Santorum: In his SOTU address, the president pandered to blue-collar workers

posted at 5:30 pm on January 25, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Rick Santorum has distinguished himself among his GOP competitors as a “supply-sider for the working man,” as a candidate who has tailored his economic plan to the needs of manufacturers and blue-collar workers. He calls, for example, for the complete elimination of corporate taxes for manufacturers.

He happens to believe “making things” creates wealth, he has said. He argues that the more protectionist and mercantilist aspects of his economic plan give him a unique and broader appeal among the GOP Final Four. The president’s State of the Union address — in which the president highlighted some of the very same ideas Santorum has stumped, including the idea of easing the tax burden on manufacturers more so than on other businesses — gave him more evidence to support the theory that he can pick up swing states the other candidates couldn’t. CNN Political Ticker reports:

“What did the president lead with[?]” Santorum asked the crowd. “Now remember we all know that this was a purely political speech. This was a speech designed to go after different voter groups that he thinks are key for him to win the election. We all agree with that? Okay, what was the first voter group that he went after, the one that he spent the most time on? The one he was going to do the most to help? Manufacturing. Blue collar workers.”

Pointing to his previous electoral successes in largely blue-collar Pennsylvania, Santorum regularly makes the case that he’s the only candidate who’d be able to attract those voters in a general election contest against the president. At many events he contrasts that record with Mitt Romney’s success appealing to moderates in Massachusetts and Newt Gingrich’s record of holding on to a conservative Congressional district in Georgia.

“Barack Obama knows the key to this election are the swing states in particular in the industrial heartland of our country,” Santorum said. “The Reagan Democrats, those blue-collar democrats who swung for Ronald Reagan and provided a 49-state victory.”

Santorum might have a point — but, as the manufacturing-oriented aspects of Santorum’s platform aren’t particularly conservative (and arguably the most concerning of his stances), his response to the president’s SOTU address also raises the question as to whether Santorum might not be pandering to blue-collar workers, as well. That’s not to say he doesn’t believe in his own proposals — just to say they’re likely to be more politically effective than economically effective in the long-term.

The contrasts Santorum has recently drawn with his competitors — his repeated reminders that he has never supported an individual health care mandate and that he unequivocally opposed the bailouts — are his biggest selling points with the GOP faithful, and, for now, he should stay focused on those.


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Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

If he does…..yikes

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Why is Santorum still relevant?

Harbingeing on January 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Last question: Didn’t Santorum get hammered in his blue collar state last time he ran? 58-41?

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Obama’s entire strategy is about the 99rs, or “From Diapers to Depends”.

Fortunately he doesn’t do math well.

I’m not a 1%, but by golly I’m not a 99% either, and so aren’t millions of Americans.

Santorum is a social-conservative proletarian.

Mitt is a RINO.

Newt is an almost conservative lout.

Obama is demonic.

Make your choice or go gulching. Have food, water and guns.

Still, this is a great read.

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

If he does…..yikes

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM
meltdown!

nathor on January 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

If he does…..yikes

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Not enough gays for him to bash in FL?

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

If he does…..yikes

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Can you link to reports please.

KBird on January 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Rick Santorum has distinguished himself among his GOP competitors as a “supply-sider for the working man,” as a candidate who has tailored his economic plan to the needs of manufacturers and blue-collar workers. He calls, for example, for the complete elimination of corporate taxes for manufacturers.

Really? What about the candidate who calls for the abolition of the IRS? Is that distinguishable, since Santorum wants to preserve the income tax and just play around with credits?

Dante on January 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Santorum is 100% correct on global warming. Newt is only 50% correct, now. But Mitt… it’s unclear: http://www.crescent-news.com/local%20opinion/2012/01/24/deroy-murdock-romney-runs-hot-and-cold-on-global-warming

anotherJoe on January 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Santorum? Who’s he?

Oh, yeah…he’s the goofy dude running as the socio-con. I forgot about him.

DRayRaven on January 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Let’s hope so.

Dante on January 25, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Santorum’s claim that W cost him re-election is a not uninteresting footnote to the entitlement debate:

But after winning that 2000 election—his second Senate victory and his fourth straight win in Democratic territory—Mr. Santorum aggressively backed President George W. Bush’s call for allowing younger workers to own personal [retirement] accounts.

“The Bush thing was a big disaster for me,” says Mr. Santorum. Mr. Bush called for Social Security reform immediately after his 2004 election victory but then didn’t roll out a plan for several months.

