leftists who have adopted (some) conservative economics. There is no way his voters would ever commit to Romney. More likely he is avoiding antagonizing them so they will attack his opponents (ironically, they spend more time attacking not-Romneys than Romney).

Doomberg on January 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

That’s not true.

I was/am a Paul supporter last cycle, I voted for McCain, I will probably vote for Paul again on Super Tuesday. If Perry is still alive, I will vote for him in the Primaries, since I think he’s our best option.

I’ll pull the lever for Romney if he’s the nominee. I won’t like it, but I’ll do it.

It’s easy to paint all Paul supporters as pot heads, and liberals playing operation chaos in GOP primaries, but it’s not true.

Dr. Shatterhand on January 5, 2012 at 12:28 PM

What’s particularly bothersome is that some TEA Party people seem to think that Mitt is a conservative. I wrote here that he isn’t. It’s time people woke up to the fact that Mitt’s actions have SCREAMED liberal. I wrote here that it’s time that conservatives stopped settling for wimpy moderates, that it’s time they started paying attention to a person’s actions, not his campaign rhetoric.

LFRGary on January 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Your math is wrong. Romney has only 25-30% of the votes. That means at least 65% of Conservatives will not vote for him.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

LOL !!! stupid!

By your logic 65% won’t vote for Santorum.

Gunlock Bill on January 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Newt, Mitt and Santorum all support ethanol subsidies. Perry doesn’t. That tells you a lot right there.

juliesa on January 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I’m not sure, but I think the ethanol subsidies were quietly allowed to expire this year. Can’t remember where I read it though.

bluealice on January 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

The southern US is a whole new ballgame, mainly because Romney is Mormon and I doubt that many Evangelicals will vote for him for that reason.

Sparky5253 on January 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

So, you think religious bigotry is a serious problem in the Republican Party?

A lot of the Anti-Romney crowd here at HotAir deny their hatred of Romney is religious based.

I don’t buy it either.

Gunlock Bill on January 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Romney has already shown in Iowa that he has difficulty in improving on his 2008 performance.
Norwegian on January 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

So winning instead of losing isn’t an improvement?

Who knew?

Gunlock Bill on January 5, 2012 at 1:47 PM

troyriser_gopftw on January 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

You don’t settle for being an idiot, you’re an ignorant idiot.

cartooner on January 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

why is he ignorant? is your desire to smoke legal joints and lick the @$$ of other countries that important to you, you paul zombie???

GhoulAid on January 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Or, maybe because he sees that the ever growing contingent of Paul supporters are actually composed of strict Constitutional zealots, whom the Republican party should embrace as natural allies instead of ridiculing as enemies.

Indeed, maybe if the GOP had actually stayed committed to Constitutional small government, there would be no market for a Ron Paul.

But they didn’t, so there is.

classical liberal on January 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Prediction: Santorum will have the fastest decline in the polls of any candidate thus far.

kg598301 on January 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Oh, Santorum, for the world is so blahhhh and white isn’t it.

Dave Rywall on January 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM

We need to get the facts out…. There is no quibbling Santorum is a firm social conservative … this election is not about social conservatism…. it is about the economy and less government intrusion. In that regard Santorum fails miserably:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/287068/santorum-s-big-government-conservatism-michael-tanner

snip…………

When Hillary Clinton was justly excoriated by conservatives for her book It Takes A Village, which advocated greater government involvement in our lives, Rick Santorum countered with his book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, which advocated greater government involvement in our lives. Among the many government programs he supported: national service, publicly financed trust funds for children, community-investment incentives, and economic-literacy programs in “every school in America” (italics in original).

Santorum’s voting record shows that he embraced George Bush–style “big-government conservatism.” For example, he supported the Medicare prescription-drug benefit and No Child Left Behind.

He never met an earmark that he didn’t like. In fact, it wasn’t just earmarks for his own state that he favored, which might be forgiven as pure electoral pragmatism, but earmarks for everyone, including the notorious “Bridge to Nowhere.” The quintessential Washington insider, he worked closely with Tom DeLay to set up the “K Street Project,” linking lobbyists with the GOP leadership.

He voted against NAFTA and has long opposed free trade. He backed higher tariffs on everything from steel to honey. He still supports an industrial policy with the government tilting the playing field toward manufacturing industries and picking winners and losers.

In fact, Santorum might be viewed as the mirror image of Ron Paul. If Ron Paul’s campaign has been based on the concept of simply having government leave us alone, Santorum rejects that entire concept. True liberty, he writes, is not “the freedom to be left alone,” but “the freedom to attend to one’s duties to God, to family, and to neighbors.” And he seems fully prepared to use the power of government to support his interpretation of those duties.

Rapunzel on January 5, 2012 at 3:49 PM