“Bush made one of the dumbest errors as far as rolling out a policy,” says Mr. Santorum. At the time Mr. Bush called for reform, “he had no plan in place. He had no structure in place. He threw a bunch of chum in the water and then expected the sharks to sort of wait four months for him to go fishing. . . . And I was foolish enough to take the bait. I was out there in the water swimming with sharks with a bunch of blood around me. I got chewed up.” Mr. Santorum lost his 2006 re-election campaign by 17 points.

kunegetikos on January 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Careful, pubs. The nets even reach down here now and some of those in blue are getting savy. We get the fence that Barry is trying to throw up, we see it, we know it for what it is. Don’t pander to us and “explain” it to us. It doesn’t play as well on the street as it does along the beltway.

Limerick on January 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

If he does…..yikes

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I guess is Mitt or Newt then. I hope one of them can beat Obama because if he gets a lame duck term we are really screwed, the way he bypasses congress it wont matter if we have majorities.

neuquenguy on January 25, 2012 at 5:54 PM

kunegetikos on January 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

BUUUUUUSSSSSSHHHHH!!!111!11!1!!

OTTO on January 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Reports coming out of Fla is that Santorum is leaving before Tuesday and might pull out on Friday.

If he does…..yikes

JP1986UM on January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Not enough gays for him to bash in FL?

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

He can always come on here…

Shain1611 on January 25, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Santorum may be pulling out of FLORIDA – not the race(The Hill).

silvernana on January 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

BUUUUUUSSSSSSHHHHH!!!111!11!1!!

OTTO on January 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I was just pointing out what dude said to the WSJ reporter.

kunegetikos on January 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Little Ricky – is still around? Yawn

jake-the-goose on January 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I’m confused by O’s speech. Is everyone supposed to get a college education or are we returning to manufacturing?

Fallon on January 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Santorum is not preparing to drop out as far as anyone knows – - – “REPORTS” out of Florida are saying that Santorum MIGHT head home before Tuesday, – TO WORK ON HIS TAXES AND PREPARE HIS OLD TAX RETURNS FOR PUBLIC RELEASE (fulfilling his recent promise of release) – and to attend several private fundraisers in his home state. Santorum has not been home since Christmas – he has a small, efficient staff and he usually travels with only one staff member – he does his own taxes, at home, on his computer. This is likely just a scheduling issue.

Leaving Florida before Tuesday does not indicate that Santorum is preparing to drop out.

Pork-Chop on January 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

It’s interesting how much of the vote he get’s in each state. I don’t really count his Iowa turn out, because he camped out in Iowa for a year he should have won Iowa.

New Hampshire 9.4% of vote
South Carolina 11% of vote
Polling in Florida 11% in Florida

If Santorum is getting around 10% of the vote state by state, and he’s getting the far right social conservative religious vote, this shows the size of that demographic state by state.

Dr Evil on January 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

If Santorum drops out in the future who is going to pick up that 10% of the religious right vote?

Dr Evil on January 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM

This is what pi$$ed me off about mittidiots, most of us said if mitt got the nomination we would hold our noses and pull his lever, then drink and puke. Now Newt has momentum and the mittidiots say they will stay home. How can anyone expect respect from anti mitts when the mittidiots are so ignorant? I still will vote REPUBLICAN no matter who wins the nomination. Why wont they?

angrymike on January 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Obama’s entire strategy is about the 99rs, or “From Diapers to Depends”.
Fortunately he doesn’t do math well.
I’m not a 1%, but by golly I’m not a 99% either, and so aren’t millions of Americans.
Santorum is a social-conservative proletarian.
Mitt is a RINO.
Newt is an almost conservative lout.
Obama is demonic.
Make your choice or go gulching. Have food, water and guns.
Still, this is a great read.
Schadenfreude on January 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Since Obama talked about 98% last night, maybe you are that invisible other 1% from to the other 1%… Get it? Lol

And stop with ‘demonic’ crap… This is why Independents Paulbots like me think you are nuts….while calling RP crazy.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on January 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

I still will vote REPUBLICAN no matter who wins the nomination.

angrymike on January 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Ah, so you’re part of the problem. Nothing like setting aside your ability to think and reason and embracing blind loyalty.

Dante on January 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Ah, so you’re part of the problem. Nothing like setting aside your ability to think and reason and embracing blind loyalty.

Dante on January 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I’m going to take my time, use my brain, weigh all the options, use logic and reason…..and then pull the lever for “not Obama”

Or I could just consider who the unions are backing and vote opposite. It’s what I do in California when I’m not sure who to vote for….I vote opposite Teacher’s Union recommendation.

Ditkaca on January 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Dante
You call it what you will, but 4 more of O could lead to the end of the USA as we know it!

angrymike on January 25, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Interesting poll on MSNBC today. Asked to rate Barry’s speech, 28% of 400,000 respondents gave him an “A” but 35% gave him an “F”. 58% gave him a “C” or lower.
Whatever happened to the solid “B+”???
If we are getting through to the MSDNC demographic maybe there is “hope” after all.

breffnian on January 25, 2012 at 7:15 PM

For years, those who produce goods in other countries have had a tax advantage, Why is it wrong to turn the tables and give the advantage to companies who employ US workers? And why is this not a conservative view, Tina? Are you saying that conservatives are for outsourcing American jobs? That trying to keep jobs in this country is a liberal position?

Only Santorum has even mentioned the middle class and the working poor. Newt has only referenced them when talking about replacing school janitors with 12 year olds. I guess child labor is now a conservative point of view. s/

The truth is, we cannot work our way of this economic mess unless we start making things again. That is the bottom line and only Santorum seems to understand this.

fight like a girl on January 25, 2012 at 7:23 PM

When will people realize that the Democrat Party and President Obama are really at war with the middle class? The last thing the Democrats and Obama want is an independent middle class, they want to keep us dependent on the government and bureaucrats that control it’s strings. And this likely means some Liberal deciding to kill good paying blue collar jobs in order to save some rat in the wilderness or to lower our carbon footprint. The middle class suffers as a result of the policies of Democrats.

Blue Collar Todd on January 25, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on January 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Heh, I never call you or him crazy. I love him on domestic and other topics, just not on some of the foreign policy ones.

I stand by my statement :)

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2012 at 7:45 PM

If Santorum is getting around 10% of the vote state by state, and he’s getting the far right social conservative religious vote, this shows the size of that demographic state by state.

Santorum isn’t getting anything remotely close to all of the social conservative vote.

The_Jacobite on January 25, 2012 at 7:50 PM

The headline on Drudge said the long oppressed secretary of Warren Buffet made between $200000 to 500000 a year and just bought a second home. That is just rich, in more way than one.

galtani on January 25, 2012 at 8:03 PM

If Santorum drops out in the future who is going to pick up that 10% of the religious right vote?

Well, you can count out Ron Paul and Mormon Mitt.

Sparky5253 on January 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Hopefully Santorum will get a second look.

He and Newt worked on the same things in Congress – cutting spending, reforming welfare, battling Clinton. But since then Newt started advocating some leftwing positions – most notably on health care socialization and AGW.

Santorum stayed conservative. Oh, and he not only says he’s against illegal immigration, he voted against Shamnesty.

If I have to I’ll vote for Newt, hoping to get the guy from 94 and not the guy from San Fran Nan’s couch, but if I’ve got a chance to vote for an actual conservative like Santorum, I’ll be at least ok with my vote.

Oh, and if the guy that “wins” is Romney, the Republican party has decided it can do without my vote.

18-1 on January 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

“And believe me, I know pandering to blue collar workers!”

Bucky Badger on January 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

On the SOTU: The Tea Party Express hosted Herman Cain for a SOTU response: This site has it and several videos:

http://theothermccain.com/2012/01/25/state-of-the-union-response-video-cain-rocks-national-press-club/

bluefox on January 25, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Wow! This hurts me! Almost 9:30 PM and 37 comments!
If it was one of the other 3…in 30 minutes there would be at least 100 comments. I must suck at liking candidates.

KOOLAID2 on January 25, 2012 at 9:31 PM

18-1 on January 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

You took the words right out of my keyboard.

+1

pannw on January 25, 2012 at 11:23 PM

KOOLAID2 on January 25, 2012 at 9:31 PM

I know. :( I was listening to a new radio guy (who took Mark Levin’s spot???? I don’t know where Levin has gone, but….) a Mike Berry or something like that. Anyway, he had Tom Delay on to talk about Newt and his time as Speaker. Delay said much the same thing Santorum has said about Newt being a big idea a minute guy, not focused, etc…but that he was not unethical. Then when he said Newt just wasn’t really a conservative, Berry asked if Mitt was better. In answering, Delay said he didn’t want to say that, but that if we were looking for a conservative, Rick Santorum was the most conservative candidate. That he’d known Rick for 20 years and he was strong, solid, and ‘running for the right reasons’. Berry skimmed right over and didn’t ask or say anything about Santorum. Just let it die and got back to Newt and Mitt. I was so disappointed.

pannw on January 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM